What Is The Social Norms?

The social norm that we as a group violated was speaking quietly in public and politeness when joining a conversation. Most people speak in a soft or quiet manner in public and do not yell. People also usually wait until someone is finished speaking before talking and don’t talk over them. We violated these norms. The reason most people follow these norms is because it’s proper manner in public. Yelling in public is discouraged because it disturbs others and draws attention to those that yell.

This norm is usually followed because we have been socially trained to think those that yell in public are rude because it causes a disturbance to others. Most individuals are uncomfortable hearing unruly noises or yelling in public. Society also follows the norm of waiting until someone is finished speaking before giving their thought because it is polite behavior. Speaking over someone is considered rude because you are not allowing that person to finish their thoughts.

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By interrupting someone while they are speaking, you are belittling that person and not valuing what they have to say. These norms are followed because its proper manner and you don’t want to be rude for the reasons mentioned.

We violated these norms by yelling at each other and speaking over people when they were in conversation. We broke these social norms in the CLA hallway of the fourth floor. Most students were walking to class during the time. We started our experiment by yelling at each other in a group instead of speaking in a quiet or appropriate manner.

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We then interrupted and spoke over students as they were having conversations. Some of us recorded the reactions and others were involved in breaking the social norm.

The result of breaking these social norms was something that I expected. As we were breaking these social norms I felt nervous, embarrassed, and stressed. Before we partook in the violation I was feeling rather uneasy and nervous because I knew the norm that we were going to violate was going to draw unnecessary attention. I felt uncomfortable when we broke the social norm because I knew people would confusingly stare and question why these students were yelling. As a group we also felt nervous and embarrassed when violating the norm as we’ve all been taught to follow certain social expectations. Although we felt embarrassed, as a group there was a sense of comradery when breaking these norms. When participating as group you don’t feel like an outcast because your group members are doing the exact same thing as you. This allowed us as a group to break the social norm because we felt together and not alone. In society we see that people act in a different manner as a group than individually. I think this applied for our group because I don’t think any one of us would have yelled in public by ourselves.

The way other students reacted to our norm violation was by either staring in confusion or by trying to ignore the situation and avoid eye contact. As we started to yell in the hallway of the CLA building we would get a few awkward stares and students trying to avoid eye contact and move away from the situation. I found this very interesting because I believe students felt the second hand embarrassment and wanted to avoid the attention. When you hear people yell in public or what is so called as “causing a scene” most individuals are uncomfortable and will leave the area. We have been trained by society to not bring any unwanted attention to a public situation and those that witness it are often so uncomfortable they will move away from the situation. Other students would look in disgust as if to show that what we are doing is frowned upon. The reactions of students showed that we were participating in non-normal behavior and they did not want to be a part of the situation.

The social construction of reality as discussed in class is the process through which people create their understanding of their environment. Nothing has built-in meanings and whatever meaning it has is what humans have given it. It is through a social process that we determine meanings and it is people who decide on these meanings. Most behavior is patterned and ordered by a set of rules which exist by outside sources as discussed in class. These behaviors have a set of meanings by the rules in place. Our norm violation is related to the social construction of reality because yelling in public and speaking over someone is considered rude. We have given the action of yelling in pubic and speaking over someone a meaning of inappropriate behavior because it disturbs others.

Society follows these rules because in public people rarely violate these norms because it is looked down upon. We have given these norms meanings. The reason people don’t violate them is they are seen as abnormal and are looked at as outcasts. Norms may be inferred from the behaviors of those around us, without any explicit training or implicit endorsement. Injunctive norms motivate behavior by promising social rewards or punishments for it. This is related to the nom we violated it. The behavior of speaking softly in public and waiting for individuals to finish their thought before speaking are not rewarded but rather punished if not followed. Everyone follows this norm because if they don’t they are indirectly punished by awkward stares or people looking in disgust. This indirect punishment ostracizes people in public because you are not following the social norm. No harm happens when you violate the norm that we as a group did, but everyone follows it because we don’t want to be seen as outcasts of society.


Cialdini, B. Robert and Trost, R. Melanie. “Social Influence: Social Norms, Conformity, and Compliance.” In The Handbook of Social Psychology, edited by Daniel T. Gilbert, Susan T. Fiske, and Gardner Lindzey, 151-180. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 1998.
Henslin, James. Down to Earth Sociology 14th Edition. New York: Free Press, 2007

Updated: May 20, 2021
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What Is The Social Norms?. (2020, Sep 03). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/what-is-the-social-norms-essay

What Is The Social Norms? essay
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