Social Psychology, Tajfel

all about tajfel's experiment in 1971............

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Tajfel 1971

studied group membership and belonging in relation to conformity.

Bristolian teenage boys age 14-15 were randomly allocated to one of two groups on the basis of their preference for one artist or another.

They then played a game in which they were able to allocate points that could be exchanged for money to their own and the other group

The boys consistently chose to allocate more points to their own group even when they could gain more points and rewards by allocating equal amounts to themselves and the other group.

Tajfel argued that there was a tendency to favour one's own group- the in-group- and discriminate against the other groups (outgroups)

This links to conformity through the meta-contrast principle.

The meta contrast principle is that there is a tendency for group members to see strong similarities between themselves and other group members and strong differences between yours and over social groups. 

According to this approach, people conform to group norms because they are group members, they use this group norm to regulate their behaviour at all times. Thererfore upholding group norms can continue when the group is not present, such as continuing to support a football team though yiou have moved out of the area. 

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