Experiments with Breaking Social Rules

Experiments with Breaking Social Rules
Within the socialization process, there are rules of beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that are considered acceptable and generally sanctioned by society. These types of behaviors generally are unwritten and continue to define how people socialize by maintaining interpersonal relationships and communication even in the case that they do not know each other. This is because society more generally allows these behaviors to define the basis under which people could operate, with the least amount of conflict. The behaviors are referred to as social norms or social rules. Line cutting, as behavior is generally not sanctioned within the socialization process. From the primary material given, people who line cut, without establishing a believable premise are considered rude, out of order, and ill-mannered. This is because, as a form of behavior, it disregards the people who had been standing in the line observing social rules of common courtesy. In most cases, people get surprised, agitated, angry, and even confrontational since the behavior, as a non sanctioned form of conduct is unpredictable and increase the chances of being disorderly.
Line cutting created a sense of disorderliness in most of the experiments. In its self, line cutting was a disruptive behavior. The majority of the time, the people who were cut in line would react by confronting the researchers and inquiring why they cut the line. They would also identify to them that there was a line, and as such, imply that they need to go back and start the line like everyone else. In one of the experiments done in T.J Max, a female customer forcefully re-cut the researcher in anger after she was cut in line. There was also a sense of surprise, seeing most of the people who were cut in line in Bed Bath and Beyond standing stunned at the sheer lack of social norm awareness of the researcher. Very few people chose not to confront.
Social norms provide order in society and breaking them is likely to increase confrontational conflict. Human society keeps social norms for a reason, which is to maintain order and a sense of respect for others in their space. Norms help guide and direct people’s behavior as they measure people’s agency and contextualize them to the other, or they help limit people’s behavior in the event that it may work directly to affect others. They provide people within the said society, an expected idea on how to behave, and how to function. In their application, they provide order and on average make people more predictable. As such, observing social norms allows people to make sense of interaction within the socialization process and understanding other people’s actions and one’s own.
On the contrary, when the researcher asked kindly or gave a reason as to why they were cutting the line, they were allowed to go ahead. This is because they showed an understanding of the unwritten rule not to line cut, and in the event, they showed some agency that compelled them to line cut. Appealing to the sample population’s emotions allowed them to show empathy and allow an individual to cut lines. The norms as such provided the people with certain expectations on how to successfully cut the line, first by acknowledging the other party and secondly by seeking their help and asking whether you could cut in front of them. This is because acknowledging the party you were about to cut was in the least a behavior that was expected.

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