What is Social Psychology?
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What is Social Psychology? book
In the fall of 1951, Princeton University’s undefeated football team played DartmouthCollege in a particularly hard-fought game. The teams were long-term rivals, andthe game started rough and went downhill from there. Penalties punctuated the game, and ﬁghts left players on both sides with serious injuries before Princeton ﬁnally won. One month later, two social psychologists asked Princeton and Dartmouth undergraduates to view a ﬁlm of the game (Hastorf & Cantril, 1954). The responses were astonishing. Princeton fans and Dartmouth supporters reported seeing events so differently that they might have been watching different games. Princeton students saw a constant barrage of Dartmouth violence and poor sportsmanship, with Princeton players occasionally retaliating in self-defense. Dartmouth students rated the teams as equally aggressive but saw their battered team’s infractions as understandable responses to brutal Princeton attacks. One Dartmouth alumnus who watched the ﬁlm saw so few Dartmouth violations that he concluded he must have been sent an edited copy of the ﬁlm.