Free Essay


In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By fjayfjay11
Words 763
Pages 4
Deindividuation refers to when people when part of a relatively anonymous group lose their personal identity and henc their inhibitions about violence. Deindividuation has been used to explain of the collective behavior of violent crowds, social atrocities such as genocide.
Deindividuation is a state that is categorized by the loss of a sense of individual identity. It involves a loss of public self-awareness and private self- awareness. This loss os self-awarness can lead to increased aggression as it minimizes concerns about evaluation by others and about your own moral standards thus weakening the normal barriers to aggression to antisocial behavior based on guilt and shame . Deindividuation can be caused by being anonymous (therefore unaccountable), for example in a crowd or when wearing a mark. Anonymity can dimish awareness of your own individuality, instead being merely part of a large group. Deindividuation can also be caused by an altered consciousness due to drugs or alcholol . Zimbardo conveys same conditions may lead to an increase in prosocial behavior such as in religious gatherings.
Research by Mullen shows the effects of faceless crowds leading to individuation. whereby the anaylisis of newspaper cutting, lynchings in the US between 1988-1949 showed that the more people in a mob, the greater the savaergy with which they killed their victims. Whereas Zimbardos research carried out series of experiements that lead to the development of individuation theory. Which led to the suggestion of anonymity being a key componenemt of deinidividuatuon process increasing aggression. Rehm investigated if wearing uniform when part of a sports team increases aggressiveness. German children being randomly assigned in either a group wearing unform with an orange shirt or no uniform (plain clothes). Findings showed those whom wore orange shirts played more aggresivly then those whom didn’t wear an orange shirt indicating that anonymity increases aggression. However Prince-Dunn research offers an alternative explanation of zimbardos conclution conveying that deindividuation is based around a lowered self awareness rather then anonymity. By being self-focused they will focus on internal attitudes, morals , reducing antisocial behavior. In a group a person man lose focus becoming less self-aware and less able to regulate their behavior.
The role of deindividuation is supported by Zimbardo et al , who stimulated a prison with participants being randomly assigned with a guard or prisoner role. The guards- who were deindividuated by their uniforms and dark sunglasses became aggressive towards the prisoners. This shows that anonymity can lead to aggression, thus supporting deindividuation theory that anonymity increase the level of aggresion. However this study is widely considered to be unethical due to the physical and psychological pain inflicted upon the participants whom were assigned as prisoners. The study also has a low population validity as only young male Americans students were tested. The results should therefore only gentrlised to toher people with extreme caution if at all, However a methodological critism of this study is that it lacks ecological validity , population validity. The study was conducted in a laboratory where only female undergrads were used. Therefore the findings of this study cannot be this sample critieria. On the other hand , the laboratory setting enabled them to control extraneous variable which presents the experiment externally valid.
Furthermore the Deindividuation theory is argued to be reductionist which is a strength in the sense that it reduces the factors of deindividuation to operationlised variables such as anonymity and the level of aggression with thtese we can generate testable hypothesis for further research.
Research evidence supports the idea that larage crowds can lead to increase aggression. Mullen conducated a content analysis of newspaper reports of lynchings in the US and found that larger crowds usually resulted in more savage killings, supporting deindiciduation theory. However, lacks historic validity as it may only apply to a very specific time in the US history.
Research by Mann is used deindividuation concept to explain a bizarre aspect of collective behaviour ‘ the bating crowd’ . Man analysed 211 suicide leaps reported in US newspapers in 1960 and 1970’s. Findings showed 10 in 21 cases where crowd gathered to watch baiting occurred. These incidents tend to occur at night in large crowds. Such features were likely to produce a state of deindiviuation in the members of crowd.

Research evidence supports the idea that large crowds can lead to increased aggression. Mullen conducted a content analysis of newspaper reports of lynchings in the US and found that larger crowds usually resulted in more savage killings, supporting deindividuation theory. However, lacks historic validity as it may only apply to a very specific time in US history…...

