Have you ever been in a situation, say, where a door was locked or people weren't sure which line to stand in or a store wasn't open yet, and people just stood there until one person took it upon themselves to knock on the door, or ask which line is right (is this the line for people who already have tickets?), or when the store opens? And then, everyone just gets up and goes in as if they were just waiting for that one icebreaker person to do something?
Those invisible barriers are really interesting. Becoming older and having kids seems to make you care about them a lot less. I'm much more likely to barge around and ask questions and bang on doors and stuff now than I used to be.
Or, maybe that anti-barging part of my brain just wore out at some point.
Anyway, it would be interesting to do a study where you go out and look for things that rely on unwritten rules and rule-following behavior to work. Like, velvet ropes. Or, lines on the floor made out of tape. And, any deli counter where they holler, "Who was next??"
The one place where none of this applies is: Driving. There, if it isn't printed on a sign or painted on the ground, it's fair game. Something about having a large metal object to shove around in I think.