Tonight's show kicks off a week of programming on TVO on the theme of "Belonging".
Belonging to what?
Well... To social groups... To cultural groups... To subcultural groups... To all manner of groupings in which individual people find themselves.
To kick things off, we are going to the source and inviting three experts who research and write about the subject of individuals in groups. Our guests tonight are all social psychologists. In a previous life as an undergrad, I used to work in the laboratory of one of tonight's guests: Donald Taylor of McGill University. I even got my name on one of the studies conducted in said lab.
If Dr. Taylor is only half as captivating a speaker tonight on the show as he was when I attended his lectures way back when, viewers are in for a treat
A good part of the modern study of social psychology has its origins in the post-Second World War era, as social scientists attempted to come to terms with - and understand the psychology behind - the brutal horrors of Nazism.
For some background reading on the subject of social psychology, here are online descriptions of some of the most famous and influential social psych experiments of the post-War era:
Solomon Asch's 1951 study of conformity
Stanley Milgram's 1963 experiment on obedience to authority
Henri Tajfel's 1971 theory of minimal group identity
and Philip Zimbardo's famous 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment