Taylor & Sasha. Cave Robbers Experiment- Muzafer Sherif. What was the purpose?. Muzafer and his wife, Carolyn, conducted a study on the origin of prejudice.
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Muzafer and his wife, Carolyn, conducted a study on the origin of prejudice.
The experiment focused heavily on the concept of a ‘group’ and what a perception of belonging to a group can actually do to the relationships of members within it and their relationships with people outside their group.
Twenty-two eleven year-old boys of middle-class socioeconomic standing, and who are not school or social failures and who have similar educational level.
These boys were taken into a summer camp in Robbers Cave State Park in Oklahoma where they were divided into two groups of eleven.
The two groups created national flags creating a sense of belonging. They also bonded with each other and created group names.
The groups must not be aware of the existence of the other group If the groups had met before, it would alter the results because they would likely be less hostile towards the other group later on in the experiment.
During the first phase, the researchers discovered that when you place a group of strangers together, they take on specific roles within the group. Such as leaders, followers, etc. They bond together and become close friends (like a family).
Second Phase- because of the bonding in group one, they had a sense of pride towards that team. When forced to fight against each other they found themselves in a battle. Each group believed their group was superior in all aspects.
Third Phase- When two conflicting groups are brought together to achieve a goal that can only be accomplished by both groups working together. They work together flawlessly.