Research Report Draft – No Graph

Our research group collected data from six random students who were sitting somewhere on the first floor of the John Jay New Building. Together, we calculated the average to be 3.6 on the scale of 1-5, for all of the random students we encountered. This reveals that of the six students, the majority of them were extremely frustrated with the fact that researchers one and two had been sitting too closely to them. 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. Participant two was another boy that sat by himself on one of the circular couches. This was more awkward, because there was a space between us. Participant two proceeded to move on the scale to confrontation, asking me if there was a reason that I was moving closer. 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. The third participant 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. Participants five and six had no reaction – a boy and a girl, continuing to read and text as they had been doing before.

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In any public place, there are obvious but invisible, unwritten social cues that anyone in said spot should be made aware of. Public conductivity is definitely one of the many subconscious guidelines that help a person to navigate the place they are in. Because of this, it is interesting to study experiments that have shown results in displaying certain forms of public misconduct. After collecting and thoroughly analyzing all the data composed of the experiment, it was clear that while John Jay claims to be a community, the “community” is not a family. While someone that is a family member or even a close friend may not mind a familiar person sitting very closely to them, there is a six-inch implied “buffer” that shields every New Yorker from the rest of the world around them – from sitting in a public place and talking with friends, or crammed in on the tightest of subway cars. Regardless of the place, New Yorkers require a certain amount of space.

Each student who was sat next to reacted in some way, even if the way was unexpected. However, a few unprecedented variables altered the outcomes of the data. We had two students that literally did not have any reaction, and two students that had incredibly volatile reactions. Therefore the research group inferred that the silent reactions were due to the preoccupation of the students in a solitary activity, because it was easy to block out the rest of the world – they had already done so by participating in this single-person action. In relation to the two females who had reacted so intensely, our group decided that they were much more likely to have done so because they were together (which would make solidarity easier), and they were already engaged in a social activity. Unlike others, unable to express their frustrations as easily, the girls had a group of acquainted individuals to discuss their frustrations. To further this experiment, I would recommend repeating the procedure at different times, with different groups of students. It would be interesting to see if adults would react more strongly if another adult sat next to them – for the most part, it was a teenager sitting next to young adults, not teenagers with teenagers or adults with adults. I would also wonder if children would have the same volatile reactions (though I completely understand that it is unethical to include children in studies like this, because the “participants” were unwilling, uninformed students). These recommendations and changes would be incredible to understand how social behavior is regulated in the public New York City. One flaw to this experiment was a lack of time to perpetuate the study into various methods, as well as a lack of diversity among the students.

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My group and I took on six different people, six 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. My third partner sat with PARTICIPANT FIVE and later PARTICIPANT SIX. While PARTICIPANT FIVE had no reaction to the close seating arrangement, it is important to understand that PARTICIPANT FIVE had the distraction of his cell phone, which meant that there was no eye contact between the researcher and participant, and no confrontation of any means because there was no acknowledgement of the researcher sitting there. PARTICIPANT SIX was similar in that she was reading a book, which led to a similar reaction that PARTICIPANT FIVE had, and provided another opportunity for us to introduce a variable – if social activities were more likely to result in a confrontation, while solitary activities were likely to result in little to no reaction.

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On March 10, 2014, four researchers were given a set of specific instructions to execute an experiment inside John Jay College’s newest building’s first floor, with random and varied students existent in it the procedure. The four researchers entered the John Jay atrium, where they acted as if they didn’t know each other. The first researcher proceeded to sit with two students, close enough that arms and legs were touching against the student that they did not know, as the other three researchers nonchalantly sat with the other researchers, carefully watching to see the reactions of the participants. The second researcher proceeded to sit in a spot that was similar to that of the first researcher, this time with two participants sitting closely together, talking. The third researcher sat with the fifth and sixth participants while the second researcher sat with the third and fourth participant. Finally, while these small groups of study were being conducted, our fourth researcher recorded data on a scale of zero to five, in regard to the reactions of the students that had their personal space suddenly invaded. Researchers were told to keep inaudible and unreactive, which was then lost as the second researcher entered a hostile environment with the participants.

 

This was the scale used to measure reactions of students:

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

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