Breaking Norms Experiment

Examples of breaching experiments can include: going to a fancy restaurant and eating the whole meal with your hands, riding in an elevator backwards for a day, answering the phone for a day without using greetings or goodbyes, going to a food court and randomly sitting down with strangers and engage them in conversation, etc… You can also make up your own experiment as long as you are violating a widely accepted norm (but make sure it is an obvious violation likely to cause a social reaction). If you are not sure of your idea, run it by me or the TA. The bigger the violation the better results! However, do not commit actions that are illegal or that could compromise your safety. 1. Statement of the Problem A. Define the norm you will violate and how you will violate it. B. Briefly describe social control theory.  C. Describe how this norm acts as a mechanism of social control.  2. Hypothesis A. Describe the range of possible reactions others will have to the violation of this norm.  B. What do you predict the major reaction will be? 3. Describe the setting A. Physical—where is the norm violation taking place? B. Social—How many and what types of persons are observing? 4. Describe the incident—tell what happened How did people react to your violation?  5. Summary and Interpretation A. How did you feel as you were violating the norm? B. Why did you feel the way you did?  C. Did people react the way you expected? Explain. D. Did you encounter any difficulties in carrying out your assignment?  E. What did you learn about how norms exercise social control?



Sample Solution