Social Experiment, Sitting Too Closely

SOCIAL EXPERIMENT – SITTING TOO CLOSELY

 

Record your data, and write down your feelings about the experiment.

 

HYPOTHESIS

If my group and I sit too closely to people that are sitting by themselves, then they will have an averse reaction to us sitting too closely, whether it be as small as giving a “dirty look”, or as large as getting up and moving away completely, or having a heavy confrontation.

 

METHODS SCALE

ACTION : SCALE

Do Nothing : 0

Dirty Look Or Similar Behavior : 1

Moving Over A Few Inches : 2

Light Confrontation/Conversation : 3

Moving Away From Seat : 4

Heavy Confrontation/Yelling : 5

 

PROCESS

We worked with four different people, four times. The first was PARTICIPANT ONE, a boy sitting by himself texting, looking up every once in a while as if he was going to meet someone. I sat next to him and he looked a little confused at first, but when I leaned in to touch PARTICIPANT ONE so our arms were touching, he moved away a little. When I got up, PARTICIPANT ONE waited for a minute and proceeded to get up as well. This was common throughout the experiment.

Then I sat with PARTICIPANT TWO, another boy that was sitting by himself on one of the circular couches. This was more awkward, because there was a space between us. When I asked PARTICIPANT TWO if I could sit closer, he told me yes and then I moved closer. When I got even closer, PARTICIPANT TWO went into confrontation, asking me if there was a reason that I was moving closer. I was unspecific with the reason for coming closer, and by the time my group and I were ready to leave the John Jay couches, PARTICIPANT TWO had also gotten up and left.

My partner sat with PARTICIPANT THREE and PARTICIPANT FOUR, two girls that were in the middle of a conversation. While my confrontations were nonexistent and low-key, her confrontation was very intense. PARTICIPANT THREE proceeded to heavily verbally accost my partner, with PARTICIPANT FOUR following suit. PARTICIPANT THREE and PARTICIPANT FOUR became very aggressive and hostile, with my partner reacting in a similar fashion. This succeeded in ending my time with PARTICIPANT TWO as I got up to be with my partner, while the rest of my group tried to explain to PARTICIPANT THREE and PARTICIPANT FOUR that there was no intentional conflict, that this was merely a social experiment, PARTICIPANT THREE, PARTICIPANT FOUR, and my partners became belligerent. This ended in argument and leaving the picked location for this experiment.

 

DATA & REACTION

My feelings are a little unsure about this experiment. I was simultaneously embarrassed and liberated as I put people in this unknown position, but when my partner seemed to be in legitimate danger, I realized that social norms are truly important and emphasized. The participants were all over the spectrum that we had decided on, but this was interesting, because my partners and I were not sure how the participants would react.

The participants are separated by gender, and represented by the 0-5 scale that we have used to measure the reactions of each participant. “M” represents male students, and “F” represents female students.

 

A-0-F

 

B-3-M

 

C-0-M

 

D-5-F

 

E-5-F

 

F-4-M

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