Group Dynamics and the Public Sphere

Prejudice and Racism

Is in-group chauvinism natural?

In-group favoritism or chauvinism can also be created in experimental research In a series of classic studies published in the 1950s and 1960s, Muzafer and Carolyi Sherif and their colleagues recruited a group of twelve-year-old boys to attend summer camp. The boys were divided into two teams which were then pitted against each other in competitive games. Following these games, the boys very clearly displayed in-group chauvinism. They consistently rated their team’s performance as superior to that of the other team. Furthermore, 90 percent of the boys identified their best friends from within their own group even though, prior to group assignment, many had best friends in the other group. In some cases, the devaluing of the out-group started immediately after group assignment, even before the competitive games began.


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