Common Courtesy

Topics: Stanford prison experiment, Bus, Stanley Milgram Pages: 4 (1316 words) Published: December 20, 2010
 Impact of Common Courtesy on Public Transit: Literature review

Common courtesy is likely seen as less and less of a social norm in public nowadays. With the hussle and bussle of city buses there is no exception for the lack of courtesy given in small moving transportation. Priority seating has become mandatory in some states in the US and more and more public transit representatives must stress the importance of common courtesy to all generations of public transit users. Common courtesy on public transit is seen as giving up one's seat for another in need, by doing so the one in need can safely use transit without the worry of having to stand on moving transportation which could result in injuries.

A Previous study shows that common courtesy on public transit seems unlikely which is shown in the following experiment; unless those in need request for it. An experiment done in 1975 by Dr. Stanley Milgram concluded that 68% of people willingly gave up their seat when asked. The other 22% either refused or automatically assumed something was wrong with the person and asked if they were "okay". This shows that many people are unwilling to give up their seat because they either believe in the phrase "first come first serve" or the individual asking for the seat must have a good reason for requesting it; common courtesy once seen as automatic, can be now seen as a request. Signs have been put up in buses for front seating to be used by those who are visually seen as "in need" of it, but those who do not have a visual problem may be rejected because their problem can not be seen. The first year graduate students that pariticpated in Dr. Milgram's experiment felt social pressure for asking for a seat on public transit. If the reason for asking for the seat wasn't visually seen the requesting passangers in this case first year graduate students felt ashamed. "It's something you can't really understand unless you've been there," said David...

References: Luo, M. (2004, September 14). Excuse Me. May I Have your Seat?. The New York Times. Retrieved from
Ramirez, A. & Medina J. (2004, Sept 14). Excuse Me. May I have Your Seat?; Seeking a Favour and Finding It Amoung the Strangers on a Train. The New York Times. Retrieved from
Proctor, A. (1999, March 13). Manners Maketh Man. Retrieved from the Student Research Center, 353 (9156). DOI:1660453
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