Evaluating Sherif et al


Evaluate Sherif Et Al

22 boys is not a large sample especially when they are all from the same background. In such a limited sample, with all the boys being white, 11-12 and middle class, we cannot say for sure that this is how Realistic Conflict Theory works with everyone and/or if it is a realistic reason for prejudice and discrimination. However, the selection of the boys (well-educated, good background, no history of violence/bad behaviour), did exclude people that may be more inclined to become violent/aggressive so there would be no bias.

Furthermore, only male participants were used, excluding roughly 50% of the population, so we have no way to be able to generalise the results to fit with realistic conflict theory in girls too. The participants were also all children, who haven't fully matured or developed yet. This means that they can be easily influenced by other and have a very strong desire to fit in with their own social group, which explains why each group adopted similar characteristics as other members of the same group.

The boys were also all white, which wasn't very representative of America's population at the time, with 50% being from other ethnic groups. So we cannot generalise the experiment to all races either.

The experiment relied fully on observation, which means that the results are not 100% reliable. The researchers were…


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