The study of social psychology emerged between 1908-1924 and Muzafer Sherif who is one of the founders of the branch, stands out as one of the main forces behind its growth. His work with group processes and inner group conflict following social norms still serves as a reference point to researchers studying groups today. Sherif was born in Turkiye but unfortunately left his country due to fascist regulations of the pre-existing government which I feel terribly ashamed to write it down here. Then he came to America where he earned his second masters at Harvard University and his Ph.D. at Columbia University. His most famous study, known as the 'Robber's Cave Experiment' became a model for social psychologists seeking to break patterns of hostility in intergroup relations, particularly during the civil rights movement and is still cited in most texts as the seminal study on intergroup relations. I've mentioned Sherif because in this post I'm planning to write about the episode Con-Text (S02E10) in which Robert Goren and Alex Eames have a short argument on the concept of 'Peer Group Pressure'. Btw long live Neologism! I think the best side effect of an auxiliary language is to make up titles like that:) Anyway let's remember that conflict.

ADA Ron Carver: Is it a cult? Mind control?
Robert Goren: Yes.
Alex Eames: No.
ADA Ron Carver: How reassuring.
Robert Goren: They use the same psychological coercion as cults.
Alex Eames: So did the guy who sold me my car. No one forced those people to stay last night. They were enjoying themselves.
Robert Goren: They stayed because of peer group pressure, manufactured peer group. They paid to sit in a room for hours and... They submit to group hypnosis, deep breathing guided...
Alex Eames: That's a relaxition technique. Those people did not look like zombies when they came in.

For God's sake Eames, you have missed by a mile! It's techniqually not a relaxition technique per se. The man is right, give him a break! The 'Peer Group Pressure' or normative social influence which can be exerted even in relatively small groups has been vividly illustrated by the studies of Muzafer Sherif and as well as by the experiments of Solomon Asch. Very briefly, in a classic study of Asch, the subjects were shown two cards. On the first was a vertical line. On the second were three lines, one of them the same length as that on the first card. Then the subjects were asked to say which two lines were alike, something that most 5 year olds could answer correctly. But Asch added a twist. Seven other people, in cahoots with the researchers, also examined the lines and gave their answers before the subjects did. And sometimes these confederates intentionally gave the wrong answer. Asch was astonished at what happened next. After thinking hard, three out of four subjects agreed with the incorrect answers given by the confederates at least once. And one in four conformed 50 percent of the time. Bottom line, we like to think that seeing is believing but the study's findings show that seeing is believing what the group tells you to believe. For a different point of view please read the article if you like: No Soap Radio. So let's face the facts dear Eames: Fact 1: Robert Goren's Modus Operandi is way out of our league. Fact 2: Robert Goren is not always right. Fact 3: But Robert Goren is just never wrong. Well then, let's see what happens after 'Eames Pressure'.

Allright Eames! You Win, I Give Up.

But Can You Say Pseudohypoparathyroidism?