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Social Norms Essay Sample

Social Norms Pages
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Conformity and Deviance One of the norms I broke was talking to someone in a public bathroom, while peeing. It was very ocward talking to the guy next to me. One of the reason I felt ocward talking to him was because, you are not suppose to talk to the guy next to you. While you are doing your business you look at the wall in front of you. When you are done you wash your hands, and leave. No one talks to anyone they don’t know, even if they do know the person next to them they won’t talk to them while they are peeing. No one was taught to do this, you learned by observing. But when the guy next to you starts talking you don’t know how to react. That’s how the guy next to me reacted. First of all this field stimulation took place in AMC Theater bathroom, right after the movie Eagle Eye finished. My prediction before starting the field stimulation was that no one will talk to me and pretend they didn’t hear me. When I enter the bathroom there were few people in the bathroom all the urinal were full because I had to do the field stimulation I waited for one of the urinals to open up. While I was waiting for the urinals to open up I didn’t want to do the field stimulation.

The reason I didn’t want to do it was because there were lots of people in the bathroom, and I didn’t want anyone to get mad at me. One of the guy finished and stepped away from the urinal washed his hand and, like what you are suppose, to do he didn’t talk to anyone. I walked over to the open urinal and started doing my business. The guy next to me was done and walked away, right when I got there. This guy in his late 20’s started using the urinal next to me. I didn’t know what to say at first. I was thinking about just saying Hi. I couldn’t get myself to say it, but finally very scared and nervous I said hi. I don’t know if he heard me or not, but he didn’t say anything. So I got even more nervous. I said it even louder hi. He gave me a wired look and said hi. I looked at his face right after and he had a confused look on his face. I think he was thinking do I know this guy.

When he figured out I didn’t know who he was I might of asked himself, why is he talking to me? I had to keep the conversation going; I knew he wasn’t going to say anything. So I asked him, what movie did you see? Gave me a very short answer and said I’m going to go see a movie. This time he didn’t look at me. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to ask him another question. I didn’t look at his face reaction, so I wasn’t sure if he was getting annoyed. I didn’t have much time to think so I asked him, what movie? He said Eagle Eye. This time he sounded annoyed so I didn’t want to ask him anything else. Another reason I didn’t want to ask him anything was because I was done with my business. I walked away from the urinal, washed and dried my hands, and left the men bathroom. I was waiting for my friend outside the bathroom. The guy that was in the bathroom came right after me. It looked like he was waiting for someone as well. Just because he sounded annoyed, I walked up to him. From  looking at his face expression he thought there was something wrong with me at first. Then I told him that I was doing this for a class. He thought it was a strange project to do.

I told him we had to pick a social norm and break that social norm, which made more sense to him. Another reason why I wanted to talk to him because I wanted to know what was going through his head when I was talking to him. He told me that when I first said hi he heard me but he thought I was talking through a Bluetooth headset, because no one really talks to each other in the bathroom. I asked him another question, why were your answer so short? He said he felt very uncomfortable talking while peeing and that’s why his answers were short. When I was at the mall I had to go to the bathroom so I went into J.C. Penney’s bathroom. I already had one of my bathroom field stimulation done, but I wanted to know if I would get the same reaction form a guy who was in his late 30’s or early 40’s. This time there were three guys in the bathroom including me. One of the guys washed his hands and left the bathroom. The other guy walked over to the urinal. I didn’t think more people in the bathroom made much difference, because everyone was doing their business. Anyway before I went up to the urinal I already knew what question I wanted to ask him.

I wasn’t as nerves as I was the first time but I was still nerves. I went up to the urinal and started to do my business. I asked him loudly this time; the mall is really busy today? Again short answer yea it is. This guy didn’t give me any weird looks, but he sounded kind of mad. So I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go on with the experiment. I already had all the data I needed. I decided to go on with the experiment. I changed my question; I asked him what he thought about the bailout plan. He looked like someone who invested money in the stock market. Plus I thought this question would have to be a long answer. But I was wrong all he said was I don’t really care about it. I wasn’t sure if the questions I was asking didn’t really interest the people that I was talking to, or if they were uncomfortable like the other guy told me. This guy was done real fast and walked away. He kind of sickened me when he didn’t wash his hands. That was one of the reason I didn’t want to tell him that I was doing this for school. I was done I washed my hands and I left the bathroom. I didn’t want to talk to the guy, but me and my friend walked around J.C. Penney and tried to find him.

But we couldn’t find him. One of the reasons I wanted to talk to him was because I wanted to know if he got mad at me because I talk to him in the bathroom. Another reason I wanted to talk to him to see want he thought when I first talk to him. I don’t know if he didn’t wash his hands because I freaked him out. He might be having a bad day that’s why he sounded mad. I don’t think he got mad because I talked to him in the bathroom. I didn’t see him in the mall again, if I did I might have know if that’s the reason he got mad. But talking to the first guy kind of tells me that talking to someone won’t get them mad. It might get someone annoyed but not mad. Comparing the first and second experiments told me that people don’t like to talk to people they don’t know. Even I felt uncomfortable talking to the guy while in the bathroom. Breaking this social norm will irritate the person you are talking to. And they will try to act like they didn’t hear you. But I’m kind of glad we have this social norm, because it is ocward  walking to some random guy in a public bathroom. People will talk to you and not try to ignore you when you are not in a public bathroom. Having more people in the bathroom doesn’t make much of a difference, like I said before. The reason I think this is because they both gave me short answers.

