Human Observation Project essay sample

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Human Observation Project

Initial Problem

Statement of the problem:

Door holding is considered to be the issue of etiquette and courtesy. It is generally socially appropriate behavior to hold the door for the person passing next, however, in some of the cases the standard is not strictly kept which varies from the gender, distance between the people, and number of people entering or exiting. The following research focuses on the human behavior observation and seeks to identify in which cases the etiquette of door holding is followed or neglected. The reasons for abstaining from the ethical standard of holding the door will also be defined based on the observation findings.Theory: Most people will hold the door for a person passing next to them.


Provided that the two people are located rather close to each other so that holding the door for too long will not put the first person in the awkward situation, both males and females observed will hold the door for the person passing next regardless of the person gender or age with, however, increased probability of the door-holding etiquette preserved between the two individuals of a different gender or age group.


The location of the observation was chosen out of the considerations of a popularity of the place so that more cases will be traced. One of the most commonly used doors in the campus was observed. The observer set 15 feet from the door. The total number of people that were entering or exiting was counted during the four hours. The observer also counted the number of cases of door-holding. Observer also noted the approximate distance between the people and the gender of those holding the door in case the first person exiting or entering held the door for the one passing next. Since the location is rather crowded, the observation procedure was kept secret from the people observed.


The total amount of people passing through the door in four hours was estimated to be over 300. The total number of a door holding cases was estimated to be 73 cases, out of which 49 door holders were of the male gender. It was noticed that the males, in general, looked back or held the door more often than the females, whereas the arm extension behavior was similar between males and females. It was also noticed that in most of the cases the distance between people was rather close. Only in 2 cases out of the total number the person holding the door had to wait longer than a few seconds until the person for whom the door is being held approaches.


It was noticed that males are more likely to hold the door than females which can, in general, be linked to the socially appropriate gender associated standards of behavior. In general, it can be stated that the percentage of the door holding cases is rather high reaching almost 25% out of the general exiting and entering cases. The general door-holding courtesy can be explained with the altruistic motives (Raudy …

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