Running Head: VIOLATIONS OF RESTAURANT NORMS Violations of Restaurant Norms Bonita Wright Julie Lagunero Sandra Burkes Tarleton State University- Central Texas Abstract The research study for this topic is what norms are acceptable in a specific social setting. What was found is that there are specific social norms that are acceptable and unacceptable in a restaurant setting. There have not been many research experiments done in a restaurant setting while violating social norms, but it is done every day.
Research does implicate that society has particular social norms that people must adhere to and if not they would be in violation and considered deviant. Additional research needs to be done on this particular social setting to include such factors as race, ethnicity and social backgrounds of the employees and diners. Violations of Restaurant Norms For many years researchers have observed that while humans are in a certain social setting they have conducted themselves in accordance to what is acceptable to their group.
Don’t waste your time!
Order your assignment!
Humans are social beings who want to be accepted by others and will adapt their behavior according to what the group believes to acceptable. When a member of that group steps out of those parameters they are no longer seen as a member of that group and are frowned upon as being a norm violator. While many humans violate social norms every day, the majority of humans do not. It has been observed that people promote and support social norms to benefit the social good of society; they do it because they want to.
It also has been shown that humans are prewired to act negatively to those who take advantage of others when they violate the standards of acceptable social norms. The negative emotions may be the motivation to justify why a certain set of norms are acceptable to their society (Horne, 2007, p. 4). Norms have also been found to produce aggression in society. People use coercion as an upper hand in order to get what they want out of a situation to feed their self interest. The person is than again classified as violating the social norm and becomes the target of retaliation by the violated party.
The violated party then purposely does things to discomfort the social norm violator causing further aggression. When the violated party does not respond to the violation or responds weakly may cause in most instances allows the violator to exploit this as a weakness and empowers the violator to keep up such behavior (Lee and Tedeschi, 1996, p. 17-25). When norms are violated we then have others in society exercise what is called social control. This is a reaction people have to counter normative behavior, such as shaking an empty glass at a server for a refill.
Those who violate social norms usually are looked upon as deviant and are often given dirty looks and negative comments by bystanders and by those who are in direct contact with those individuals. Behaviors are considered counter normative when culture has already decided its norms and traditions they hold to be appropriate (Brauer and Chekrain, 2005, p. 1-2). How well does a society conform to its own norms and what is the price that is paid for not following those set norms? That depends on where you are in the world and what society believes to be culturally correct.
A community where the collective consciousness is very strong is what is used to control its members of the community. This is done mainly by ostracism and ridicule. By making the member, who violated their social norm, shameful and embarrassed controls future behavior by obeying the social norms of that community. In this situation the community as a whole controls each member to accept the behaviors they put forth as acceptable so their community (Weissner, 2005, p. 2). Norms come in different societies and cultures.
It doesn’t matter what part of the world you are from or what cultural background you posses, we all have specific social norms that we find acceptable and not acceptable. We can not prove whose norms are right and whose norms are wrong. What we can see is that everyone is different and that most conform to the norms of their surrounding group and society so that they can be accepted and feel that they have a place of belonging with that particular group in which they want to be accepted by. The purpose of this study was to see what types of social norms were acceptable in a restaurant setting in Killeen, Texas.
The experiment was conducted with three females eating lunch at an Applebees restaurant at lunch time. Each of the experimenters had a different behavior to use when interacting with the server. One experimenter would be the rude diner, one would be the polite diner, and the last experimenter would only talk if asked to repeated times. It was found that not only was there an accepted behavior but also the servers were trained on how to handle these particular behaviors. Method Participants Participants included approximately forty-five diners and employees.
The sample is comprised of women and men from various ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Procedure Experimenters randomly chose the table near the bar area of Applebees Restaurant. Each experimenter was designated a role of being rude, nice, and non-responsive. The experimenters were interested of what social norms would be accepted by the restaurant servers and management as appropriate behavior. The servers and managers were not told about the experiment due to the fact that it would affect how they would react to the experimenters.
At the end of the experiment the manager would be informed of the experiment conducted in his restaurant. Experimental Task Experimenter one would be as rude as possible. Her role would be to make the server run back and forth to the kitchen as much as possible. While doing this she would not say thank you and be very annoying about how her food was to be prepared and complain about it as much as possible Experimenter two would be very polite and well mannered. Her role would be to say please and thank you at every opportunity possible.
While doing this she would always compliment the server on their excellent service and would complain about nothing even if the service was not good. Experimenter three would be very quiet and hard to communicate with. While doing this the server will have to ask her several times what she wanted before she would answer seeing if this type of behavior would bother the server in any way and would test how many times they would be willing to repeat the same question over and over. Experimental Manipulation The behavior of the experimenters’ is what is being manipulated in the xperiment. Only one server received this treatment and observed while completing the task of servicing the experimenters’ table. The other servers and manager were treated with appropriate and accepted social norms for dining in a restaurant. Results The glass shaking act caused the server not return to the experimenters’ table for anything but to retrieve the manager for the complaint of cold food. The server’s behavior showed that there was a significant difference of the rude behavior versus the polite and timid behavior of the other experimenters.
