because I have a boyfriend). But, the point that I am trying to make here is that direct eye contact with someone can come across as very sensual. Experiment For my breaching experiment, I decided to break the social norm of looking at someone’s eyes when you talk to them. Instead, I will hold eye contact with their forehead or directly above the top of their head while having a full-blown conversation. You may not think there would be a big difference between looking at someone’s eye and looking right above their head but it truly does look odd. I tried it at home with my boyfriend and we both agreed that it was quite noticeable and distracting. When I first did it to him he said “Are you alright?” and then I laughed and explained what I wanted to do for my experiment. He said he thought I was in a trance or something. So, I figured this would be the perfect way to break a social norm without completely causing a scene or disrupting the peace. My plan is to try this with people I work with, my family/ my boyfriend’s family, and fast food workers. I want to see if it will make a difference whether they know me personally or not. Sometimes family and friends are more likely to say something to you rather than a stranger. Hypothesis For this experiment, I predict that a lot of people will think either something is on their head or turn around and see if there’s something going on behind them. It is hard to ignore when someone is looking away from your eyes but having a conversation. However, I also predict that some people will be too shy to point it out to me. A lot of people are either too quiet to ask
BREACHING EXPERIMENT: YOUR EYES SAY IT ALL questions or may think it would be rude to ask. I suspect that the people who won’t say anything about it will be people I don’t know personally. Usually strangers don’t like to engage in any more conversation than they have to. I also feel like they would worry it would be rude to ask why I was doing that. Trial 1: Coworkers Subject 1: White male age 20 Response: Turns around and looks behind him with a confused expression. Then, after another minute asks me “What are you looking at?” Subject 2: Black male age 24 Response: “Do I have something on my face?” Subject 3: White female age 24 Response: Listened to my entire conversation without asking me why I wasn’t looking at her eyes. I could tell by her face that she knew I was acting strange. (she is generally very shy though so I wasn’t surprised) Subject 4: Black female age 65 Response: “Why are you doing that?” Seemed almost angry at first and then started laughing and making jokes that I needed to put my glasses on so I could see where I’m looking.
BREACHING EXPERIMENT: YOUR EYES SAY IT ALL Subject 5: White male age 60 (my boss) Response: Didn’t seem to acknowledge that I wasn’t looking him directly in the eye. He looked away from me and continued to tell me what shift I would be on for the day.
- Spring '20
- Norm, Hirsch