Breaking the Norm
A social norm is a belief or unspoken “rule” on how people should act in different situations. And when you are in those situations and you act as you “should”, its normal. If you don’t act as you should its considered different or weird. Sociologists called it breaking the social norm.
There is a social norm of standing in an elevator the “right way”, which is standing facing toward the doors of the elevator. When you first get of the elevator, you press the button to which floor you want to get off on. Then, naturally like everyone else, you face the elevator doors until it is your time to get off. There is no rule that states which way you have to stand on an elevator, we does do it. My group decided to break that normative behavior.
We went to the elevator near the financial aid services desk in Mosler Hall on the Miami Hamilton campus. There were three of us participating in the norm breaking and two persons videotaping the reactions of the people. It’s important to note that the three of us that were participating, were all girls and of the age of eighteen. On the day that we broke this norm it was a bit chilly outside and very windy. We also conducted our experiment between 1-2 p.m.
We placed one person to videotape on the first floor of Mosler Hall and the second person on the third floor of Mosler Hall to videotape. We first got onto the elevator on the first floor of Mosler and turned to face the back wall of the elevator when other people would enter onto the elevator with us. Then we got off of the elevator on the third floor of Mosler and the three of us separated into different directions as if we weren’t together. We would then go back to the first floor and do it over again to observe the people’s reactions. A couple of times, we would turn from facing the back wall to facing the side wall to see if the people’s reactions would change.
In breaking this social norm, we didn’t get a lot of reactions...
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