B. Sean Bushay
Professor Eric Chase
22 October 2013
Breaking A Social Norm
For my social science experiment with breaking a social norm I went to a park, but instead of walking around in a forward motion like people normally do, I decided to see what kind of social reactions I would get if I were to walk backwards. I started walking backwards as soon as I got out of the car. There was no one in the parking lot, but I wasn’t sure if anyone could see me from a distance. It wasn't a nice day out, but it also wasn't raining. I was still hoping I would encounter a fair amount of people. I back peddled my way to the trail and saw three girls in the distance, they were standing around taking in the scenery. One girl saw me almost instantly, and then I had all three girls looking at me with perplexed looks. As I began to walk closer they all seemed to get wrapped up in themselves, and they didn’t look at me or say anything as I walked by. So I kept walking and got one last quick glance before I rounded a corner. I walked past a jogger on the trail that just didn’t seem to notice or care. I took a seat on a bench to rest my legs. Its harder to walk up and down hills when you are walking backwards. I saw a couple coming down the trail, so I stood up and started walking backwards about 10 feet in front of them. The female didn’t look at me, but the male looked and didn’t seem to care if I noticed him eyeing the situation. He even had a half smile on his face when he was trying to figure things out. I walked for a few minutes like this until I got to an area before a bridge crossing, so I pulled off the trail to the side to let the couple pass me. Neither greeted nor even looked at me. Also on my way back up the trail, I encountered two men holding hands on a bench, both greeted me as I walked by and one asked "Are you having fun?", to which I replied "Yes, thank you.". Those were the only people I saw during my hour trek around the park. I took careful...
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