Intergroup Discrimination Experiments Henri Tajfel In Henri Tajfel and others conducted experiments in intergroup discrimation in the English city of Bristol. This study was conducted with the participation of sixty-four schoolboys aged between fourteen and fifteen years. These boys already knew each other to some extent as the all attended the same school and indeed were members of the same year group and school "house. The boys found themselves variously categorised as "overestimators" and "underestimators" or as being "accurate" or "inaccurate" and were then presented with distributing rewards to their own and other groups.
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Minimal group paradigm See also The influence of his general vision can be seen in the book Social Groups and Identities.
Some of his students went on to develop his theories of social identity and some continued his early work on social judgement. There were also chapters from former students who developed very different sorts of social psychology.
Too much social psychology was, in his view, trivial and based on what he called "experiments in a vacuum". Groups offer both organizational psychology. Subsequently, Tajfel and his student John Turner developed the theory of social identity. Social identity theory Having moved to Bristol University , Tajfel began his work on intergroup relations and conducted the renowned minimal groups experiments.
In these studies, test subjects were divided arbitrarily into two groups, based on a trivial and almost completely irrelevant basis. Participants did not know other members of the group, did not even know who they were, and had no reason to expect that they would interact with them in the future.
It meant that some of the basic psychological roots of prejudice lay not in particular personality types, but in general, "ordinary" processes of thinking, especially processes of categorising. Tajfel outlined these ideas in his article, "Cognitive Aspects of Prejudice", which was first published in and has been republished subsequently. Imposing category distinctions on lines A and B was like dividing the social world into different groups of people e. The results of his experiments showed how cognitively deep-seated it was for perceivers to assume that all members of a certain nationality-based category for instance, all the French or all the British were more similar to each other than they actually were, and to assume that the members of different categories differed more than they did for instance, to exaggerate the differences between the French and the British.
In this respect, the judging of lines was similar to making stereotyped judgements about social groups. Tajfel also argued that if the categories were of value to the perceiver, then these processes of exaggeration were likely to be enhanced.
He conducted a series of experiments, investigating the role of categorization. One of his most notable experiments looked at the way that people judged the length of lines. He found that the imposition of a category directly affected judgements. If the lines, which were presented individually, were shown without any category label, then errors of judgement tended to be random. If the longest lines were each labelled A, and the shortest were labelled B, then the errors followed a pattern.
Perceivers would tend to judge the lines of each category whether A or B as being more similar to each other than they were; and perceivers would judge the differences between categories as greater than they were i. He believed that the cognitive processes of categorization contributed strongly to the psychological dimensions of prejudice, which went against the prevailing views of the time.
Many psychologists assumed that extreme prejudice was the result of personality factors, such as authoritarianism. According to this perspective, only those with personalities that predisposed them to prejudice were likely to become bigots.
He had seen how large numbers of Germans—not just those with particular personalities —had given their support to Nazism and had held extreme views about Jews. Nazism would not have been successful without the support of "ordinary" Germans. Tajfel sought to discover whether the roots of prejudice might be found in "ordinary" processes of thinking, rather than in "extraordinary" personality types.
At Bristol he conducted research into intergroup relations and was active in making Bristol University a European centre for social psychology. He retired from Bristol and moved back to Oxford shortly before his death from cancer in He won a competitive scholarship for mature students with an essay on the subject of prejudice.
In he graduated and worked as a lecturer, first at the University of Durham and then at Oxford. In his research work at the University of Oxford, Tajfel examined several different areas of social psychology , including social judgement, nationalism , and, most importantly, the cognitive aspects of prejudice.
He was granted French citizenship in Henri and Ann set up home in Britain where their two sons, Michael and Paul, were born. Henri took on British citizenship for details, see the biography in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Funding for USA. Congress, E-Government Act of Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
Experiments in intergroup discrimination.
Minimal group paradigm See also The influence of his general vision can be seen in the book Social Groups and Identities. Some of his students went on to develop his theories of social identity and some continued his early work on social judgement. There were also chapters from former students who developed very different sorts of social psychology. Too much social psychology was, in his view, trivial and based on what he called "experiments in a vacuum". Groups offer both organizational psychology.
Meet extraordinary women who dared to bring gender equality and other issues to the forefront. From overcoming oppression, to breaking rules, to reimagining the world or waging a rebellion, these women of history have a story to tell. A fluent French speaker, he served in the French army, was captured by the invading German forces in , and spent the rest of the conflict as a prisoner of war. His survival depended on his assuming a French identity and concealing his Polish Jewish heritage.