A Social Norm Experiment

Decent Essays

The social norm experiment that I performed consisted of me violating a social norm and observing people’s reactions for doing so. I did something that is deemed “not normal,” based off from societal standards. The norm I broke was an interesting one. Instead of respecting strangers’ personal space, I invaded their space. I stood in front of them as close as I could possibly get, without touching them. I choose to break this social norm because of how I am with people. Strangers or friends, it does not matter, I do not like when people stand close to me. I feel as if they are invading my personal space. When people stand too close to me, I tense up and feel very uncomfortable. In my eyes, this social norm is necessary, especially for people who are similar to me and need to have their distance from others. My experiment consisted of me asking strangers, on the streets of Downtown Grand Rapids, for directions to Rosa Park’s Circle, and invading their personal space. To start, I would approach a stranger; tell them that I am lost, and that I am in need of directions to the Rosa Park’s Circle. As strangers began giving directions to me, I inched closer and closer to them. In addition to invading their personal space, I also held intense eye contact with them, trying my best not to blink. The whole time, although it was difficult, I kept a straight face while I performed my experiment. To make sure that I gathered enough information, and a variety of results, I tested my

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