Roberto Barrientos: April 2012 Archives

My favorite part of the 13th chapter was the last section. Here it is talk about two cases that show how prejudice can be combat. This cases are called the Robbers Cave Study and the Jigsaw Classrooms.


The Robbers Cave Study was conducted by Muzafer Sherif in 1954. Here 22, 11-year-old, boys were lead to believe they were attending a normal summer camp where three phases occur:

1) In-group formation
The boys were randomly divided into two groups, and assigned to two living areas. The two groups were isolated from each other, and none of the participants were aware of there being a second group.
 Each group spent a week doing sports and activities with members of their group.

2) Friction phase
The groups were then put into situations in which they were to compete against the other group for prizes, the goal being to create intergroup tension. This resulted in animosity between the groups, which included raids and fist-fighting.

3) Integration Phase
In a third phase of the study, the experimenters attempted to reduce the level of intergroup-conflict, by increasing the contact between the two groups. This was initially unsuccessful, but was more successful once superordinate goals were introduced to the groups. This reduced inter-group tension, and the individuals from each group became friendlier toward each other.

But contact by itself cannot heal the deep wounds of prejudice. Interventions are most likely to reduce prejudice only if they satisfy the following conditions:

  • The groups should cooperate toward shared goals

  • The contact between groups should be enjoyable

  • The groups should be of roughly equal status

  • Group members should disconfirm the other group's negative stereotypes

  • Group members should have the potential to become friends

Then, Elliot Aronson applied the lesson form the previous study into the Jigsaw Classrooms, and found a significant decrease in racial prejudice.

Do you have any prejudice that you have get in contact that you will like to share? Or do you have any situation where you had or could apply this technique?

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This page is an archive of recent entries written by Roberto Barrientos in April 2012.

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