Breaching Experiment Paper



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Breaching Experiment Paper
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Intro: 1/2-2/3 page paragraph

What you did/norm for the behavior: 1 paragraph, up to 1/2 page

Interpretation: 1-1 1/2 pages.

Theory section: 2-3 pages (make sure you discuss the theory AT LENGTH before applying to your breach)

Conclusion: 1 paragraph, up to 1/2 page.


When you write the paper, you will be take a position concerning a concept or theory discussed in class or in the readings. Then, using the reactions of others who witnessed your breach, you will support or challenge the concept or theory. You are expected to draw from the readings, lectures, and discussions in your paper. This is a normal academic paper, which includes an intro, body, and conclusion as follows:


Questions to answer include: what are norms? What are they for? What do they give to individuals and to society? What happens when they are breached? Why do people care? Then, give us the purpose of the experiment and of the paper.


What you did

Please explain the norm that you breached, and show what the typical fulfillment of the norm looks like in our society. Then, briefly summarize the reactions you received (you should not talk about them individually yet—just a brief summary of them all).



In this section, you will look for patterns of reactions in your experiment, and in your group members.’ How did women tend to respond? Men? Older people? Younger? How did ethnicity or culture seem to affect the reactions of those around you? How did your own characteristics govern how your behavior was received? You will want to look at reactions in the context of socialization, and think of how each group has been socialized to respond to your behavior.


Theoretical Analysis

You will want to pick two or more theories from our course to explain how and why you performed, and others responded to your breach. This is NOT the time to include as many terms as you can from the course; instead, select two theories, explain how they work in detail, and then apply them to specific examples from your experiment. You can draw on any group member’s experience in writing this part, and show how the theory operates in these experiences. Some good theories to include in this part come from our social psychology chapter, chapter 4.



So, the big question is….did people notice your breach? Why do even mild modifications of “normal” behavior bother people? You will want to include the “taken for granted view” in your overall analysis of this experience.

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