Inter Group Processes

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Us versus Them

- Sherif: The Robber's cave, an experiment on intergroup conflict and co-operation

- 22 boys about 12 years old, from similar backgrounds with similar beliefs, the boys were well adjusted psychologically and deemed normal. 

- Hypotheses

  • When individuals having no established relationships come together to interact in group activities with common goals, they produce a group structure with hierarchial statuses and roles within it. 
  • If two in-groups are formed and come together under conditions of competition and group frustration, attitudes and hostile reactions will arise.

- The boys were selected and split into 2 equal groups - methods were taken to try and split them equally in terms of physical mental and social talents.

- They were then, as individual groups, picked up and taken to a 200 acre boy scouts of america camp surrounded by roberts cave park in Oklahoma. 

The 2 groups named themselves: the RATTLERS and the EAGLES.

  • Over the first 5/6 days 'first stage' the two groups of boys tended to individually create their own acceptance of common membership and their own status hierarchies. 
  • As each group became aware of the presence of the other group, feelings of group membership strengthened. 
  • Both groups insistently asked the camp staff (i.e researchers) to arrange some kind of competition against the other group. 
  • Friction between the group was facilitated…

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