Behaviors On A Elevators

Essay by newoowenCollege, UndergraduateA-, May 2004

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Behaviors On An Elevator

I once did an experiment in psychology class on behaviorism. We watched a video that showed how people react in certain situations in an elevator. We decided to duplicate this experiment to see if the conclusions we drew then still held true to some extent because the video was thirty years old. We went to an office that does Automated Data Processing and we got permission to use one of their elevators to help with the experiment. They agreed. For the study we used some of our classmates as strangers in the elevators. Strangers are people you never have talked to you, but their actions influence how you eventually react to situations.

On the first day of the experiment, we set up control of the elevator and we positioned everyone that knew what was going on facing the back of the elevator. When people walked into the elevator, they saw everyone faced the wrong way. Even though the people that walked onto the elevator faced forward, eventually they turned around and faced the same way as everyone else. On the way up in the elevator, we had the elevator stop on certain floors like 20, 35, and 42. Every time that the elevator stopped, our people moved ninety degrees to the right. Of course when our people turned, the people that we were watching turned to the right with them.

After we repeated the same experiment over and over, we decided to try something new for a change. We included only men this time on the elevator. All the men in our experiment wore hats and stood backward on the elevator. When other men came into the elevator, the doors closed and it started to...