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Then they returned to their cabin where they entrenched and prepared weapons (socks filled with rocks) in case of a return raid.After the Eagles won the last contest planned for Stage 2, the Rattlers raided their cabin and stole the prizes.

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They all develop an internal culture such that members of the groups often like the same foods, wear the same clothing, play the same sports, and have the same philosophical beliefs as other members of the group – even when there are only tenuous links or no links at all to the stated purpose.

They all tend to develop sort of legendary histories, where they celebrate and exaggerate the deeds of the groups’ founders and past champions.

They named themselves the Rattlers and the Eagles (they hadn’t needed names when they were the only group on the campground).

When the contests and prizes were announced, in accordance with pre-established experimental procedure, the intergroup rivalry rose to a fever pitch.

If the researchers had decided that the real difference between the two groups was that the Eagles were adherents of Eagleism, which held cussing as absolutely taboo, and the Rattlers adherents of Rattlerism, which held it a holy duty to cuss five times a day – well, that strikes me as the best equivalent to saying that Sunni and Shia differ over the rightful caliph. Nations, religions, cults, gangs, subcultures, fraternal societies, internet communities, political parties, social movements – these are all really different, but they also have some deep similarities. They all combine comradery within the group with a tendency to dislike other groups of the same type.

They all tend to have a stated purpose, like electing a candidate or worshipping a deity, but also serve a very important role as impromptu social clubs whose members mostly interact with one another instead of outsiders.

Well, the 22 boys were divided into two groups of 11 campers, and — — and that turned out to be quite sufficient.

The researchers’ original plans called for the experiment to be conducted in three stages.

Each group developed a negative stereotype of Them and a contrasting positive stereotype of Us. The Eagles, after winning one game, concluded that the Eagles had won because of their prayers and the Rattlers had lost because they used cuss-words all the time.

The Eagles decided to stop using cuss-words themselves.

And they all tend to inspire something like patriotism, where people are proud of their group membership and express that pride through conspicuous use of group symbols, group songs, et cetera.

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