Evaluation of Sherif’s RGCT


Other theorists have pointed out that although this theory is named realistic group conflict theory, it refers to perceived threat rather than actual threat in that members of groups were antagonised by competition rather than overt hostility.


Sherif claimed that competition for resources was the basis of conflict but others argue that this does not account for the fact that hostility towards other groups can occur when there is no obvious competition for resources.


Indeed simply identifying oneself with a group that has a specific set of values can cause hostility towards others with different or opposing values even when there is no competition or shared desire for resources present.


Nonetheless, despite these limitations, Sherif's experiment is considered one of the most important and successful field experiments of all time on group conflict.