Shaking a glass at a server was a violation of a social norm in a social setting. After completing the experiment the manager was informed on what was being done and assessed. He was congratulated on how he resolved the situation that the server herself could not and did not try to resolve. Experimenter one observed that after shaking the empty glass at her before the she returned to take the table’s order was a violation of a social norm. The server had informed the manager of the behavior that was being exhibited with the shaking of the glass and he informed her not to deal with the experimenters’ table anymore.
It was also noted that the server did not make eye contact with the table anymore to ensure avoidance of having to deal with them at all. It was then observed that the server would be self engrossed with the other tables in her section and actively ask if the other tables needed anything to keep her busy so active avoidance was successful. Experimenter two observed that even though saying thank you after everything the server did not do anything else for the table and she did not respond back, nor did she make eye contact with everyone at the table.
Experimenter two also observed that when another server came and delivered the meal, that when Experimenter one asked for another drink the server just laughed because the server was already informed about the table. Experimenter two also observed that when the food was brought out it was cold, and instead of asking what the experimenters wanted, the server just went and got the manager. It was also observed that when the manager came to the table, the very first thing the manager said was, “What can I take off your bill for you? “, instead of asking what they wanted in place of their cold food.
The manager just assumed that the experimenters just wanted a meal for free. At the end of the meal, we discussed the situation and assessed that after the glassed was shaken to get the server’s attention, she did not want to come back to the table. The experimenter’s also came to the conclusion that intimidation played a big role in the server’s attitude toward her tables. Experimenter three observed the violation of restaurant norms. Experimenter three was representing the non-responsive observer and served as the well mannered and polite diner.
As the server approached the table she seemed as if she was having a bad day to begin with. She approached and said may I take your order, Experimenter one asked lots of questions, regarding items on menu. The server seemed at bit frazzled by the questions. She then took the orders and proceeded to bring the drinks, Experimenter one gulped down her first glass of tea, and then proceeded to shake the glass referring to a refill. Experimenter three personally thought the server found it to offensive and was insulted. After the server refilled the glass she quickly left the table.
Approximately fifteen minutes went by, and our order was overdue, we then asked another server for our order, he went to check the order and brought it out. The experimenter’s then said to him where our original server is, he had a suspicious smile, as if, and inside comments were made. At that point we noticed the order was cold and seemed to have been sitting out for a while. Experimenter one then said my food is cold and requested the managers’ presence after it had been offered. As the manager approached the table he then stated to experimenter one do you want a discount, not may I help you is everything OK, but would you like a discount.
It seemed as though he already had made a prejudged statement implying that Experimenter provoked the issues to obtain a free meal. It was an unprofessional approach on the managers’ behalf. Experimenter three’s conclusion is that the server went to the back and complained to co-workers and manager that she was experiencing difficulty with our table, and a possible provoked free meal. At that point in her mind she thought there was a mission for a free meal, so she decided the free meal will be rewarded with poor service.
I think with being insulted the server purposely left the order in overdue status because of the treatment she received from experimenter one, not in recognition of the other parties at the table, there were two other individuals at the table whom were quite courteous and they also suffered the consequences of getting their meals served cold as well. Maybe the server was having a bad experience prior to approaching our table. As a result the behavior of the server was induced by the shaking of the glass by Experimenter one, referring she needed a refill. This insulted the server, so her actions reflected poor service to all at the table.
The manager approached the table prejudging experimenter one as if another individual trying to obtain a free meal, without assessing the facts. In the end there were discounts taken off and one free meal given. References Brauer, M. , & Chekroun, P. (2005). The relationship between perceived violation of social norms and social control: Situational factors influencing the reaction to deviance. JOURNAL OF APPLIED SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, 35(7), 1519-1539. Retrieved February 11, 2008, from http://www. apa. org/psycinfo/ Horne, C. (2007). Explaining norm enforcement: Rational and society.
JOURNAL OF APPLIED SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, 19(2), 139-170. Retrieved February 11, 2008, from http://www. apa. org/psycinfo/ Lee, S. , & Tedeschi, J. (1996). Effect of norms and norm- violations on inhibition and instigation of aggression: Aggressive Behavior. PSYCHOLOGY AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES COLLECTION, 22(1), 17-25. Retrieved February 15, 2008, from http://www. ebscohost. com Wiessner, P. (2005). Norm enforcement among the Ju/’hoansi Bushmen: A case of strong reciprocity? Human Nature. PSYCHOLOGY AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES COLLECTION, 16(2), 115-145. Retrieved February 15, 2008, from http://www. ebscohost. com