Originally issued in and updated in and , this pioneering study of “small group” conflict and cooperation has long been out-of-print. It is now. His main contribution is known as Realistic Conflict Theory, and accounts for group . Intergroup conflict and cooperation: The Robbers Cave experiment (Vol. Intergroup Conflict and Cooperation: The Robbers Cave Experiment by Muzafer Sherif, O.J. Harvey, B. Jack White, William R. Hood, and Carolyn W. Sherif.

Author: Maurr Gardashicage
Country: Guyana
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Technology
Published (Last): 11 November 2009
Pages: 295
PDF File Size: 16.64 Mb
ePub File Size: 9.12 Mb
ISBN: 507-7-44346-738-2
Downloads: 60926
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Kahn

Robbers Cave

If, on the other hand, the external field is vague, unstructured, in short, allows for alternatives — to that extent the relative weight of internal factors motives, attitudes and social [p.

It aims rather at cinflict out the factors involved in the rise of group structure, group code or norms, and in-groupout-group delineations which will make possible their intensive study with appropriate laboratory methods on the psychological level. As thus defined the group is the unit of sociological analysis. The experiment demonstrated that conflict and enmity between groups can be transformed into cooperation and vice conflit and that circumstances, goals, and external manipulation can alter behavior.

In the years since this experiment, it has intergrohp demonstrated that working intergroup socialization is one of the most effective ways to reduce outgroup prejudice and discrimination.

The Robbers Cave Experiment: Intergroup Conflict and Cooperation – Muzafer Sherif – Google Books

The groups became so aggressive with each other that the researchers had to physically separate them. At one extreme, subjects will be complete strangers; at the other extreme, subjects will be members of highly structured groups. The first units along these lines dealt with interpersonal relations. Contact him directly here.

This is a FREE course that will take only about 20 minutes. Deviation, Rejection, and Communication, in Festinger, L.

But convergence of judgments is not as marked as this when individuals first go through individual sessions and then participate in group sessions. If these results are valid, it should prove possible to predict leaders and followers in informal groups through judgmental variations exhibited in the way of over- and under-estimations of performance. The results of these assessments are to be related to ratings made by the experimental staff along several behavioral dimensions during the experiment proper when in-group interaction had continued for some time.


The internal factors are motives, attitudes, emotions, general state of the organism, effects of past experience, etc. At this point, longitudinal vave will bring more concreteness to the process of norm formation.

The influences responsible for the increased preoccupation with small groups spring both from developments within various academic disciplines robberrs from agencies instituted for devising practical solutions for immediate application. However, the Robbers Cave study has been criticized on a number of issues.

The term “social norm” is a sociological designation referring generically to all products of group interaction which regulate members’ behavior in terms of the expected or even the ideal behavior.

Robbers Cave Experiment

With these minimum essential features of small informally organized groups in mind, a group is defined as a social unit which consists of a number of individuals who, at a given time, stand in more or less definite interdependent status and role relationships with one another, and which explicitly or implicitly possesses a set of norms or values regulating the behavior of the individual members, at least in matters of consequence to robbfrs group.

Here our task is to achieve a more refined analysis on a psychological level of individual behavior in the group setting through precise perceptual dave judgmental indices. Another impetus along this line came from the concern of military agencies for establishing effective techniques for the assessment of leaders.

In a study carried out as part of our research program at the University of Oklahoma, James Thrasher co-varied the stimulus situation in gradations of structure and the nature of interpersonal relations of subjects strangers and friends to determine the reciprocal effects of these variations on judgmental reactions. In this famous experiment, Selected pages Title Page.

This point can be illustrated in relation to small group studies. The starting point in our program of research was the experimental production of group norms and their effects on perception and judgment Sherif, When group structure is analyzed in terms of hierarchical status positions, the topic of power necessarily becomes an integral dimension of the hierarchy.


In the third week stage 3the experimenters created conditions that required both groups to work together solving a common problem. It was found that as the stimulus situation becomes more unstructured, the correspondence between stimulus values and judgment values decreases and the influence of social factors established friendship ties in this case increases Thrasher, Harper,Chapter Following the implications of the above, it is plausible to say that behavior revealing discriminations, perceptions, evaluations of individuals participating in the interaction process as group members will be determined For example, the psychologist’s findings of differential behavior of an individual when participating in the activities of his group should be and are substantiated by findings on the sociological level, namely that collective action in a group has properties peculiar to the group.

This experiment was carried out with a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to the University of Oklahoma. They all shared a Protestant, two-parent background.

Friendship preferences were shifted and reversed away from previously budding relationships toward in-group preferences. If external stimulus situations are well structured in definite objects, forms, persons, and groupings, perception will correspond closely to the stimulus structure on the whole.

Accordingly, one of our first tasks was that of confkict some minimum essential features of actual small groups untergroup sociological work. The next point relates to psychological findings, generalizations, and laboratory techniques relevant for the study of experience and behavior of individual group members.