Free Garfinkel’s Breaching Experiment Essay Sample

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Conversation, People, Space, Experiment, Hallway, Sociology, Theater, Building

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2020/10/21

Breaching experiments seek to examine the reactions of people in violation of the socially accepted norms and social rules. The breaching experiment approach assumes that not only do individuals involve themselves every day in building up social interaction rules but also that they are unaware as they do so.
For example, as we talk, imaginary barriers are created. The force fields in which we are comfortable that we call personal space. I performed an interesting experiment of this breach of the talk line. I got the help of a friend and opened up a conversation in a hallway. As we talked, we moved further apart until we were about five to six feet from each other but maintained eye contact and kept the conversation going. In this experiment, we noticed how the people that went passed us happened to duck as though our conversation had created a barrier.
In one hallway, I remember people going passed us and walking so close to the wall while avoiding the middle space of the hall as though there was an invisible line that they could not cross. As we kept up the chart we would even move from our current position but even as we moved people tended also to respect the imaginary line between us that had been created by our conversation.
We switched location to another area where there were fewer people and the hall was much bigger than our previous buildings. Here, this talk line breach experiment was not so successful as it required it was easy for the few people going passed us to use the other side of the hallway. So the results were not conclusive as it was difficult to tell whether they used the side as a way of respecting the imaginary line created by our conversation, or the fact that there was simply much more space to use and no need to compete for the small patch we occupied. It was difficult to get people’s reactions to this one there.
We then moved to another hall, and this time stationed ourselves at a near 90-degree turn point of the building where one approaching us from either end could not see the other partner in the conversation. So most people came at us at full speed, but every time they cut the speed in half or came to a near halt as they came to see the second partner in the conversation, by then the majority of people would already be right in the middle of our talk line, and this provided us with the best chance to study this experiment. The majority of the people stepped aside and then continued their journey there still avoiding the imaginary line. In fact, people were heard apologizing where I remember one lady turning and saying sorry to me before quickly stepping to the side and then continued on her way out of sight.
Their behavior of ducking or stepping to the side was in an attempt to bring the situation back to normal. A respect for the personal space that they believed we had claimed by our conversation. These actions of ducking and stepping aside consequently sought to re-establish the boundaries of personal space dictated by social convention.

Works Cited

"Breaching Experiments." Breaching Experiments. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. <>.
"Ideas for Breaching Experiments." Education. Web. 29 Jan. 2015. <>.

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Free Garfinkel’s Breaching Experiment Essay Sample. Free Essay Examples - Published Oct 21, 2020. Accessed August 20, 2022.

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