ERIC Number: ED209568
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Cooperation, Competition, and the Structure of Student Cliques.
Hansell, Stephen; And Others
Research indicates substantial evidence that, compared with competition, cooperation increases mutual friendliness and contact between individuals. The effects of cooperative and competitive experiences on the structure of student cliques in the classroom were examined. Seven classrooms of fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade students (N=117) were randomly assigned to cooperative group learning, competitive group learning, or control learning treatments for a six-week program. Following the program, student relationships were measured using two sociometric questions. Students also completed the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children and the Social Behavior Scale. Results showed that cooperative groups decreased the average clique size, while competitive experiences enlarged pre-existing cliques. Both treatments increased mean student prestige, increased the tendencies of students to occupy broker network roles, and reduced isolate network roles. The results suggest that the increased opportunities for student interaction in the classroom provided by both group treatments increase relationships among individuals, but that cooperative and competitive goal structures have opposite effects on peer clique structures. (Author/NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, MD. Center for Social Organization of Schools.