Social Psychology -Inter/Intra Group Dynamics

Social Psychology -Inter/Intra Group Dynamics

Examine a social psychology experiment and show how it relates to current literature and research on inter-and/or intra-group dynamics Intergroup conflict One determinant of intergroup conflict is the desire on the part of group member to gain positive outcomes for themselves and for their group Competition can increase intergroup conflict Intergroup conflict exaggerated * results of in-group favourtism * favour own group over others intergroup conflict (created in summer camp) frequently begins with some form of realistic conflict

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Realistic conflict theory dates back to the beginning of the 20th century as one of the earliest of social psychological theories regarding prejudice and discrimination. Realistic conflict theory proposes that intergroup conflicts arise between groups as they compete over the same limited resources. This is a possible cause of prejudice and discrimination development within a society[1]. Generally useful for understanding intergroup conflict – focuses on the relationship between peoples goals competitive or cooperative nature of their behaviour – conflicting or harmonious nature of their relations RCT was present in a classical social psychology experiment, commonly known as ‘Robbers Cave’ conducted by: MUZAFER SHERIFF AND COLLEAGUES (1954) * Studied group behaviour * -researcher carefully observed the behaviours of the children * Reason – to learn how group conflict developed and how it might be resolved among the children This was identified through 3 stages * group formation intergroup conflict: group polarization exacerbated the conflict * conflict reduction: to reduce conflict, groups were introduced to subordinate goals – goals that both groups desire but were unattainable by one group by its own efforts (Sherif, 1966) The study consisted of: * Boys camp in Robbers Cave, Oklahoma * Divided 22, 11 year old boys, middle class, white, psychologically well adjusted, stable homes 2 separate groups prior to arrival -SELF-CATEGORISATION occurs as: * If people were merely catergorized into different groups, then the beginnings of in-group loyalty and out-group discrimination (Tajfel, 1982, cited in BBB, 2009) each group developed its own social norms and group structure * became quite cohesive, with strong positive SOCIAL IDENTITY SHERIF ET AL. ’S (1961) functional theory of intergroup relations: * introduction to group-oriented * competitive activities * instigated intergroup hostility Descriptive record and systematic measure provide rich documentation of the effectiveness of cooperative interaction in reducing conflict and promoting cross-group relations Groups went through the processes of storming and norming from * Bruce Tuckmans (1965) model, as each group had created names for themselves (the Rattlers and the Eagles). * They had also developed their own rituals and became socially cohesive. Intergroup conflict was present when groups told about one another When placed together * substantial increase in: * name calling * prejudice * and stereotypes of the out group The heightened intergroup contact changed social structure within groups * developed even greater cohesion and social identity * This was predicted by RCT, there was a marked deterioration in INTER-GROUP relations.

Results in the tendency for each of the competing groups to perceive the other extremely and unrealistically, negatively (HEWSTONE, 1990, cited in Standgor, 2004: 315) * occurred in robbers cave however sheriff, changed the social context from intra-to inter-group, due to the groups being physically put closer to each other. (in particular, competitions) (CARR) 3RD STAGE: boys had to work together * presented with subordinate goals * working together produced: * negative perceptions of group members gradually improved * some reduction of hostility * positive intergroup attitudes

CRITICISM: Turner (1981, cited in Brown…. ) Number of empirical and theoretical difficulties with perspective= meaning it is unlikely by itself to provide a complete account of all aspects of intergroup relations FROM THE 3 STAGES SHERIF NOT ONLY MADE STRANGERS INTO ENEMIES, BUT HE ALSO MADE THE ENIMIES INTO FRIENDS. HOGG AND VAUGHAN (2008) SHERIF- ROBBERS CAVE Prejudice, discrimination and ethnocentrism arose as a consequence of real intergroup conflict * Simple contact between member of opposing groups did not improves intergroup relations = CONTACT HYPOTHESIS NOT PRESENT

As aforementioned RCT- provides the main plank for successful interbased on the CONTACT HYPOTHESIS CONTACT HYPOTHESIS * general set of ideas about reducing intergroup prejudice and discrimation (Brown and Gaertner, 2003) – present in robbers cave Stangor (2004) * allowing individuals with different social categories to come into contact with eachother – will reduce negative attitudes and stereotypes about the groups * as long as groups are not in conflict with eachother BBB, 2009

Increased contact from different groups can lead to recognition of similarities between them and reduce prejudice EXAMPLE: CATHOLIC AND PROTESTANTS in NORTHERN IRELAND * contacts between members of the 2 groups often perceived negatively * social psychologists have found that direct 2 religions and indirect contact can reduce prejudice by reducing anxiety about future encounters with out-group members. misconceptions occur between many different groups… this is still present in today’s world with the … Conflict between Israelis and Palenstinians (BARON, BRANSCOMBE AND BYRNE (2009:206) ongoing since creation of the state of Israel in 1948 = control over Jerusalem * considered within REALISTIC CONTROL THEORY to be a major cause of prejudice (Bobo, 1983) * members of group involved will come to view each other in increasingly negative terms * from this perspective, what starts out as a simple competition can gradually escalate into full scale prejudice HAD OCCURRED IN PREVIOUS STUDY OF SHERIF small conflicts may become increasingly hostile until they get out of control * deuls to the death, over small insults i. e street gangs AS aforementioned, Sherif and Sherif’s (1969) REALISTIC CONFLICT THEORY clearly demonstrates the value of subordinate goals * – in breaking down INTERGROUP CONFLICT ARONSONS INGENIOUS JIGSAW CLASSROOM (1971) substitutes INTRAGROUP cooperation * capitalizes on subordinate goals * to require student cooperation for achievement and success Process: * students divided in multiethnic groups * each group member is given different section of the lesson to learn BY using basic principles of the jigsaw classroom (Aronson et al. 1978) And subordinate goals (Sherif and Sherif, 1969) * one way to maintain a positive social identity SPENCER AND WOLFE (1996) Meta analyses of studies in ethnically mixed classrooms confirm the superiority of cooperative learning methods over individualistic or competitive learning in promoting cross-ethnic friendships and reduced prejudice (Johnson, Johnson and Maruyama, 1984 cited in Brown and Gaertner, 2003:453) Link to JIGSAW CLASSROOM KEY FEATURE OF INTERGROUP BEHAVIOUR IS ETHNOCENTRISM (Brewer and Campbell, 1976, cited in Hogg and Vaughan, 2008) ETHNOCENTRISM: tendency to believe ones ethnic or cultural group is centrally important and all other groups are measured in relation to ones own *


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