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This programme combines teaching by film and television with a piece of original research which is recorded on film. The programme begins by stating that we live in a stratified society and that influences our life-styles. The main point of interest for the programme is the type of interaction that occurs when people with different styles of life meet in a casual encounter. For this programme it was attempted to investigate this type of casual encounter. An actor was engaged, and Paddington Station was used as the location for the experiment. The actor, first in a middle class role and then in a working-class role, asked a large number of passers-by the way to Hyde Park by foot. These encounters were filmed and the conversation recorded. The interactions were measured by a number of different criteria. The programme is introduced by Roberta Crawley, Lecturer in Psychology at the Open University, and the experiment was designed and supervised by Mary Sissons of Nuffield College, Oxford. The programme also includes a comment on the experiment by Professor Michael Argyle, from the Institute of Experimental Psychology at Oxford University.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: D100, Understanding society: a foundation course
Item code: D100; 18; 1972
First transmission date: 28-05-1972
Published: 1972
Duration: 00:24:10
Note: It is unknown whether the archive copy of this programme held at the NFTVA is the 1972 remake or the original programme
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Producer: Francis Sealey
Contributors: Michael Argyle; Roberta Crawley; John Ringham; Mary Sissons
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Interaction; Paddington
Footage description: Shots of Paddington Station. Actor dressed as middle class person, then as working class person, asks directions to Hyde Park frommembers of the public. Roberta Crawley explains some of the details of the above scene and goes on to discuss social stratification. Mary Sissons explains the experiment which was carried out to test the influence of Social class on behaviour in casual encounters. She explains why a field experiment rather than a laboratory experiment was carried out. Still shots of the actor at Paddington Station in his two roles as Mary Sissons continues her explanation of the experiment. Still shots of Paddington Station. Mary Sissons continues her explanation of the experiment. Shot of the details of the experiment set out in tabular form. The table shows the actor in his two roles and against these are shown the social class of the respondents, 4 main catagories of interaction result. Shots of Paddington Station with the experiment in progress. The nature of each interaction is studied. Length of interaction how much talking, smiling, etc. Mary Sissons continues with her explanation of the experiment and sums up by discussing what information is desired from the experiment. Do respondents react differently to the actor in his different roles and does social class of the respondent make a difference? Mary Sissons gives results of the experiment in tabular form. The following information is given for each type of interaction: Length of interaction. Amount of smiling during interaction. Behaviour at end of encounter. Shots of the experiment taking place intersperse the tabular results. Roberta Crawley introduces a discussion between Mary Sissons, Michael Argyie, and herself. They discuss the experiment. Difficulties of doing the experiment are taken up as well as what was learned. Practical applications of experiment results examined. Roberta sums up.
Master spool number: 6HT/70520
Production number: 00521_2262
Videofinder number: 3378
Available to public: no