YFU Switzerland

YES 2012 – a social experiment

The Young Europeans’ Seminar’s topic 2012 was “social expectations”. Social expectations are part of every exchange year as well as of our daily life. We would like to share with you an article from the YES! Mag 2012. It’s about a social experiment conducted by Denizhan, Mélodie and Ursina.

“We, Ursina, Melodie and Denizhan have conducted a social experiment to see the reactions of the people in a quite usual situation. We wandered around with our own ID cards. We told the people that we found the ID card on the floor and asked if they can recognize that person. First Melodie showed her own ID card to other students. None of them could recognize her even though she was wearing her name tag also showing her nationality. Then Ursina tried the same thing again. People also didn’t realize it was her. We tried this experiment with about 20 people, both students and volunteers. Only 4 of them could figure it out.

We expected them to recognize the people who were standing just in front of them but we found
out that our expectations didn’t reflect the truth. We thought about the reasons why they couldn’t manage to recognize us. Was it because we didn’t speak the same native language? Was it because we didn’t have the same type of ID card? Was it because they haven’t seen the person before? Or was it because they are not used to be in such a situation which requires thinking out of the box?

We think this is because our mind is attached to the logical things. We don’t expect people to look for himself or herself. If we act out of the normal ecpectations and do something odd, most people would not be able to complete such an obvious task. It is not easy to change the point of view and think ”out of the box”, so please don’t search for yourself, you may never be found. :)”

– YES! Mag 2012, page 11.