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Therefore, these third graders engaged themselves into the groups' belief despite the fact that they may be actually disagreeing with the group and/or the speaker. The idea of groupthink and over-trusting the authority figure lead people to become close-minded and reject new ideas and opinions from others. The group members are also very often overestimating the group’s might and right and suffering from the conformity pressure. In addition to the thinking and influencing piece of social psychology, how people relate to one another is also central to social psychology. As the social learning theorysuggested, we learned from our experiences and imitated others based on our observations. In the beginning of the experiment, Elliott asked the children about the concept of brotherhood. Children immediately figured out that Blacks and Indians, and any other non-White people were not beingtreated equally in America. This suggested these little third graders were instructed and greatly influenced by the society to judge, dislike and discriminateagainst others based on skin colors.This may be due to the influence of socialization. The behaviors reflected the stereotypical beliefs of their family, the community, and the society to a larger extent especially during the 1900s under the law of separate but equal.Based on what they learned, observed and experienced, these third grade students also comprehended the idea of categorization and classifying people into groups. In this case, they classified others and themselves based on the colors of their-eyed. They systematically assorted 6
A Class Dividedthe people who have different eye color as outgroup, and those who have the same color of eyes as ingroup members. Thus, it created micro-classism of “us” versus “them.” As ingroup biassuggested, people who were in their own group saw themselves as more favorable, and disliked the outgroup. The superior group was calling the inferior group the names they did not like such as “blue eyes” or “brown eyes.” The group that was on the top was humiliating the lower group because of the needs for status. One of the blue-eyed boy said, “I felt like I was a king, like I ruled them—the brown eyes—and like I was better than them” (Peters, 1985).People needed others to be less than their group in order to highlight their uniqueness and their status. For this purpose, the “superior group” often discriminated against the “inferior group,” just like how Whites were rejecting the Blacks from gaining power or equal treatment in the society in the 1900s.The social identitywas also one of the motivational sources of why one group excludes the other groups. Based on the definition of social identity theory, it is defined by how people related themselves to others, and whom they think they are similar to. It is the social identity of who they are as a group. For instance, when Elliott assigned the “superior group,” those who were in that group did not play with other outgroup members although some of them used to be good friends. Also, as they saw that other group members were also not playing with anyone thathas different eye colors, they conformed to the will and the norm of the group mainly because they did not want to be excluded from their own group. The sense of belongingness was essential