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The Chair Experiment

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Lotte Walsh

on 23 June 2015

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Transcript of The Chair Experiment

By Zoe Rainford and Lotte Walsh
Debriefing: After the time has ended the group shall be debriefed by telling them that they were part of a psychology experiment and that they are able to withdraw their information and data collected.
Confidentiality: Participants names and information will not be recorded during the investigation (only the size of their group).
Right to withdraw: Participants will be told at the end of the study that if they do not agree to us using their data then the information collected will not be used.

1.The group size will have an effect on the way people interact within the situation.
2. (Null) The group size will have no effect on the way people will interact within the situation.

One person will ask someone sitting at a table whether the chair next to them is free. If the answer is ''yes'' then instead of taking the chair the person will sit down with them. The observer records all behavior shown by the participant;recording both positive and negative interactions on a scale from 1-10 (10 being the most intense).
The person will remain there for 1minute and 30 seconds.
The number of people in each group
The number of positive and negative interactions made by the group
Type of sampling:
Type of experimental design:
The Chair

Independent groups
Location of experiment, interactions made
Group size:
Number of positive interactions made:
Number of negative interactions made:
A pilot study was not carried out prior to the experiment taking place-this would have been useful as it would have helped identify potential problems with our experiment, which could have been resolved beforehand.
The experiment posed different problems at different times of the day; as more people were available during lunch hours (12-1:30);and therefore made it harder to observe behaviour in detail. This was a potential limitation of the experiment because it could mean that not all observations were recorded; and therefore the results collected may be unreliable.
During different times of the day people may show more negative interactions (e.g. smirking, raising voices and getting irritated more easily) due to experiences during their day (such as being late to work, getting bad grades back etc). This could have affected our results as they may show more negative interactions compared to normal.

Sample size? Population validity? Sample type?
Observation categories? were they accurate?

Human behaviour is largely constrained by the rules that govern particular situations and environments. We are constantly obliged to behave in a particular way-whether these are formal rules/laws or informal rules/social norms. Many people avoid particular situations so that they themselves are not associated with something which the majority see as undesirable (For example how many people have you seen help someone (in an undesirable position, such as being drunk or homeless) out in public? Probably not as many people as you've seen in need of help). This is because many people avoid situations like this because they do not want to be associated with this kind of behaviour.
Some people might just be nervous of particular situations-they might not know what to do or how to act around certain people. But again, isn't this all down to them not wanting to show particular behaviours, in fear of being judged or behaviors being associated with them? Maybe they're unsure of the situation-weighing up the positive and negative outcomes of what might happen.
Many people avoided the situation/didn't talk or make eye contact? Looked around at other people for reassurance? Made conversation? Stared? Asked us to leave? Why?-because our behavior was seen as abnormal and undesirable
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