Carolyn Sherif (1922-1982) 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 Overview Personal/Professional Background Historical Background Review of selected works Summary & integration Learning Objectives Historical Antecedents Zeitgeist Professional/Personal Struggles Her Early Life Born June 26, 1922 in Indiana. Her father was a professor at Purdue University and mother was a highschool 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 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) Early Career Offered a job at an RCA plant to decrease turnover and increase attendance She declined 1st job- Collecting data on potential movies at Audience Research Inc. at Princeton She was not impressed! “Monday morning declaration of love…” 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 Married Life Dec. 1945- She and Muzafer are married Luckily he had been released from Turkish prison 1947- Has first daughter 1947-1958- Works with Muzafer at University of Oklahoma 1950- has second daughter 1955- has third daughter 1958- begins doctoral work at University of Texas Professional Career 1961- earned Ph.D. from University of Oklahoma 1961-1965- published four books with Muzafer Teaches Oklahoma Medical School and Sociology Dept. of OU 1965- Penn State offered Tenure track positions to both Carolyn and Muzafer 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) Effect of the Women’s Movement Research contributions during 1945-1961 not well documented “A careful historian will recognize that both of us were involved in everything published under the name Sherif after 1945. 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.” Effect of the Women’s Movement President of APA division 35, Psychology of Women in 1979 Orientation in Social Psychology Study and publish on gender Book on the effect of one’s social status Bias in Psychology, 1994 Recognition of her work Fellow of APA, 1976 Distinguished publication award, 1979 Distinguished contributions to Education in Psychology, 1982 Historical Antecedents Male dominated academia WWII Unable to attend Princeton 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 Learning Objectives Selected works Strengths & weakness of her research/theories Influence on the field Dave’s Presentation 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 AAwhite interaction & stronger the ties with AA reference groups, the lower AA student’s ego-involvement in interaction 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 Results # Cat’s LNC AA independent M (LU) 2.80 0 AA independent F (LU) 3.50 1.30 AA fraternity M (LU) 4.67 3.44 AA fraternity F (LU) 5.57 4.56 W-M 4.53 12.97 W-F 4.75 20.49 AA independent M (SC) 4.05 21.31 AA independent F (SC) 3.72 11.87 AA fraternity M (SC) 4.53 26.00 AA fraternity F (SC) 4.86 23.45 Predicted Order 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 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 Summary Change in attitudes during WWII spawned interest in attitudes Personal struggles and women’s movement led to interest in gender issues Sherif (1973) Sherif (1982) First psychologist to integrate attitudes with self-concept Inspired future research on genderrelated issues References Harvey, O. J. (1989). Muzafer Sherif (1906-1988), American Psychologist, 44, 1325-1326. Koesterer, M. (n.d.). Dr. Carolyn Wood Sherif: (1922-1982). Unpublished manuscript. Sherif, C. W. (1992). Bias in psychology. In J. S. Bohan. (Ed.), Seldom Seen, Rarely Heard: Women’s Place in Psychology (pp. 107-146). 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 279-293). New York: Columbia University Press. Sherif, C. W. (1982). Needed concepts in the study of gender identity, Psychology of Women Quarterly, 6, 375-395. 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, 311-328. Sherif, C. W., (1973). Social distance as categorization of intergroup interaction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67, 148-156. Sherif, M., & Sherif, C. W. (1967). The adolescent in his group in its setting. In M. Sherif (Ed.), Social Interaction (pp. 247-312). Chicago, IL: Aldine Publishing Co.