Okay today we will be looking at the Robbers Cave Experiment conducted in 1954 by Muzafer and Carolyn Sherif. In this study the researchers were looking at prejudice in social groups. This study was conducted in a 200 acres summer camp surrounded by the Robbers Cave State Park in Oklahoma. In this study 24 twelve-year-old boys with similar backgrounds. There were two buses with twelve boys in each and they were taken to two separate areas in the camp. There were 3 phases: In-group formation, Friction phase, and an integration phase.
None of the boys knew each other previously yet hostilities towards the other group were observed within days of first contact. The friction phase commenced but ended quickly because the boys became too hostile with each other and so the researchers believed they were unsafe to continue so phase three commenced. After phase three the groups worked together and wanted to be friends to the extent that they all insisted on riding home together on the same bus.
If any of you have seen "Lord of the Flies" you have seen this experiment in movie form. It is the idea that in-group hierarchy takes place as well as out-of-group hierarchy. In realistic conflict theory this means that inter-group conflict arises between groups as they compete over the same limited resources. They suggest that this could be a possible cause of prejudice and discrimination.
So this is a little broader than just our characters but also includes the societies that our characters live in. What is the hierarchy of our societies? Where do our characters fit into this hierarchy? How does it affect them? Does our character fit into the mold or are they breaking the mold? If they are breaking it why, what is their motivation?
I hope you are all enjoying these fascinating experiments as much as I am :) Yes I know they are unethical but still fascinating.