Social Norms Of Elevator Etiquette

931 WordsSep 24, 20154 Pages
The objective of my experiment was to see how people reacted to a violation in the social norms of elevator etiquette. Generally in elevators, people are expected to fill in starting from the back, facing the elevator doors, rarely making verbal contact, with the possible exception of finding out which floor people are heading to. Unless the passengers of the elevator know each other, conversation is sparse and often limited to small-talk. As a result of this, my goal in the experiment was to introduce a foreign behavior to the elevator, something that nobody would expect while going about their day. Thus, I entered a situation where a certain set of expectations were in place, such as the informal rule that individuals should stand (rather than sit) in an elevator, and violated those unspoken rules without actually doing anything that would not be perfectly acceptable in another social setting. The physical setting of my norm violation was an elevator in my residence hall as this would be a clear violation of what should be expected of students taking the elevator up to their rooms or down to the lobby. I did this by wearing athletic clothing, unrolling a yoga mat in the back of the elevator, and proceeding to sit on the floor (covered by the yoga mat) and go through a series basic stretches. I tried to make what I was doing seem as commonplace as possible by not explaining my presence or strange behavior to anyone who entered the elevator, but rather continuing as
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