The Social norm I broke was shaking people’s hands. Yes, I know that you are thinking to yourself, this is a social norm; you’re not breaking anything. In today’s society, people don’t shake each other’s hands instead they come up with some other gesture and when your try to shake their hand, they do not know how to do it properly. I was in Union Station for this experiment because I wanted a large sample of the population and for the population to be diverse. My results were interesting, the men would shake my hand more then the women did (I made sure I attempted to shake equal amounts of male and female hands). This was interesting because I raised some questions like: maybe the women did not shake my hand because they felt threatened or they were busy or they did not know how to react and this goes for the men as well. When I was attempting to shake the person’s hand, they all appeared to be very perplexed and leery about the situation.
I had to feel comfortable throughout the entire process because I could not give any clues away that I truly did not know them. I felt perfectly comfortable in the situation and approached every person as if I knew him or her personally. I thought this would help the results in favor of the person shaking my hand and people are more likely to engage in a person that they know. Finally, I decided to conduct the experiment again except I wore a suit and tie instead of sweatpants and a hoodie (clothes of a typical college kid). The reason I did this was to see if the results changed and they did. The amount of handshakes went up about 15% and the responsiveness was far greater, even if the person did not shake my hand they acknowledged my presence and appeared to be less leery. I would love to share more with you if you wish.
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