KEY STUDY: SHERIF ET AL 1961

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  • SHERIF ET AL 1961
    • AO1
      • AIM
        • To investigate relationships between groups, especially strangers, brought together in a group, with a common cause
      • PROCEDURE
        • 22 12-year old American, middle class, boys
          • Transported in 2 groups to Robber's Cave National Park in Oklahoma
            • At the camp, the groups lived separately.
              • For the first 5 days, they were given tasks to carry out in groups to help bonding
                • Each group was given a name: Eagles or the Rattlers, to strengthen the group identity
                  • In stage 2, over the next 4 days, competition was encouraged through the introduction of prixes
                    • In stage 3 they were brought together to watch films and take part in job-solving activities to reduce tension
                      • in one the water supply was blocked 'by vandals' and they had to work together to unblock it.
                        • in another they had to pool in their money to pay for a film to watch.
                          • the last was to free a truck that had 'got stuck in the mud.
      • FINDINGS
        • In stage 1:the boys had bonded within their groups but disliked the other group even though they had not met
          • In stage 2:competition led to immidate hostility, they refused to eat together, shouted insults at each other, got close to physical violence. one group raided the hut of the other and burnt their flag
            • In stage 3:early group activities did not reduce hostility, however, the problem solving did, they opted to share a bus home together and spent prize money on drinks for everyone
      • CONCLUSION
        • competition increases hostility between groups, however it is not necessary for discrimination, however when groups work together, discrimination and prejudice is reduced
    • AO2
      • G-only used 22 American, middle class, boys, not representative so can not be generalised
      • R-standardised so can be replicated for reliability. there is also support in Tajfel's 1970 study who found similar results
      • A-applications in understanding group hostility and events such as Football violence
      • High ecological and experimental validity as a camp is a common activity for young boys and they were unaware of the study
      • E-informed consent would have come from their parents. however people argue it isn't right to encourage hostility between young boys, although this was resolved when they hostility was reduced by problem soling activities. they were not debriefed at the end of the study

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