Posted: September 18th, 2023
Homework Assignment One
The purpose of the project is to show us how pervasive social norms are in our lives and how
unconsciously and willingly we obey them. To complete this assignment, please violate a social
norm and write a report of your experience. The objective of the research is to determine the
extent to which norms influence behavior. Thus, you will want to play particular attention to the
research of both yourself and others who are part of the situation. Please follow the guidelines
1. Break the norm in a social setting, observe the reactions of others and yourself, and
record as quickly as possible those reactions.
2. DO NOT:
a. Break any laws or cause anyone else to break the law.
b. Cause any harm to yourself or anyone else.
c. Do anything that is legally or morally questionable, or that could bring negative
sanctions against you or BU.
3. Ten points of the total assignment are designated to your ability to use theories of
socialization to explain behavior, learning, and patterns in human behavior. Please use
relevant theories and terms from your readings in writing the assignment.
Respond to these first two questions prior to violating the norm.
The assignment should be written in essay form. Please use a word processor and double
spacing. The complete assignment should be between 500 and 1,000 words.
(1) Before you break the norm, describe the norm you will break. Briefly explain how this
norm acts as a mechanism of social control. Describe what you will do to violate the
(2) Describe the range of possible reactions others will have to the violation of this norm and
your prediction of the major reaction.
(3) Describe the setting:
a. Physical – where is the norm violation-taking place?
b. Social – how many and what types of persons are observing?
(4) Describe what happened when you violated the norm.
(5) Did you experience sanctions once you broke the norm? Were the sanctions subtle or
explicit punishments? Describe the sanctions (if any). Explain why you experienced or
did not experience any sanctions.
(6) Describe your feelings when you violated the norm. Why do you imagine you felt the
way you did? Did people react the way you expected? Explain.
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