Sherif et al (1954/61) Robbers Cave Experiment

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  • Sherifff et al (1961) Intergroup Conflict: Robbers Cave
    • AIM: investigate intergroup relations over a period of tie when experimental situations were introduced
      • look at in-group formation, effect of competition, conditions to which conflict could be reduced/resolved
    • FIELD Oklahoma, 22 boys 11-12 yo middle-class, portestant, boys did not know eachother, consent from parents and paid to stay away for 2 weeks.
      • matched based on parental info IQ test athletic assessments
      • data collected through observation, sociometric analysis, experiment, tape recordings
      • first week, groups separate, activities = in group formation
        • 4-6 days start competition- boys win pints for their team total
          • last 6-7 days focus on superordinate goals to reduce conflict ie fixing water tank, joint camp - food, sleeping gear, starting broken down bus
    • RESULTS: stage 1 - norms formed, 'them' and 'us'
      • stage 2: signs of hostility, territorial, name calling, fighting, rattlers flag burned, derogatory terms
        • stage 3: animosity continued, found broken faucet, talking & minlging but name calling started, DID work together to pull bus @ end significant increase in no of boys who had friendships in the out-group
    • supports realistic conflict theory
    • Evaluation


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