ang social experiment

People’s behavior in groups is fascinating and frequently disturbing. As soon as humans are bunched together in groups we start to do odd things: copy other members of our group, favour members of own group over others, look for a leader to worship and fight other groups.

But think about the types of groups you belong to, and you’ll realize they differ dramatically. Some groups are more like soldiers in the same unit or friends who have known each other from childhood. Long-standing, tight-knit, protecting each other. Perhaps it’s not surprising people in these groups radically change their behaviour, preferring members of their own group over others in many ways.

Other groups, though, are much looser. Supporters of a large sports club, for example, or work colleagues only together on a project for a few months or even a group of people in an art gallery appreciating a painting.

It seems impossible that people stood together for only 30 seconds to look at a painting can be said to form a group in any measurable way. Surely it’s too fleeting, too ephemeral?

They believed it was possible for a group, along with its attendant prejudices, to form at the drop of a hat. In fact they thought a group could form even when there was no face-to-face contact between members, none of the people knew each other and their ‘group’ behaviour had no practical consequences. In other words they had absolutely nothing to gain (or lose) from this barely existent group.

Reference : Tajfel

Agree ako. Simple lang naman yan, for me a person’s identity only has meaning in relation to others. I can only know myself through my relations with others. The more immature I am, the more I restrict my ‘in’ group and favour them over the larger ‘out’ group. As I grow and mature, and become (I hope) more secure in my identity, the more I can feel safe to enlarge my ‘in’ group to include more and more of what I would previously have regarded as the ‘out’ group I would ‘need’ to avoid rejection from others. Reading this made me realize that now seems so quite obvious. When faced with uncertainty over a certain choice i have to make, i look upon the choices others made in a similar condition, parang kung ano ang uso, kung anong meron ang mga kasama ko, dun na din ako.

Well I guess the desire to join a group is just that: a desire. It isn’t the result of thinking about possibilities or rewards or consciously/subconsciously deciding what is best for them. We feel better if we are part of a large, successful group. We enjoy when the members of the group are happy and (shamefully) we enjoy when members of “them” suffer. All the other stuff is merely a consequence of this.

That’s it~ (Yun na~)


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