Robbers Cave实验经常被用来说明现实冲突理论（也称为现实群体冲突理论），即群体冲突可能源于对资源的竞争（无论这些资源是有形的还是无形的）。 尤其是，假设冲突发生在团体认为他们所争夺的资源供应有限时。 例如，在强盗洞穴中，男孩们正在争夺奖品，奖杯和吹牛的权利。 由于本次比赛的举办方式使两支球队都无法获胜，因此现实的冲突理论认为这场比赛导致了老鹰队和拉特勒斯队之间的冲突。 然而，“强盗洞穴”研究还表明，在缺乏资源竞争的情况下可能会发生冲突，因为男孩们甚至在研究人员介绍比赛之前就开始对另一组说负面话。
Robbers Cave experiments are often used to illustrate the theory of real conflict (also known as the theory of real group conflict), that is, group conflict may originate from competition for resources (whether these resources are tangible or intangible). In particular, suppose that conflicts occur when groups believe that the resources they are competing for are limited. For example, in the robber cave, boys are fighting for prizes, trophies and bragging rights. Because this game is held in a way that makes both teams unable to win, realistic conflict theory suggests that this game led to a conflict between the Eagles and the Butlers. However, the “Bandit’s Cave” study also showed that conflicts could occur in the absence of competition for resources, as the boys started speaking negatively to another group even before researchers introduced the game.