Social Relations and Morale in Small Groups

By Eric F. Gardner; George G. Thompson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III
An Overview of the Research Program

The first period of our study was spent in developing the new social-relations scales. We then conducted two separate pilot studies (in an unorganized men's living center and in a local fraternity without national affiliation) in order to try out the social-relations scales and the experimental procedures for measuring morale-effectiveness.

As soon as we were confident of the reliability and practicality of our experimental procedures, we sought the cooperation of the faculty adviser of the thirty-four fraternities at Syracuse University, the dean of men, the assistant dean of men, the president of the Interftaternity Council, and several alumni. They kindly guided us in the selection of a sample of fraternities for the present study. We asked them (independently) to help us select fraternities nearly equal in size and physical resources. With their guidance we immediately eliminated the several fraternities without national affiliations, the sectarian fraternities, and the exceptionally large or small ones. These eliminations pretty well made our decision for us, since only twelve fraternities remained on the list. Three more were eliminated because of special or peculiar circumstances, leaving us with a final population of nine fraternities.

Our next step was to train nine of our Ph.D. candidates in psychology and measurement to collect the basic data. We were thus able to collect information from each of the fraternities over the same time interval. During the first year of the study the data collecting was begun the first of Decem-

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