One of Mitt Romney’s go-to economists, Greg Mankiw of Harvard, explores the value of surrounding yourself with difference, the monumental task of achieving comity, and implications for finding a way out of the Washington budget crisis, with differing world views on Obamacare:
A classic result in social psychology, called the Robber’s Cave experiment, sheds light on the current dysfunctional political dynamic. It was conducted in 1954 by the psychologist Muzafer Sherif.
Mr. Sherif took a group of 22 boys, 12 years old, to a summer camp in Robber’s Cave State Park in Oklahoma. The boys did not know one another but came from similar backgrounds. They were all being raised in white, middle-class, Protestant, two-parent families. The boys were randomly split into two groupsvia From Summer Camp, A Parable for Washington
What can we infer–as explained by Mankiw? When faced with a super ordinate goal (finding food, shelter, or other necessity that equally impacted both groups) a participant might put aside their particular groups’ goals.