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Carolyn Sherif (1922-1982) Michael Anderson Elizabeth Risch David Ware.

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Presentation on theme: "Carolyn Sherif (1922-1982) Michael Anderson Elizabeth Risch David Ware."— Presentation transcript:

1 Carolyn Sherif ( ) Michael Anderson Elizabeth Risch David Ware

2 Learning Objectives Know the historical antecedents that influenced Sherif Understand the zeitgeist in which her ideas were developed Know the obstacle/struggles she faced Become familiar with selected works Identify the strengths & weaknesses of her ideas/theories Understand her influence on the field

3 Overview Personal/Professional Background Historical Background Review of selected works Summary & integration

4 Learning Objectives Historical Antecedents Zeitgeist Professional/Personal Struggles

5 Her Early Life Born June 26, 1922 in Indiana. Her father was a professor at Purdue University and mother was a high- school science teacher Sang on radio show in high school Attended Purdue in an experimental program for female science majors Financed college working at a bookstore, a radio station, and as a paid singer in a church quartet

6 Graduate Studies In undergrad, she wrote a play the US treasury used to sell war bonds Curious about the effect this play had on audiences’ attitudes towards the war; led to her interest in psychology Obtained Master’s degree in psychology at University of Iowa Opportunities due to lack of men (off to war)

7 Early Career Offered a job at an RCA plant to decrease turnover and increase attendance She declined 1 st job- Collecting data on potential movies at Audience Research Inc. at Princeton She was not impressed! “Monday morning declaration of love…”

8 Back to school… Primary interest in attitudinal research Desire to work with Muzafer Sherif Princeton does not allow women to enroll Works with Sherif while commuting to Columbia University in New York Muzafer is very prominent at this time Research with Muzafer became her focus

9 Married Life Dec She and Muzafer are married Luckily he had been released from Turkish prison Has first daughter Works with Muzafer at University of Oklahoma has second daughter has third daughter begins doctoral work at University of Texas

10 Professional Career earned Ph.D. from University of Oklahoma published four books with Muzafer Teaches Oklahoma Medical School and Sociology Dept. of OU Penn State offered Tenure track positions to both Carolyn and Muzafer

11 Effect of the Women’s Movement “To me, the atmosphere created by the women’s movement was like breathing fresh air after years of gasping for breath. If anyone believes that I credit it too much for changes in my own life, I have only this reply: I know I did not become a significantly better social psychologist between 1969 and 1972, but I surely was treated as a better social psychologist.” (Sherif, 1983)

12 Effect of the Women’s Movement Research contributions during not well documented “A careful historian will recognize that both of us were involved in everything published under the name Sherif after In several instances, when Muzafer asked me to appear as co-author, instead of in footnote or preface, I declined, a tendency that persisted into the 1960s. I would not do so again. I now believe that the world which viewed me as a wife who probably typed her husband’s papers (which I did not) defined me to myself more than I realized.”

13 Effect of the Women’s Movement President of APA division 35, Psychology of Women in 1979 Orientation in Social Psychology Book on the effect of one’s social status Study and publish on gender Bias in Psychology, 1994 Recognition of her work Fellow of APA, 1976 Distinguished publication award, 1979 Distinguished contributions to Education in Psychology, 1982

14 Historical Antecedents Male dominated academia Unable to attend Princeton WWII Personal interest in psychology Created opportunities for women Shaped her research interests Women’s Movement Led her to research on gender and social status Gained recognition for works

15 Learning Objectives Selected works Strengths & weakness of her research/theories Influence on the field

16 Dave’s Presentation

17 Sherif (1973) Social distance - assesses relative intimacy/rejection between members of diverse groups Studied degree of ego-involvement of AA students in inter-racial interaction as a function of previous/current white contacts Hypothesis - lower the probability of AA- white interaction & stronger the ties with AA reference groups, the lower AA student’s ego-involvement in interaction

18 Method Participants judge advisability that an AA student decide to interact with white individuals in a series of situations & classify into categories Persons highly involved use fewer categories than those less involved Latitude of noncommitment - categories left unlabeled; size inversely related to issue involvement

19 Results Predicted Order# Cat’sLNC AA independent M (LU)2.800 AA independent F (LU) AA fraternity M (LU) AA fraternity F (LU) W-M W-F AA independent M (SC) AA independent F (SC) AA fraternity M (SC) AA fraternity F (SC)

20 Discussion Attitudes are related to one’s reference groups & interaction situations encountered AA social fraternity served as insulating function Own categories method holds promise for truly social-psychological study of individual attitudes

21 Influence on Field Developed singular, coherent approach to social psychology Argued psychology perpetuated myths about women’s inferior position Argued human behavior best understood by studying the entire context Integrated study of specific attitudes with overall structure of self-system Demonstrated that as individuals make personal commitments, they develop categories for perceiving social world

22 Summary Change in attitudes during WWII spawned interest in attitudes Sherif (1973) Personal struggles and women’s movement led to interest in gender issues Sherif (1982) First psychologist to integrate attitudes with self-concept Inspired future research on gender- related issues

23 References Harvey, O. J. (1989). Muzafer Sherif ( ), American Psychologist, 44, Koesterer, M. (n.d.). Dr. Carolyn Wood Sherif: ( ). Unpublished manuscript. Sherif, C. W. (1992). Bias in psychology. In J. S. Bohan. (Ed.), Seldom Seen, Rarely Heard: Women’s Place in Psychology (pp ). Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Sherif, C. W. (1983). Carolyn Wood Sherif. In O’Connell, A. N. & Russon, N. F. (Eds.), Models of Achievement: Reflections of Eminent Women in Psychology (pp ). New York: Columbia University Press. Sherif, C. W. (1982). Needed concepts in the study of gender identity, Psychology of Women Quarterly, 6, Sherif, C. W. (1982). Social and Psychological bases of social psychology. In A. G. Kraut (Ed.), G. Stanley Hall Lecture Series, Vol. 2 (pp. 9-72). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association Sherif, C. W., Kelly, M., Rodgers, H. L., Sarup, G., & Tittler, B. (1973). Personal involvement, social judgment, and action, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 27, Sherif, C. W., (1973). Social distance as categorization of intergroup interaction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67, Sherif, M., & Sherif, C. W. (1967). The adolescent in his group in its setting. In M. Sherif (Ed.), Social Interaction (pp ). Chicago, IL: Aldine Publishing Co.


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