They didn’t ask me any questions; they didn’t try to keep the conversation going. The age difference didn’t really make much of a difference, in my opinion. The only reason I think he was mad is because he was having a bad day. Another different think with the bathroom was, AMC bathroom were way bigger then J.C. Penney. That made no difference at all, except the guy didn’t wash his hands. When someone is not comfortable they will try everything they can to be comfortable. For example the first guy tried to ignore me, when that didn’t work he tried to end the conversation as fast as he can with short answers, I got the same reaction with the second guy. The reactions that I got from the two guys were what I was expiating. I am so happy people follow this social norm. The second norm I broke was cutting someone in a line. I was very scared before going through this field simulation. I didn’t want someone to get mad at me tried to kick my butt. There is no rule that says you can’t cut line. Some people cut in front of someone who they might know, but you don’t see that a lot. My plan was going to cut someone in a fast food restaurant.

I picked Burger King, and usually when there is a line people walk in see there is a line and get in the back of a line. There might be that one person who is in a hurry and wants to cut you. But the person will ask before cutting you in line. I didn’t do this for the first field simulation. But for this one I wrote down what I was expecting from the person who I will cut. The guy that I will cut I think will really get mad and try to beat me up, if I don’t move. This is only if it is some guy who is bigger than me. If it is some old lady she might just get mad and start screaming, because old people are really mean. If it is a little kid I don’t think he will tell to get behind him, unless his parents are around. I will do two experiments one with a teenager and another with an older person early 40’s. My friend and I walked in to Burger King. My friend seat down I told him to take some notes while I’m doing this experiment.

There were no customer sitting down in Burger Kind and eating. There were about 3 people in the line. I walked over to the line the guy was in his 50’s. I think he was on his lunch, because he was dressed up. He turned around and looked at me while I was walking over. He didn’t look like a mean person, very hard to find this kind of people these days, so I thought most of the people wouldn’t react like how this guy will. While I was right behind him he turns around starts looking the other way. I was extremely nerves, my heart was pounding. And I walked right passed him and stud in front of him. My friend’s notes said when I walked right passed him he started looking around all confused. Probably thinking what is this guy doing. I started to act like I was looking at the menu and see what I wanted to buy. He taps me on my shoulder and told  me to get behind him. He didn’t sound mad, he asked me very nicely. I didn’t know what to do now. Do I do what he asked me to do? I was so scared I think he heard my heart beats, that’s how scared I was.

I said why, very quietly I knew this will really tick him off. I saw his face and his eyebrows raised. Right when his eyebrows rose I was so scared I wanted to run away. I thought he was going to start screaming at me. But very calmly he said because I was in line before you cut me. I don’t know if he was have a really good day or if he was always very nice. I kind of felt a little better when he didn’t start screaming at me. My heart beats calmed down. I told him I need to get going let me go before you. He said well if you are getting late you should have left your house a little earlier. He didn’t sound mad he just wanted his spot in the line back. He added I have to go to work I’m getting late as well. This guy was very nice; I didn’t really want to ruin his day, so I said okay I’m sorry. I was going to give the spot back anyway. I told him I was doing this for a class, just because I wanted to know his feeling, and didn’t want him to feel bed for me. He said he didn’t know how to react when I passed and cut him. He said I had to say it because I was getting late or I wouldn’t have cared.

So I guess I was right his guy was really nice, but we will see if the next person will be as nice as this one. This time I was at a different Burger King. I was on lunch; I was not planning to do the field simulation. But when I walked in there were few people sitting and eating their food. And there was a teenager standing in line. I couldn’t pass up a good opportunity. I didn’t have my friend taking notes for me, and I couldn’t push it real far. If the guy did get mad at me I wouldn’t have to start running but if my friend was there I would have some back up. This guy was taller than me, and he looked built. So I knew this would be a short experiment. I looked around to see if his friends were around, but he was the only teenager there. Again I was really scared and nerves, worse than the first time. I did the same thing again; I walked past the guy and stud in front of him.

There were four people in front me. I didn’t really know his first reaction because my back was facing him. But this guy didn’t tap my shoulder, he didn’t say anything but walked passed me and stud in front of me. I knew he was kind of mad. I was really scared to say this because he was bigger than me. I asked him, why did you cut me? He turned around and gave me a mean look and started to laugh. I don’t know what was going through his head. But I was really scared I thought he was about to pick me up and toss me across the room. And he said I was in front of you I don’t know who you are to cut me. This was not his words, his words were very mean and had he lots of swears. At that point I was done with the field simulation; I didn’t want to get this guy even madder. I told him again like the other experiment that I was doing this for a class; I wasn’t trying to be a jerk. I asked him what did you think when I cut you. He said he was having a really bad day and was about to kick my butt. At that point, I was happy I ended  the experiment.

The other question I asked him was why you didn’t ask me to move, why you just cut me. He said he didn’t really feel like talking to me. So I simply just cut you. Both the guys were different and so I can’t really say that teenagers hate when you violate the line cutting norm. The reason I say this is because the guy was having a really bad day and I don’t know if that’s what most people would do. Even though the guy said that if he wasn’t getting late for his work he would have let me cut. Who knows he might be just saying that. I think no one likes it when you cut in line. Young or old everyone hates when this social norm is broken. When there are more people in line it doesn’t make much of a difference. Social norms make everyone’s life a little easier. There is no law that you have to follow, but everyone knows the social norms. When someone violates the social norm, they feel embarrassed. I felt embarrassed when I was violating the norms. The reason I felt embarrassed is because I was doing something different than everyone else. Violating social norms taught me, to just follow the social norms and no one will try to beat you up, and I won’t get embarrassed in public.

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