Similar Documents

Free Essay


...There are many psychological terms that can explain different influences for behavior. For instance, deindividuation in a group setting can influence behavior. Joining a cult or a gang can change one’s behavior entirely, taking away their entire sense of individual identity and get lost within the group. Social loafing within a group can be problematic and negatively influence a person’s behavior. If a group of students are working together on a project, the students will put less effort in individually to reach the collective goal because they know that that they can shrug off some of the responsibilities because others will pick up the slack. The door-in-the-face phenomenon is a common tactic for someone to use to get something that they would want. This phenomenon enables even the most honest person to deceive someone into giving in to their wishes or demands. If I wanted money from my mom to go to the mall and I was using the door-in-the-face phenomenon I would first ask her for $100, knowing she would say no. Then I would make a second request, only for $25, knowing that she would find the second request more reasonable, and more likely give in to my request, and I would get the money for the mall. Social facilitation can either have a positive or negative effect on behavior. If Genna is the top swimmer on the swim team, she is more likely to swim even better when she has an audience. But on the other hand, Genna is not a strong volleyball player, and she only......

Words: 706 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Deindividuation and Attribution Theory

...Deindividuation and Attribution Theory Southern Illinois University Carbondale Deindividuation and Attribution Theory Theory One of social psychology theories that describe human behaviors is attribution theory. Attribution theory is the theory of how individuals explain others’ behaviors (Myers, 2008). Deindividuation is the situation where anti-normative behavior is released in groups in which individuals are not recognized as individuals (Festinger, 1952). Many people are a part of this deindividuation process and don’t even realize it. Many people fall into deindividuation because they don’t want to ridiculed or be consider an outcast. Something that is an example of deindividuation is a cult. In a cult people are no longer an individual and there is no uniqueness to them. They become just like everyone else in the group. Another example of this is a fraternity or sorority. They go from being an individual person to becoming a part of a group where they are considered one big group versus being their own person. Being in the military is also an example of deindividuation. They are to fight and defend themselves against anyone who is considered a threat. They also have a uniformed look. Everyone has to go through training and every guy has to shave his hair. Social Issue Deindividuation can be both desirable and undesirable depending on the circumstances (Spivey & Prentice-Dunn,......

Words: 773 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Describe and Evaluate Social Explanations for Aggression

...Describe and evaluate social explanations for aggression (16 + 8 marks) There are a number of different theories which offer explanations for aggression. These include social psychological explanations and biological explanations. Some of the social explanations are social learning theory and deindividuation. Social learning theory was developed by Albert Bandura and is based on the behaviourist approach that our aggressive behaviour is learnt. He proposed that it is similar to operant conditioning where learning takes place due to observation and imitation. H explains that modelling has an influential role on the manner of the aggression, as if role models are seen t be aggressive this encourages those who observe them to exert similar behaviour. He also explains that vicarious learning takes place which is indirect rewarding of behaviour. AN example of this would include a child observing another child hitting someone in order to get the toy they desired. A number of factors influence the aggression levels learnt and shown in individuals, one of which is self-efficacy. This refers to the ability to perform the aggressive act, thus we are only likely to be aggressive if it is likely that we will succeed! Other characteristics of models influence whether someone will imitate behaviour, as if they have high power and status or are similar to he individual then this is likely to increase imitation. Therefore violence in the media is an increasing problem in the world......

Words: 1331 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

How Should I Live

...your behalf” (Zimbardo 2007, 5). Throughout history, we have seen multiple examples of evil acts; from the Rwandan Genocide to Abu Ghraib to the actions of a high school bully. When developing a plan for executing a lifestyle modeling that of an altruist, I am constantly brought back to a few examples of behavior that I need to avoid. One of my main priorities will be to avoid group behaviors and resist conforming to group norms. It has become apparent that most people, me included, are guilty of being judgmental of people who are different. Even more commonly, humans are inherently guilty of acting immorally when variables of a group are factored into the equation. Another goal for leading an altruistic lifestyle will be to avoid deindividuation. Although each person carries a unique personality, occasionally, it is lost when we become members of a group. Sometimes, when one joins a group, they take on the ideals and views of the group rather than keep their own values (Zimbardo 2007, 299). Being a part of a group raises anonymity, and thus increases the chances that a person will do something they would not normally do. Consider Halloween: Halloween is usually seen as a fun holiday where children can dress up and eat lots of candy. The chilling reality, however, is that aggression and violence is increased on Halloween. Why? Wearing a mask or makeup hides one’s identity. Once one has lost their identity, the world is their oyster- they can do anything because it is not......

