Have To Break Social Norm For Psych Class Experiment

An example of breaking a social norm would be…

Facing the back of the elevator while riding in it

Saying Goodbye when you meet someone

Eating spaghetti with your hands in a cafeteria

…Of course I would like mine to be as witty and good as possible, as apparently those get the best grades. So if you guys can come up with any ideas, please share.

And to fill you in on a little more detail, I have to observe and get 10 peoples reactions to my norm breaking ( I can get a friend to do this), so it either has to be something that I can do to 10 different people ten different times (such as saying goodbye when greeting them) ,something where I can get 10 people all at once( Eating spaghetti with hands in the cafeteria) or somehing in between where i can observe two or three people at a time(elevator)

So far the best ideas I can come up with myself are

walking up to women at party’s and saying “Do you want to come have sex with me”

or going to a catholic church wearing a yamika

yes, the yamulka in the catholic church sounds good…

or how about wearing your underwear on the outside of your pants…

or sitting in the cafeteria and fishing in a bowl of soup…

or walking up to a stranger, tapping them on the sholder and saying, “tag! you’re it…”

or using a whoopie cushion in the elevator…

those could be fun…


I think it would be best to do it with random people rather then friends. Try…

…walking up to someone and asking how much they weigh (hehe on second thought that may lead to badness)

…walk up to people in the grocery store and look in their basket.

Or on second thought I think it will be nifty to do something in that class. Like, ask your professor how much he/she gets paid and why did he/she take such a thankless job. That may be a bit obvious…but I like the idea of the experiment taking place in class. There should be 10 witnesses present shouldnt there?

BTW I think this is an excellent project. My psych class was all…text and no imagination. Sigh.

I like the idea of breaking a norm that can be seen by the casual observer, but those run out.

Cross-dressing is a classic.
My friend and I (both males) wore skirts for a day for this project. Actually I wasn’t even taking the course, it just sounded like fun.

Or a female shaving her head, or not shaving her leg and harmpit hair.

Wearing a holloween costume for daily affairs seems a bit to obvious

Or wearing a nazi symbol, actually that might be going to far…

How about always lying, just stop telling the truth for a period of time

Or speaking very loudly, and stand very close to people when you talk to them.

Touch everyone you come across, but keep it clean

Speak only in Ye Olde English

Speak only in Haiku

Clap/snap/shout at people, loudly and for no reason, right in thier faces

wear a ski mask or nylons over your face, sneak everywhere

wear your sunglasses at night

Create another identy, live with it for a week/month

deficate in public

instead of walking, dance or jig everywhere you go

wear a surgical mask, spray anyone who comes near you with disinfectant

smoke, blow it right into people’s faces

go to school/work drunk or high (this may not be breaking a norm for some of you…) This may be difficult to admit to your prof. in your report…

Tell really bad puns, constantly

dress: in period costume/ like your fav. character on Star Trek/Wars/Lord of the Rings

Reading Goffman huh?

A social norm obviously is something that undrgirds our society - Invite everyone to your wedding between your sister and yourself, or perhaps between your mother and yourself. Print up fake invitations. Ask for help With the tuxes for your best men. Ask your prof to be in the ceremony. Tell everyone that you’re going to be married in the A Iglesia Catolica do Brasil, using your best portuguese accent. (Talk like Teresa Heinz Kerry) INquire whether it would be best if the guests throw rice or bird seed. You could have some great research possibilities when you call a Catholic Church and inquire about weddings. (trust me the little old ladies that answer the phones will completely fucking freak out.) Or when you call a caterer or anybody In the whole wedding industry - Photographers, florists, organists/musicians, lawyers, hotel managers (I can imagine the conversations - “well there won’t really need to be two different sides for the families”

just an idea

A lot of those aren’t social norms, just acting weird.

Alot of them are breaking social norms like invading personal space, asking socially unacceptable questions, and not conforming with what is considered then normal behavior.

There are different types of Social norms:

Injunctive Norms are behaviors which are perceived as being approved of by other people.
Descriptive Norms are perceptions of how other people are actually behaving, whether or not these are approved of.
Explicit Norms are written or spoken openly.
Implicit Norms are not openly stated (but you find out when you transgress them).

Hey I do that. Thats not a social norm? lol. Last time I did some guy called me the Matrix guy, made my whole week.

An old one is to greet people good morning in the afternoon. However, studies have shown that many people tend to say good morning back automaticaly.

Why don’t you hold someones hand while you have a conversation with them. Make their aquaintance and when you shake hands simply don’t let go.

Or try this one. Meet a girl, bow down deeply to her, stretch out your hand and when she offers you hers proceed to kiss it(take your time) and then ask her why her socks match. Ok so the socks are over doing it, but you get the picture.

I would argue that violating the incest taboo is one helluva big social norm

I’m from Virginia.

but yours was just way out there, too much for a psych experiment.

Right now i have to say wearing a yamika to a catholic church is the leading candidate, although I do like the tag your it. Idea