Anders Vestunis's Analysis

Our experiment, paying with pennies, proved that when social norms are broken, people would act in different ways. Our hypothesis was proven because you can see the frustration and how annoyed people were when we pulled out a bunch of pennies to pay with. The people were annoyed because they are so used to paying using dollars, that when they see pennies they know that it is going to take a long time to count them up, therefore wasting their time, if they are in a hurry to get somewhere. The girl that Joe interviewed that worked in the 99-cent store surprised me the most; she said that she did not find it weird that someone would pay with pennies. She said that she is alright with people paying with pennies and that the only annoying part about it, is that she has to count all the pennies. Frustration comes when you are annoyed, the women in Dunkin’ Donuts was getting frustrated, having to wait online for Aarsh to count all his pennies. She eventually started to laugh because she found it funny that all he had was pennies, but was angered such that she had to be somewhere and was hoping to be in and out quick instead it took her about 5 minutes to get her order. When the control group pays with dollars, it takes less time and stress of having to count, but when the experimental group had to take their time counting the pennies, they got frustrated and annoyed by it. The groups acted differently because of conditioning. Both groups are conditioned to pay with dollars, and are used to paying quickly. In the control group the regular use of dollars, helped the business because it went by faster. The experimental group was annoyed and frustrated when we started to pay with pennies, they were conditioned to pay with dollars and the payments would be done quickly, but when the pennies came out it took much longer to count the pennies, therefore causing the people to get frustrated and annoyed by having to wait. I learned that when you break social norms people will look at you differently, following the social norm is the way to go, but those few people that break them are the ones that feel the need to stand up and change. Depending on the store, the outcome would be different, because Dunkin’ Donuts has to take the pennies because they are a chain store. In a smaller privately owned store that is not a chain store, the people have the choice of whether or not they want the pennies.

- Anders Vestunis