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Lecture 5

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PSYC 331
Donald Taylor

LECTURE 5 REALISTIC CONFLICT THEORY st January 21 , 2013 REALISTIC CONFLICT THEORY  The whole theory grew out from a single experiment o Sherrif camp experiment Four stages in Sherif Experiments 1. Spontaneous interpersonal friendship choices 2. Group formation 3. Intergroup conflict 4. Intergroup Cooperation/reduction of intergroup conflicts (superordinate goals)  Sherif experiment was huge  The camp experiment was huge and it was so confusing, that social psychologists did not know in which category to put it and that’s why it is in different chapters in textbooks  The Sherif experiment took place as a summer camps where kids were invited to participate Stage 1: Spontaneous interpersonal friendship choices  The experiment let the kids form natural friendship for the first few days o There was no pressure to form friends  After a few days, they evaluate the kinds of friendship they formed  Then, they divided the camp into 2 groups o They separated the groups by cabin and the only criteria was that for each boy, 2/3 of his best bodies have to be in the other groups Stage 2: Group formation  For 2 days, the 2 groups will not see each other  They were all engaged in team building activities with their own group  They never came into contact for these 2 days so that these couple of days were to get to know the people of their team Stage 3: Intergroup conflict  Then, the experimenters have them participate in activities that will make one group compete against the other group  Every single activity involved competition between the 2 groups  The first night, the 2 groups just came together at the cafeteria  Each group sat on their own side and when the food came in, they started to fight  There was an open war fair among 2 groups of 11 years old  Notice what is driving the conflict o Structuring the situation so that the 2 groups are competing with each other o The STRUCTURE is the KEY here Stage 4: Intergroup cooperation/Reduction of intergroup conflict (superordinate goals)  They used the same hypothesis to resolve the conflict  They restructured the camp  They the
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