Talk by Gina Perry author of THE LOST BOYS inside Muzafer Sherif’s Robbers Cave Experiment
This Sunday May 20th at 2.30pm
Venue Church Stretton Library SY6 6DQ
Tickets £5 available from Burway Books and on the door at Church Stretton Library
‘Fascinating, disturbing, and utterly compelling.’ Michael Brooks, author of The Quantum Astrologer’s Handbook
‘Gina Perry uses her investigative flair to reconstruct the context, characters, and stakes of this strange piece of history.’ Darian Leader, author of What Is Madness?
The fascinating story of one of the most controversial psychological experiments of the modern era — a real life Lord of the Flies.
Competition. Prejudice. Discrimination. Conflict.
In 1954, a group of boys attended a remote summer camp where they were split into two groups, and encouraged to bully, harass, and demonise each other. The results would make history as one of social psychology’s classic studies: the Robbers Cave experiment.
Conducted at the height of the Cold War, officially the experiment had a happy ending: the boys reconciled, and psychologist Muzafer Sherif demonstrated that while hatred and violence are powerful forces, so too are cooperation and harmony. Today it is proffered as proof that under the right conditions warring groups can make peace. Yet the true story of the experiments is far more complex, and more chilling.
In The Lost Boys, Gina Perry explores the experiment and its consequences, tracing the story of Sherif, a troubled outsider who struggled to craft an experiment that would vanquish his personal demons. Drawing on archival material and new interviews, Perry pieces together a story of drama, mutiny, and intrigue that has never been told before.
GINA PERRY is an Australian psychologist and writer. Her first book, Behind the Shock Machine, about Stanley Milgram’s obedience experiences, was praised widely.