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The Psychologist Vol 27 No 11 November 2014

The Psychologist Vol 27 No 11 November 2014

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My eldest son is 10, and this month he goes away on a residential trip with school. I suspect that my wife and I are more uneasy about this than he is, but you can be sure he wouldn't cope well with the kind of events and manipulations experienced by the young boys in the famous 'Robbers Cave' study.

In the summer of 1954, the social psychologist Muzafer Sherif and his wife Carolyn brought 24 ten- to twelve-year-old boys to a 200-acre Boy Scouts of America camp in the Robbers Cave Park in Oklahoma. The boys didn't know it, but over the next three weeks they were to take part in the Sherifs' third and final intergroup conflict study. Snakes would be shot; tents would be pulled down; flags burnt. Our special issue explores the impact on those boys and on the world of psychology; an impact resounding 60 years later.

In the words of Reicher and Haslam (p.826), 'we come neither simply to praise Sherif, nor to bury him. Rather, we hope to provide a balanced and timely assessment of his work and to inspire others to take up the reins'.

Dr Jon Sutton
Managing Editor @psychmag

Camps, conflict and collectivism   
Sixty years after the Robbers Cave study, Stephen Reicher and S. Alexander Haslam introduce an appreciation of Sherif for today and for tomorrow

The unknown Muzafer Sherif
Aysel Kayaoğlu, Sertan Batur and Ersin Aslıtürk consider the social psychologist and political activist

The view from the boys
Gina Perry looks at how Sherif's participants saw his studies

Necessarily collectivistic
Michael J. Platow and John A. Hunter reflect on Muzafer Sherif's Boys' Camp Studies

Can reassurance hurt?
Yuefang Zhou and Gerry Humphris have their own worries about the 'don't worry' message in medical procedures

New voices: 'It's like plaiting fog'
Eleanor Willard on dyscalculia and problems with 'number sense', in the latest of our series for budding writers

The Nobel (and Ig Nobel) Prize; e-cigarettes; students and stats; war; and more

President's column; call for nominations; Birmingham Science Festival; Public Engagement Grant; World Mental Health Day; Going Green; and more

The end of autism?; the 'Invisible College'; 'tinkering' with hallucinogens; assisted dying; dyslexia; sex abuse; Scottish referendum; Sandra Bem; and more

Male scientists work-life balance; praise; have we found Little Albert this time?; and more from our free Research Digest (see

The Rt Hon Lord Owen talks to Ian Bushnell about hubris syndrome and his work with the Daedalus Trust

We meet community psychologist Jim Orford; Rob Rooksby on his collision of American football and psychology; and Heather Tinkler describes her work as
a Clinical Studies Officer for an NHS Foundation Trust

One on one
With Catherine Loveday, Principal Lecturer at the University of Westminster and Chair of the Psychologist and Digest Editorial Advisory Committee

Thrive; Before I Go to Sleep; Institute of Art and Ideas; China's addicted teens; stories from an NHS whistleblower; the male and female brain; and more

Looks back: Liberation psychology - A history for the future
Wayne Dykstra considers Ignacio Martín-Baró's enduring and international influence

Three years ago  
Go to for our archive, including Christian Jarrett on the lure of horror

Big picture centre-page pull-out
Explanation: art by Jeffrey Stern, thoughts on therapy by Kirsty Kennedy


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