Etiquettes have always dictated how you should behave in public. Though chewing gum has never been considered wrong, there has always been a social stigma associated with the practice. Beldent a popular company that makes multiple types of flavored as well as medicated chewing gums thought that the practice of chewing gum was unnecessarily tarnished and decided to conduct a unique social experiment.
Late last year, in association with the Museum of Contemporary Art of Buenos Aires, the company called in applicants for near identical twins. While the company received dozens of applications, it selected only those who were truly identical in order to eliminate any bias. Moreover the twins that the company chose didn’t have any facial scars, tattoos or any other distinguishing marks.
Once the selection was made, the company made them wear perfectly matching outfits and sit right next to each other. The only difference was that one of the twins was given a chewing gum to constantly chew. While these sets of twins sat next to each other and one of them continually chewed gum, visitors to the museum strolled by. The twin chewing the gum was merely asked to keep his or her mouth closed at all times, because chewing with your mouth open is just poor etiquette.
The ‘exhibit’ also had an interactive response system coupled with a set of microphones. Visitors were urged to participate in the experiment, but weren’t told why one of them was constantly chewing gum. The patrons who did decide to participate were asked to wear the headphones and answer a series of questions by choosing the appropriate person. To choose the person, the visitors had to select one of the buzzers that were linked to visual indicators confirming which sibling was chosen. Moreover, the responses were quietly collated in a computer kept at the back, reported Distractify.
The experiment involved a series of ‘visual perception’ based questions. Though the questions varied greatly, the central theme remained constant. Which person appeared friendlier, outgoing, more social, while which one seemed to have more ‘imaginary’ friends, or was more likely to be mean to you or would gladly give you a ticket (one the twins were dressed as cops), reported Wonderful Planet.
The results were quite startling. Majority of the people who participated, actually ‘liked’ the person who constantly chewed gum, thought he or she would be a better person or in case of the cop brothers, would let you off with just a warning or would give a rise and be more friendly (in case of brothers who were dressed as bosses).
Out of the 481 people who participated, 73 percent were quite ‘positive’ about people who chewed gum. The video interestingly concludes, chewing gum actually helps in improving impression.
[Image Credit | Saatchi]