Basic Scientific Methods in Psychology
Purdue University Global
PS124 – Unit 2 Assignment
The video I watched was by Bo Bennett. His video was called “Robber’s Cave Experiment”. It was posted September 10, 2013 on YouTube. The case was actually quite interesting to watch. He discussed Muzafer Sherif’s Realistic Conflict Theory. This theory was studied using 2 separate groups of boys between the ages of 11 and 12. During the 1st stage, the boys had no idea about there being 2 groups. They were kept separated and they all formed a bond within their groups. The second phase is where both groups met and had to have interaction. This interaction was a competition between resources. The boys, on both groups, became hostile, calling each other names, stealing things, and vandalizing things. It got so bad at one point that the boys had to be physically separated. The 3rd stage is when the common problem comes into play. Both groups of boys had to work together in order to figure out what was going on with their “water supply”. At first, the boys were ingroup biased. They only talked to their groups. However, when having to work together, this part of the study showed that the boys actually liked each other and got along during this common problem. When faced with a common conflict, positive actions will be implemented. The study also showed that, when put in a situation where you have to fight for resources, and there can only be one winner and one loser, then negative actions will be implemented. I believe that this study was ethical. They, the researches, did not cause any physical harm to anyone. Whether or not the boys inflicted pain upon themselves via violence is not the researches fault. That’s just my opinion. There are five general principles in The American Psychological Association’s (APA) Ethical guidelines. They are: Beneficence and Nonmaleficence, Fidelity and responsibility, Integrity, Justice, and Respect for people’s rights and dignity. Beneficence and nonmaleficence states that “Psychologists strive to benefit those with whom they work and take care to do no harm” . Fidelity and responsibility states that “Psychologists establish relationships of trust with those with whom they work” . Integrity states that “Psychologists seek to promote accuracy, honesty, and truthfulness in the science, teaching, and practice of psychology.” Justice states that “Psychologists recognize that fairness and justice entitle all persons to access to and benefit from the contributions of psychology and to equal quality in the processes, procedures, and services being conducted by psychologists.” Respect for peoples rights and dignity states that “Psychologists respect the dignity and worth of all people, and the rights of individuals to privacy, confidentiality, and self-determination..
This study used the scientific method very well. First, they observed the groups of boys and made hypothesis. If the boys are put in certain situations, what actions will they make? As stated before, the boys were put in two situations. First being having to compete for resources, thus bringing negative actions, and the second being that they had to work together, thus bringing positive actions.