Breaking Social Norms Paper

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Introduction: Social norms are the base templates which guide our behavior everyday. Social norms entail an expected behavior based off of those norms, and that we will conform to those expectations on a regular basis. These norms rise from our evolution of social dynamics. As the people in a society consistently interact with each other and other components of society, people begin to form a certain set of expectations on how the interactions and situations should proceed. As a large portion of society begins to conform to this standard, the certain behaviors that one would have in a particular situation will start to be considered as normative behaviors. The normative behaviors that people perform help solidify a social norm, and most individuals …show more content…

Through our experiences growing up in a certain society, we form schemas about different situations, and these schemas influence our actions. At first, these societal norms are often thought of as common knowledge, and breaking them is considered “strange” or “weird,” but it is necessary to acknowledge that all of these norms are created by society collectively, and that breaking them is only thought of as unusual because it doesn’t conform to any standards or expectations. While breaking the societal norm of holding the door open by holding it open for a longer period of time, I observed the confused and surprised reactions of individuals who weren’t used to this deviation in behavior pattern. Through observing people’s changes in behavior during the task, it is evident that people’s initial reactions to breaking societal norms is a state of anxiety and confusion. This state of anxiety causes people to immediately make internal attributions about those who break societal norms that they are bizarre. Overall, this task helped me realize that these societal norms are unconsciously integrated into most aspects of our lives, and that our natural instinct is to conform to these standards, even if we are aware of this pattern

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