Impact of Common Courtesy on Public Transit: Literature review Common courtesy is likely seen as less and less of a social norm in public nowadays. With the hussle and bussle of city buses there is no exception for the lack of courtesy given in small moving transportation. Priority seating has become mandatory in some states in the US and more and more public transit representatives must stress the importance of common courtesy to all generations of public transit users.Common courtesy on public transit is seen as giving up one’s seat for another in need, by doing so the one in need can safely use transit without the worry of having to stand on moving transportation which could result in injuries. A Previous study shows that common courtesy on public transit seems unlikely which is shown in the following experiment; unless those in need request for it. An experiment done in 1975 by Dr.
Stanley Milgram concluded that 68% of people willingly gave up their seat when asked. The other 22% either refused or automatically assumed something was wrong with the person and asked if they were “okay”.This shows that many people are unwilling to give up their seat because they either believe in the phrase “first come first serve” or the individual asking for the seat must have a good reason for requesting it; common courtesy once seen as automatic, can be now seen as a request. Signs have been put up in buses for front seating to be used by those who are visually seen as “in need” of it, but those who do not have a visual problem may be rejected because their problem can not be seen. The first year graduate students that pariticpated in Dr. Milgram’s experiment felt social pressure for asking for a seat on public transit.If the reason for asking for the seat wasn’t visually seen the requesting passangers in this case first year graduate students felt ashamed.
“It’s something you can’t really understand unless you’ve been there,” said David Carraher, who is now senior scientist for a nonprofit group. The experiment was said to be traumatic for those who pariticpated. Seeing as common courtesy is no longer seen as being polite it is seen as only for those with a visual problem, as concluded in Dr. Milgram’s experiment. More recent work has shown very different results in the past 6 years for those who reinacted the experiment Dr.Milgram began. Two reporters by the names of Anthony Ramirez and Jennifer Medina used the same approach by asking fellow passangers to give up their seat for them.
They used the phrase “Excuse me. May I have your seat? “. Their results concluded that 13 out of 15 people automatically gave up their seat when asked. The experiment was done August 31st, 2004 during the time of rush hour to get a well rounded group of people from all age groups at a busy time where seating is generally filled. They conducted the experiment percisely between 4:30 to 7:30 PM.The reporters asked a diverse group of people from all cultures and from all age groups categorizing them as “under 40” or “over 40” from ethnic groups such as black, caucasian, latino and asian. Many who gave up their seat “willingly” still had remarks about the request such as “Well, thats a first”, seeing as those in need generally do not ask if their reason is not physically seen by the other passengers.
Common courtesy on public transit as the reporters requested was filled with comments ending with “Are you kidding me? ” or “What, for that? “. Courtesy with backlash as one can see.The following work called “Manners Maketh Man” showed how simple common courtesy can aid in clinical practise with patients. This is in relation to the impact common courtesy has on public transit because it shows how common courtesy can aid those in need, which are generally the ones seeking priority seating on the bus. The article focused on one little girl in particular who was under developed for her age. The doctor took great concern of this young patient and although the situation was tough he took the time to get to know the little girl as an individual rather than just a patient; he also talked to her family with respect.Although the condition the little girl had had put her family in constant heartache, having the doctor take time to see them on a more personal level brought comfort to all even the little girl.
In return the doctor recieved a letter from her mother a few weeks later thanking him. The thought of the experience being a medical inadequacy had turned into a time where the doctor listened to the family personally, shared a few thoughts and even cuddled with the young girl Abigail. This experience has been filed under “aids to good clinical practise” and in return shows how courtesy this day and age can go a far way, in the edical field or on public transportation kindness can always help. The similarities between the three sources is they all speak of common courtesy as an attitude used less in society. They speak of how courtesy must even be asked for in many cases and when given, the comments that come with it are quite negative. The first two experiments talked about, are branched off from one to the other making the information quite similar experiment wise and suprisingly different in conclusion. They contrast because of how the experiments ended, one with a much less percential willing to give up their seat compared to the more recent study.
The last source has much fewer comparisons to the first two because it studies courtesy outside of public transit and into the healthcare field. The main connection is those in need on a bus are commonly those in need of healthcare. Courtesy can be appreciated by all yet it is provided less than it is wanted in society. The first source is of great help because Dr. Milgram was the first to conduct this kind of experiment; one that sees how common courtesy is provided on public transportation.The second source expanded on the first therefore providing further information for my research purposes. Dr.
Milgram’s experiment would have been of more help if he used students with physical problems also to see if requesting a seat would be easier for the students participating in the experiment. The second source was a reinacted experiment of the first, using the same approach but concluding with different statistics. The second source would be of more help if the two reporters had asked more people to give up their seat.This is because it was a smaller experiment compared to Milgram’s original one. The reporters came up with statistics based on less people which could be a contributing fator to why there is such a gap between Milgram’s conclusion and the reporter’s conclusion. The last source could have been more helpful if it focused on more patients treated with common courtesy rather than just one. The sources all and all will be of great help in my research to see who will give up priority seating to those in need and in forming a hypthesis.
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