Description of the experiment selected
The experiment selected is the “Blue eyes- Brown eyes” experiment which was first carried by the American activist against racism and a primary school teacher, Jane Elliot. An outline of the experiment is provide below. The experiment was first conducted on the school kids where she used to teach. In this experiment, she divided the children in the class into two groups, namely, blue-eyed and brown eyed. She randomly placed few students in the blue eyes group and the others in brown eyes group. She provided collars of fabric to separate them from each other on daily basis. She provided the blue-eyed group with exclusive privileges, leisure and powers like they were made to sit on the first bench, were allowed to play only with the blue-eyed group kids and were made to observe a superiority in terms of their behavior and conduct as compared to the brown eyed group of kids. The brown eyed kids were made to do more work which was tedious and they were provided with an inferior status in the classroom and they were made to sit on the back benches. She observed the behavior and result of these practice and then after one week, she reversed the grouping of the kids. She, then interchanged the groups of the kids, that is, the ones who were in blue-eyed group were shifted to brown eyes group and vice versa. Then she asked the kids to provide their experiences during this exercise. The results were observed, evaluated and analyzed by her for critical learning (Peters, Beutel, & Elliott, 2011).
It was executed by her on observing the racist trends going on in the society on the death of Martin Luther King Jr. These trends victimized the so called ‘black’ people in the society on the basis of their sheer origins and color. Jane Elliot carried this experiment, where she was seeking to identify the behavioral and attitudinal changes that comes into the minds of the people when they blindly follow racism and consider the concept of superiority and inferiority on the basis of races (Byrnes & Kiger, 1990). The context of the study was to identify the effects of racism and the superiority and inferiority complex developed in the society on the performance and behavior of the people (Brown, Parham, & Yonker, 1996). The experiment was conducted by her in U.S., on 5th April 1968, that is, one day after the death of the Martin Luther King Jr. She had viewed one news on TV, where she was moved by the racist comment given by the reporter to the person whose origin was black. There were many other news that displayed this unethical trend of displaying the races, as a measure for the superiority and inferiority of a person (Bloom, 2005).
The hypothesis of the experiment was to identify the effect of the concept of racism in the minds of the people. The other thing that she aimed to find was the influence of this concept on the performance as well as mental state of the person. Developing research on her hypothesis, she found that there were negative results on the people who were believed to be inferior which refers to the brown-eyes group in the class and there were positive results on the blue eyes group. However, the attitude and behavior of the blue eyes people had become unethical that propagated inequality (Pendry, Driscoll, & Field, 2007).
The experiment largely provided an extensive understanding of the concept of racism that was prevalent in the society and the way people perceived it. The impact on the psychology of the people due to their belief in such racist behavior has been obtained. While studying the experiment, she obtained that the people who have been assigned with the inferiority attribute in the society, like the brown eyes group in her experiment, had become very isolated and depressive (Sue, Arredondo, & McDavis, 1992). Thus, it created the ethical issues of inequality in the society. It also spread a very poor practice in the society through which there would be no scope or opportunities provided to the people, who were tagged as inferior by the society, just because of their color. The ethical issues involves hurting the basic human sentiments of respect and equal position in the society. Providing equal opportunities for growth and development of a specific group, community or locality has to be the ethical practice which has to be followed by the organizations and individuals in the society. This was severely violated during those times, which was identified by Jane Elliot, as she was an activist against racism. These kind of issues were best to be handled by encouraging equality in behavior and opportunities provided to the people (Newstrom & Davis, 1986).
The experiment had a huge impact on the cultural diversity in the society. It promoted the practices like diversity training in the organizations and also provided the governments with a base for eradicating the racism from the society. She also became a full-time diversity management trainer for various big organizations like GE, AT &T, IBM and other such popular firms. It laid the foundation of the awareness among the masses across the world. People were mentally, psychologically and physically affected by the experiment carried to identify the racial trends in an organization. There were many implication adopted by the people in their organizations to observe that malpractices like racism gets removed from their organizations. U.S. companies carried various styles of diversity training as there were Federal Laws passed by the government regarding the acceptance and promotion of multiculturalism in the organizations. It was also accepted in other countries like UK, with the development of the “Race Relations Amendment Act 2000” (Infinito, 2003).
