Olivia's Blog

Brian Hart’s Peer review

Brian Hart’s Peer Review

In Brian Hart’s research paper, he discusses an issue that goes unspoken of on a daily basis. Everyday millions of people ride elevators, most of the time with other passengers. His point was to talk about the unforeseen “elevator etiquette” that we as humans blindly live by every time we ride an elevator. His examples of theories include, avoiding all contact with other passengers, checking technologies such as iPods or phones, and standing near the perimeters of the elevator. I felt his points were not only accurate and true, but they made me think about how I personally act in an elevator social situation. I could relate to most of his examples and universal “rules.” The main message of this research paper is to question our motives as humans and social beings when put into a situation so routine as riding an elevator. What I admired the most about this paper was the way the author compared human behavior in confined spaces to behaviors of mammals such as chimpanzees. The similarities between the two were shocking. Chimpanzees clearly reacted more extreme than a human would, however, the intentions of both human and chimp paralleled almost perfectly.  Brian’s primary research was mainly the interviews he conducted with peer elevator riders like himself. This target group effectively strengthened his argument immensely.

His points and quotes were well organized and flowed nicely with the style of his essay. Brian’s purpose of his argument was to address this ongoing issue of social norms in elevators. As he interviews students, he remains unbiased. However, his personal opinions of this argument are expressed when he talks about his beliefs and how he was raised. He does not think it is right when people completely ignore others when riding elevators. He believes people should at least say hello and attempt to engage in conversation with one another. He continues to claim that casual elevator conversation may lead into lifetime relationships or friendships.  I felt this was an interesting point, if he had pursued this research more, I think he should try a social experiment involving attempting to spark conversation on elevators and seeing how people react. This could defiantly strengthen his primary research. As far as ethos, the author’s essay is credible in every way; his argument is legitimate and applies to many different types of people including myself.  I liked how he made it very easy to connect and had a set list of things people do in elevators, which could apply, to almost everyone.

As a whole, this paper in my opinion was very successful. I would mostly likely grade it in the high B+/ low A- range. It could use a few more photos and I do believe a social experiment would give this essay the X factor to earn an A. I enjoyed the topic and could relate this to my everyday routine.


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