The Robbers Cave Experiment

In 1954, at a summer camp in Robbers Cave State Park, Oklahoma, two groups of boys almost killed each other. They weren’t juvenile delinquents or trouble makers, but 11- and 12-year-old boys from white, middle-class backgrounds, well-adjusted, and with no previous behavioural problems. The reason they didn’t kill each other was that they were all the subjects of a psychological experiment conducted by Muzafer Sherif that helped to understand better the nature of intergroup conflict (i.e. conflict between groups).

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