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Prejudice & Discrimination Reduction. Social Contact: Increasing the contact between members of groups where there is a lack of knowledge which has led to prejudice or discrimination. Social contact. Sherif - Robbers cave (1961) Aim: Investigate inter-group conflict

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Prejudice & Discrimination Reduction

Social Contact:

  • Increasing the contact between members of groups where there is a lack of knowledge which has led to prejudice or discrimination.

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Social contact....

  • Sherif- Robbers cave (1961)

  • Aim: Investigate inter-group conflict

  • Method: Field experiment

  • Procedure: Two groups of boys aged 12 split into two groups on a camping trip both developed group norms by calling themselves Rattlers & Eagles.

  • Findings:Both groups became competitive and hostile, the more aggressive boys became leaders.

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Bringing people together is not enough to breakdown prejudices and stereotypes.


However by increasing contact in groups stereotypes will be challenged and prejudiced can be reduced.

Evaluation of Social Contact.

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Prejudice & Discrimination Reduction.


  • Give the two opposing groups a task to complete.

  • This enables the group members to see each other as individuals rather than members of a group.

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  • Aronson (1978) The jigsaw Method.

  • Aim: Investigate conflict between groups in schools.

  • Method: Field experiment

  • Procedure: Class divided into groups irrespective of their ethnicity, each member of the group was given a piece of the jigsaw to research and then report back to the group. At the end all were tested on their knowledge.

  • Findings: Those who took part in the jigsaw method showed increases in self esteem and reduction in prejudices toward other group members.

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Positive but small effects.


Method does not eliminate competition.

Evaluation of Co-operation.

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Prejudice & Discrimination Reduction.

Creating Empathy

Experiencing the effects of prejudice and discrimination may help to change attitudes towards the group.

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Creating Empathy....

Jane Elliot (1977) Blue eyes brown eyes.

Aim: Change prejudiced attitudes.

Method:Field experiment.

Procedure:Elliot divided her class of 9 year olds into two groups blue and brown eyes.She told the blue eyed group they were more intelligent and would be given extra privileges. The group started to behave according to their stereotypes and produce better work and treat the brown students badly, whilst the brown eyed children acted angry and depressed.

The next day she told them she had made a mistake and reversed her procedure.

Findings:When the students were contacted 18 years later they appeared more tolerant of differences and more opposed to prejudice.

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In use with children this is good as they have flexible views.


Creating empathy in those with prejudicial views maybe difficult.

Evaluation of Creating Empathy.