The study as the modified by her and introduced in her works of “A Class Divided”, where the effects of her first experiments were observed on the same group after a long period of time. Since the 21st century, there has been an increasing adaption of the diversity training method introduced by her. Using this techniques, organizations achieve their goal of promoting multiculturalism in their structure and at the same time increase the efficiency and performance of the individuals through motivation and better mindset. There were changes in the level of implication of the experiment, but the concept has been retained even after so many years. According to me, there was huge impact on the society through her work which started from a simple, yet meaningful experiment carried by her on a group of school kids. This changed the perception of races in the coming generations (Ely & Thomas, 2001).
The experiment was carried out when there was a huge tension developed in the American society due to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. there were existing trends of racism prevailing in the society. Hence, the ethical issues had to be raised and discussed for observing equality. The experiment was significant and was necessary to open the minds of the people and bring awareness among them. The results of the experiment carried by Jane Elliot had short term impact on the culture and trend in U.S. However, it had a long term impact in terms of the concept being followed by organizations and governments across the world. Individuals and their respective professions grew tremendously and prospered due to the eradication of the racist trends from the society (Chen, 2002).
There is an approach which could have been obtained along with this study, where the focus would not have been solely, on the cultural difference, but on the behavior and attitude of the people as well. It is true that people are going to consider races in the society and it is fair unless it does not harm the rights and welfare of any other community or race in the society. Thus, differences in races does not necessarily lead to development of superiority and inferiority behavior, but the mindset of the people leads to the development of such concepts. This would largely help in reducing the ethical concerns and issues which are developed among the cultures observed across the globe.
I would love to be a part of such a study today. I would like to be a researcher, where I would carry such experiment which would help in determining the effects of racism in today’s world. I would then develop a hypothesis which would be studied, evaluated and analyzed for observing the behavior, attitude and psychology of the people in different organizations. On the basis of the results of the experiments, I would recommend the organizations or a group of people regarding their behavior and provide them with a complete explanation to eradicate this concept from their minds. I would introduce flexible cultural behavior for introducing more comfort in the experiments. There would be higher levels of interaction between the two groups developed in the experiment. They would be provided with many opportunities to perform and establish their behavior and beliefs through learning.
This kind of experiment and study can be conducted in UAE, too. However, there is a very rare requirement of conducting such an experiment in the Arab society as it has welcomed cultures and people from all across the world to establish and develop their lives in UAE. There are few issues like considering the Arab population as superior, which are observed in the society. These issues are relevant in few UAE origin companies, where, more incentives and perks are given to the local employees as compared to the foreign employees (Behery & Paton, 2008). But, considering the larger interests of the society, UAE does not permit and allow such racism which would hurt the feelings and sentiments of different cultures.
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Ely, R. J., & Thomas, D. A. (2001). Cultural diversity at work: The effects of diversity perspectives on work group processes and outcomes. Administrative science quarterly, 46(2),, 229-273.
Infinito, J. (2003). Jane Elliot meets Foucault: The formation of ethical identities in the classroom. . Journal of Moral Education, 32(1), , 67-76.
Newstrom, J. W., & Davis, K. (1986). Human behavior at work. . New York. : McGraw-Hill.
Pendry, L. F., Driscoll, D. M., & Field, S. C. (2007). Diversity training: Putting theory into practice. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 80(1), , 27-50.
Peters, W., Beutel, B., & Elliott, J. (2011). The eye of the storm. . ABC News Productions.
Sue, D. W., Arredondo, P., & McDavis, R. J. (1992). Multicultural counseling competencies and standards: A call to the profession. Journal of Counseling and Development, 70(4),, 477-486.