“Chips and Bells” by Aly Lallatin

A few days ago, a young man came to my door and rang the bell.  I didn’t know him, so I decided he would be the perfect person to help me with my social norm violation.

Instead of answering the door, or even just ignoring it, I went and looked through the window in the door. I stood there staring at the boy while slowly eating chips. He could see me, and he knew that I knew it. He knocked on the door again, and I continued to eat chips and stare. He started to get angry and pounded on the door. I continued to eat and stare. He started to shout, “I CAN SEE YOU!! ANSWER THE FREAKING DOOR!!” I continued to eat and stare. After maybe five minutes of this he made an exasperated sound, kicked the door and stalked off.

The social norm I violated was the American social norm to answer the door if you are at home. It’s considered inhospitable to not answer the door. It is an unwritten rule that if you are home, you answer or you stay out of sight so the person at the door thinks you’re not at home. By not answering the door and putting myself in view of the boy, I violated the norm. He knew I was home and I didn’t answer the door.

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  1. #1 by amyekankiewicz on May 27, 2012 - 1:44 AM

    That is just too funny. Good job. As I read your social norm violation experiment, I noticed that it also represents displacement in a way. The person at the door kicked it before he left, taking out his anger on the door, even when it had done nothing to him.–Amy Kankiewicz

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