Broken Door Experiment SherilJospy KiranMattu Atnisha Kumar KriziaEsquibel
Experiment QUESTIONS • Do people value authority over evidence? • We wanted to find out whether people would just look at the sign and not use the door, blindly following authority, or if they would check if the door was actually broken or not.
EXPERIMENT DESIGN • On a blank piece of paper, write down the words “BROKEN DOOR” in clear, bold, and capital letters. • Place it onto a door (courtyard door) with a piece of tape and be sure not to open the door. • Stand by in a hidden place, but make sure you are not obviously visible while observing. • Now, jot down some notes as your results (count how many people open the door, how many walk away, how many ignore the sign, etc.)
VARIABLES • In our experiment the confounding variables were if people could even see the sign, and if they were in a group or alone because that seemed to affect people’s decision. Another factor that affected whether people went through the door was if they had seen someone going through the door before them who were ignoring the sign, because then they would know that the door wasn’t actually broken and it was okay for them to use it. • We measured our experiment by whether or not people actually used the door.
RESULT of People that Opened the Door • Girls- 19 • Boys-23 • Groups-38 • Single- 3 • Total- 41
RESULT of People that Opened the Door • 11 ignored sign • 30 Read sign but opened door
RESULT of People that turned away • Girls- 19 • Boys-23 • Groups-38 • Single- 3 • Total-41
CONCLUSION • Based on our results most people chose to value evidence over authority. In most cases people ignored the broken door sign and still went through the door. It’s possible that they didn’t see the sign and that people might just have not wanted to walk around to find a different door. In our experiment boys were more likely to ignore the sign, especially when they were in a group of friends, and girls were more inclined to follow it, although some girls did ignore the sign. Our results show that 71% of people ignored the sign and went through the door, and 29% followed the sign and turned away.
HYPOTHESIS AND REACTION • Our hypothesis was that we thought many students would read the sign and then immediately turn away. Our experiment did not back up our hypothesis, and we were actually quite surprised! Most students just ignored the sign and opened the door. Others acknowledged the sign, but opened the door anyway.