Reflective Journal

Day 1: Reflect on your experience with adhering to social norms. What are the current social norms in your life? Do you feel pressure to conform? Is the pressure implicit or explicit? Would you define peer pressure the same now as when you were in high school?

Day 2: You will violate an implicit social norm and then analyze both your own behavior and other people’s responses.

Identify an implicit social norm. Some examples are: Appearance, Interpersonal (stand too close or too far; avoid eye contact) and Social Etiquette (violate elevator norms; eat with mouth open).

Be sure to do the behavior in different places to assess interesting patterns (e.g., people’s reactions may differ as a function of sex, age, location).

a. What norm did you violate

b. Describe how you violated it.

c. What were your thoughts & feelings as you violated the norm.

d. Did you gain insight into your or others behaviors

Day 3: Consider Stanley Milgram’s experiment. What thoughts do you think was going through the participant’s minds as they progressed through the study?

Day 4. Can people influence us even when they are not present? For example, have you ever decided to stay home and study instead of going out with friends because you thought that is what your parents wanted you to do?

Day 5. Generate a list of compliance strategies that you have experienced in your everyday life? For example have you ever given into a “one day sale” because you thought that prices would skyrocket the day after the sale? Or have you ever tried to buy a car and once you had a deal with the salesperson, the manager changes it?

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