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Jane Elliot (1968) "Blue/Brown eyes experiment"

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Aya El Sherif

on 14 April 2015

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Transcript of Jane Elliot (1968) "Blue/Brown eyes experiment"

- First she gave introduction about how people should be treated the way they want to be treated.
- She told them that they can't know the feeling of discrimination unless they've been through it.
- Then she divided her class into two groups (Brown-Eyed people) (Brown- Eyed people).
- She told her students that blue-eyed people are better and smarter than brown-eyed people, she gave privileges to blue-eyed students as they got to have extra minutes of recess.
- Brown-eyed students had to wear collars so that their eye color could be identified form distance and they weren't allowed ot play with brown-eyed students.
- The next day the roles were reversed and Brown-eyed students were told that they were better than brown-eyed students.
-The same thing happened with them.
Jane Elliot
(1968) "
eyes experiment"

- When blue-eyed students were told that they were better than brown-eyed students, they became arrogant and discriminated towards brown-eyed students (calling them labels ).However they performed better academically
- Brown-eyed students became timid and complaint and they performed less academically
- When the roles were reversed and brown-eyed students were told that they are better than blue-eyed people, the same thing happened
Being a member in a group affects how you view yourself and how you treat others. SIT relevant since a social identity affected intergroup behavior
Experiment was conducted in natural environment (High ecological validity)
It is reliable as it was repeated more than 2 times with different age groups and still she got the same results
Students were harmed mentally and were negatively labeled (Not ethical)
How does this experiment relate to the Social Identity Theory?
This study supports the Social Identity Theory
Self Categorization (Brown-eyed students/Blue-eyed students)
Self comparison (Blue-eyed students are better and smarter than Brown-eyed students)
Psychological distinctiveness (The fight between the 2 students)
Aim of the Study:
To emphasize the effects of discrimination and group bias on personal attribute and self-esteem.

The reason behind the experiment:
After Martin Luther King was killed, Jane Elliot wanted to explain racism and how discrimination feels like to her Third Grade class.
So she decided to carry out The Eye Color experiment "Blue eye/Brown eye experiment"

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