The Great Elevator Experiment


Sometimes you just want to have a little bit of fun. For a class I was told to go observe people on my college campus. So I decided that I would do my observations in an elevator on campus for about 20 minutes. I am a very social person, so this was perfect for my personality. Here are my observations.

  • I said “hey” and asked how people’s day was going, how they were doing, or how classes were going. All perfectly acceptable questions under normal circumstances.
  • People responded in a surprised manner. Many of them felt uncomfortable with typical day to day conversations. Some ignored me, and some were listening to their music on headphones and seemed irritated to be interrupted.
  • Only a select few responded with anything other than one word answers: yes, no, good, and fine.
  • Only one person actually tried to bring up a conversation with me, and that was a person I had me before.
  • On a comical note, I rode the elevator facing backwards towards the back wall. Nobody said anything about it, but I got some very unusual looks. It’s not “socially acceptable” to face the back of the elevator.

Conclusion: riding an elevator can be a lot of fun. What is it about elevators that make people so uncomfortable? You should try it sometime, yourself.


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