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Philosophy

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By mach2019
Words 1071
Pages 5
The place I chose to observe was the Recreation Center here at Illinois State University. I observed the second floor of the building on February 17, 2014. I went around 2:00 P.M in the afternoon, and at this time it is usually pretty crowded. Most of the people there were men but there were definitely a good amount of women there as well. If I had to give a percentage it would probably be 60/40% ratio of Men/Female.
In this setting, the main focus is for people to come in and workout. Many people come in to workout for different reasons though; I know of some of my female friends that come in to actually achieve a good workout so they stay in shape. Some of their friends come in for a completely different reason, to look at guys. I wasn’t totally shocked when my friends told me they did this, but they told me it happens more than you would think. I actually witnessed a lot of different behaviors while being up there. A lot of people, both male and female, had some sort of mad or angry face on them. This doesn’t really surprise me too much because when working out, most people need to get angry to push to that next level. Another common facial expression I saw was happy. I think most of the time when I saw happy faces was right after that had just finished a set or their entire workout. This was definitely an indication that they were happy the pain was over and that they actually did something with their life rather than just sit around and do nothing, they were productive. Most of the people who came up to the second floor came in pairs. I’m kind of the same way as of a lot of others, but I prefer to go to the gym with someone than by myself. Sometimes I need someone to motivate me. So in some cases that’s how it is for people who came in pairs, but a lot of it was the females’ who came in groups for a fitness class they were attending. In one study, by Trope in 1986, they showed participants a picture of a human with an ambiguous reaction. When they told them that a vicious dog was threatening him, they saw the picture as being fearful; when they told them that he had received an award, they said the expression was happiness. I believe that happened when I was at the Recreation Center when I saw someone with an angry face, it was during the workout with pain. Others I actually saw working hard, but not experiencing the same type of expression, more of a mute type of look. No expression. People have different reactions in different situations, even at the gym. One concept that I believe was a huge part of my study was the Strategic Self –Presentation. This is the effort to shape others’ impressions in specific ways in order to gain influence, power, sympathy, or approval. Both males and females had their fair share of people who wanted to “stick out”. For the males, one thing that was clear, muscles. They made sure that when they knew they were going to the gym that they had to have those muscles popping out for the women to see. Usually when I’m at the gym I don’t really notice it as much because I’m focused on my own workouts, but now that I had to observe them, I could easily tell not one guy was actually focused on there workout. When a girl would enter the “big boy” weight area…that was just a comedic show in itself. Usually when guys go on their breaks between sets it’s a little longer than just a minute, but once they saw a girl walking towards the dumbbell area, they switched into a new gear and went right back to their next set. Women weren’t so much different though; their appearance was definitely nothing to be shy about. They made sure that they were not only in just workout clothes, but also in something that those meatheads had something to look at. I caught a couple women catching guys looking at them, and all they did was smirk, knowing that’s exactly what they wanted.
The second concept is Self-Monitoring. This is the tendency to regulate one’s own behavior to meet the demands of social situations. I noticed this happen once at the Recreational Center, it was near the stretching/abdominal workout area on the second floor. These two girls were about to do this abdominal workout that one of them knew and she was showing her friend. The problem that the friend that was observing had was that it looked weird and embarrassing to her, this was easy to read from her expressions because it did look weird and her facial expressions were absolutely perfect with her face in sheer disgust and shock as if to say to her friend “Really? Not a chance.” I could see where she was coming from, a lot of people were over there and she didn’t want to embarrass herself in front of everyone if she wasn’t able to do the workout. My role was to just to go from bike to bike writing in my notebook, getting a good workout in while observing at the same time. I don’t feel that I was very biased to either the women or the men that were in this study. I felt I was pretty fair for both sides. The advantage with not being interactive with the people in the setting is that facial expressions were a much bigger deal than I thought, and I might not have noticed them as much if I was interacting with them. A disadvantage would be what they had to say after certain situations. Like the girl who caught the guy staring at her, or the guys who immediately went back to finish their set in front of the girl. I would want to ask the males, what was the point of going into a set right in front of the girl? She is walking by so you decided to workout? I would ask one of the girls, Could your wardrobe have anything to do with all of the guys that are here? And if so, Why?

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