From "Looking Out Looking In" Tenth Edition Ronald B Adler. Assignment For Interpersonal Communications Class

1343 words - 6 pages

--The assignment is given in the "Looking Out Looking In" College text book. The experiement was in Chapter 6.--Prove for yourself the role that eye contact plays in social influence by trying a simple experiment.Invitation to Insight--The Eyes have itThe world is a funny place. Each person going along their day in their own bubble they have formed. Some are eagerly accepting of letting a person in. Others are so self indulgent that they get angry when their time is taken away from them. We go along day to day with our own experiences, trying to live day to day with the least bumps in the road. What are we afraid of? This weekend some people were afraid of me. I picked a location for my experiment, the Kroger Shopping center on Carpenter Road. My victims were random people walking in and out of the stores. I was dressed in jeans, and a tee shirt. Nothing out of the ordinary, I could have been dressed worse. My first victim was an older gentleman, who looked uncomfortable walking along. I approached him and asked him if he had any change because I needed to make a phone call. He refused to look at me. Not once did he make eye contact with me. He dug for change in his right pocket and proceeded to give me money. Of course, I could not take it so when I explained I was doing this for a class at school; he said, "No that's okay take the money." He kept trying to walk away from me and kept insisting that I take this change from him. I did this a couple times with different people. I found that men were much more responsive to me than women were. One older man, who was sitting on a bench got really uncomfortable with me, and crossed his arms and refused to give me any change. Told me to go somewhere else. I could tell that he was getting somewhat upset so I just walked away. One woman said I could use her cell phone to make the call. Of course, I did not have anybody to call so I told her what I was really doing and thanked her for her time. Which gave me a good idea to see if someone else would let me make a long distance call on their cell phone, they were happy to until I told them I was calling another country. Brazil is not a popular place to call to from a cell phone I guess. This is were I started getting more and more gutsy and thought since I needed to get some lettuce from Kroger I would find different victims in there. This is where I learned that behavior out of the norm really is not that accepted especially when it comes to peoples foods in their cart. Scenario 1: Lady is standing with her cart to the right of her looking on the shelf. I walked up and started digging through her cart. She turned, with her hands on the cart and just looked at me. She did not say a word. I did not look at her I just kept moving the stuff around in her cart as if I was looking for that perfect box of Macaroni and Cheese. Finally, after about a minute I looked up at her. I did not want to see how far I could have really gone since she seemed so incredibly nice about the whole thing. I turned to her and just could not hold it together. She had this look on her face that broke me. It was a look like; what in the world are you doing, I know you are not really digging through my cart. I bet she thought she must be on America's funniest Video's or something because her look was priceless. I thought I was onto something.Scenario 2: Another woman, with a couple items in her basket. I nice big bag of apples looked great to me, so I asked her if I could take them from her. I explained that I did not want to walk all the way back over to produce and the bag that she had looked just perfect. She looked at me wide eyed and asked, "You're kidding right? No you can't have them." I insisted and said how much it would help me and she still refused. She did not want to walk all the way back over their either. I would not look at her and I think she thought that I was going to steal them because she was very protective of her cart after I walked away. Scenario 3: I asked a couple who had a case of Diet Caffeine free Coke in their cart if I could have it. I expressed that they have the last one, and I could not find anymore. Simple request to take theirs. I got two different responses. After the man explained I could get one from the front of the store he finally said "Sure just take it." The woman on the other had been not only offended but also disgusted. She threw me nasty mean looks, rolled her eyes, got very defensive and made it clear that she was "getting this for their daughter who likes it." She almost was ready to fight me over this. Therefore, I told them I was sorry and explained that I was doing some experiments for school. I had to explain the whole thing. I thanked them and as I walked away, the woman yells very load and angry, "So are you going to take the F*##*ing Coke or not?" I approached them and said, "I am sorry ma'am If I wasn't clear, but I am doing a project for school, I don't really need your coke." She threw me a look, makes a disgusted noise and walked away. I have never felt more uncomfortable in my life. I thought it was a good sign to end my requests from people. I learned that each person has his or her own story. They are coming into each situation with different feeling and different understandings. One person even asked me about the class I am taking, and was interested to what I had found out so far. Most people regardless of how I looked at them were nice enough to help me. I did have one person ask me a bunch of questions and looked around as if he knew he was being set up. People are territorial even when it is over things that are not theirs yet. I know that I was very careful to the way peoples body language was, before approaching them. Feeling them out to make sure, I was keeping myself safe from unkindly situations. People are very protective of stopping them from what they are doing, to actually listen to your requests. In fact, I think that the times I was turned down, the people would not even stop what they were doing as if I was asking them if they wanted to buy drugs from me. When I was younger, I was always picked out of my friends to approach people for different requests. I thought that the reactions I got were because I was a snot nosed kid. Nevertheless, after this experiment I see that people are like this most of the time. I do not know if I got what I was suppose to out of this experiment or not but I learned something very valuable nonetheless.

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