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Civil Inattention

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Kristin Powell

on 7 December 2010

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Transcript of Civil Inattention

Civil Inattention Does civil inattention exist in pedestrian passing? Goffman's rule Replicating a previous study Research Questions:
1. At what distance do the subjects tend to avert their gaze?
2. Is there a significant difference between results of male subjects and female subjects?
3. What additional behaviors were present in civil inattention?
4. How will our results compare with the 1978 study? Method Study 1: Letterman Lobby from 10:30 am to 11 am

Male-Male, Female-Female, Male-female

Polite smile, avoidant gaze, lowered head, other Pilot Test Study 2: Bracken Library from 1:45 to 2:30 pm

Male-Male, Female-Female, Male-Female

Observed Distances

Ground marked with chalk for scale Study 3: 2 Confederates

Itiate interaction

Lower head or keep a level gaze

Observed behaviors of pedestrians Limitations •The Study we replicated used a camera to record the interactions

•By using a Camera in the 1978 study, the distance Study was easier to complete

•Goffman focused on middle-class adults when studying the rule of civil inattention Goffman’s rule of civil inattention be present when pedestrian passing occurs between students of Ball State University.

independent variable: the behaviors of civil inattention

dependent variable: college students. Hypothesis George Herbert Mead

Believes that people communicate through symbols Symbolic Interaction Theory Charles Berger

believes that when individuals are in times of uncertainty they attempt to reduce uncertainty by increasing predictability Uncertainty Reduction Theory Expectation Violation Theory Judee Burgoon

believes that people naturally have expectations and what happens when someone violates them Letterman Polite smile Avoidant Gaze Downward Glance Other Distances Literature Review Does Civil Inattention Exist in Pedestrian Passing? by Mark S. Cary 1978, from Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

Testing Goffman’s Example

4 Studies
•2 filmed pedestrians
•1 used slides and “raters”
•1 used confederate passing

Proved inconclusive in finding significant proof of Goffman’s example and difference in male and female behaviors. The Goffman Rule: A Passing Fancy?
in Science News, 1979 Summarizes the Cary article but focuses on Cary’s inconsistencies and faulty observation methods.

Urges Goffman’s Rule to still be considered legitimate.
On Doing Being a Stranger: The Practical Constitution of Civil Inattention
by Stefan Hirschauer 2005, from Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour

Applies civil inattention to elevator use, hearkens back to Goffman’s original study.

Concepts of gaze similar in pedestrian passing and elevators. Through a Glass Darkly: Effects of Smiling and Visibility on Recognition and Avoidance in Passing Encounters
by Miles L. Patterson and Mark E. Tubbs 2005, from Western Journal of Communication

Replicates a confederate passing study similar to Cary’s.

Focuses on specific pedestrian passing reactions and confederate use of sunglasses effecting civil inattention. Conclusion
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