Robbers Cave Experiment

An experiment in intergroup dynamics, which assessed two groups of 11-year-old boys sent to a remote summer camp in Robbers Cave State Park, Oklahoma. The results of the experiment were not unlike that which occurred in William Golding’s allegorical novel, Lord of the Flies: the boys formed tribal bonds, competed for medals and attention, exhibited prejudice, territorial violence, and ultimately had to be separated
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From the final draft of his 1949 report through to his book The Robbers Cave Experiment: Intergroup conflict and cooperation in 1954, Sherif crafted a narrative in which social classes became"groups", political ideologies became"environments" and the researcher performing feats of social engineering to demonstrate his theory became invisible.
In 1954, social psychologists Muzafer and Carolyn Sherif carried out the Robbers Cave experiment, in which 22 boys were taken on a three-week camping expedition in Oklahoma's Robbers Cave State Park.
(19.) MUZAFER SHERIF ET AL., INTERGROUP CONFLICT AND COOPERATION: THE ROBBERS CAVE EXPERIMENT 208-11(1961).