Robbers Cave Social Psychology Experiment [3:19]


This classic study of intergroup conflict and cooperation demonstrated how groups strongly favor their own members under certain conditions (ingroup bias), and how intergroup conflict can be resolved by the groups working together on a common task that neither group can complete without the help of the other group.

Discussion Questions

  • What does this experiment show us about how and why groups get into conflict? What about when they’re working together for a common goal?
  • Do you think if the experiment was performed with a different group that the results would be the same?
  • If you were a part of an experiment similar to this, how do you think you might behave?
  • The experiment was performed in a controlled setting with somewhat extreme circumstances, can you/have you seen this happen in society?

Keywords: Social experiment, Robbers Cave, conflict, intergroup conflict, ingroup bias, cooperation, psychology, sociology,


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