Words: 2681 - Pages: 11

Premium Essay


...and social as well as institutional support. The results indicate that environmental factors have a significant affect on behavior. In addition to environmental factors, Zimbardo attributesmany of the "guards'" actions to deindividuation afforded by the authority position and even the anonymity of the uniforms. The Abu Ghraib prison scandal has been interpreted based on the results of this study suggesting that deindividuation may also have impacted the guards' behavior in that situation.  Factors Associated with Obedience After running these experiments,  Milgram and Zimbardo concluded that the following factors affect obedience: • Proximity to the authority figure: the closer the authority figure was, the more obedience was demonstrated • Prestige of the experimenter: something as simple as wearing a lab coat or not wearing a lab coat affected levels of obedience; authority figures with more prestige elicited more obedience; both researchers further suggested that the prestige associated with Yale and Stanford respectively may have influenced obedience • Expertise: a subject who has neither the ability nor expertise to make decisions, especially in a crisis, will leave decision making to the group and its hierarchy • Deindividuation: the essence of obedience consists in the fact a person comes to view themselves, not as an individual, but as an instrument for carrying out another's wishes and no longer see themselves as responsible for their......

Words: 1700 - Pages: 7

Free Essay


... As a result of the action taken by the president, pro democrats who urged the ties to the EU protested in Independence Square of Kiev, while authorities attempted to suppress them. As the conflict intensified with no solution being brought to the table, aggressive pro democrat protests resulted in a clash with authorities in independence square on February 19th . Surrounding buildings were set on fire, rocks were thrown at riot police, and activists were being shot dead. The fighting between the mostly masked activists and government forces resulted in 21 total deaths. The formation of pro democratic activist groups and actions taken by them and authorities can be categorized with the situational attribution theory, conflict, and deindividuation. On a psychological understanding, “Conflict” is the major theme in this current event. Conflict is the result of disagreement and opposition of ideals, beliefs, or actions. In Kiev, Ukraine, this conflict arose when President Yanukovych denied a trade pact presented by the European Union for Ukraine, which could have potentially built ties with the democratic European Union and influence the Ukrainian governments political views. But the decision by the president angered citizens of Ukraine, who heavily opposed neglecting democratic ties for their country. Citizens wanted to adapt western democratic ideas into their environment and government. This created conflict between the citizens and authorities, with each of the groups......

Words: 893 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Evaluate Explanations of Group Display of Aggression (16 Marks)

...their ingroup. It is therefore not predictive, and is little use in aiding the stop of hooliganism. It ignores social factors and interactions, unlike the theory of deindividuation. This theory states that when an individual becomes submerged in a group they are less identifiable, and this leads to less inhibited behaviour. Therefore the normal constraints that restrict aggressive behaviour are lost in a crowd. Things that reduce personal identity and create anonymity e.g uniforms are often worn, this creates the illusion of the diffusion of reasonability and causes people to act in an agentic state. Public and private self-awareness are reduced. An example of this is the KKK, who are a pro-white militant group who are notorious for their racist, aggressive group behaviour. A study by Silke found that 206 out of 500 offenders wore masks and or disguises. These offenders committed more grievous crimes than those who didn’t. This is support for the deindividuation theory. Deindividuation ignores social factors. E.g the KKK members have been brought up to be pro-white. Silkes study took place in Ireland, when violence was common due to the IRA, and the use of masks/disguises could have been greatly exaggerated. The offenders could have committed these acts in small groups or on their own, thus meaning that deindividuation is not a substantial factor....

Words: 791 - Pages: 4

Free Essay


...strangers it is not like normal modelling that takes place within the family. The behavior witnessed during the Bobo doll experiment was only a snap shot but no research was taken to test the long term effects caused by this exposure, the research itself is therefore unethical. Bandura did believe that aggression reinforced by family members proved to be the most prominent source of modelling. Although there are a number of factors that influence imitative behaviour, the most important being the gender of the role model. Boys are more likely to imitate the behaviour of their fathers and girls that of their mothers. A strength of this study would be the useful applications that can be applied towards other social and cultural settings. Deindividuation as defined by Festinger is a state of affairs in a group where members do not pay attention to other individuals and each member does not feel as though they are being singled out by each other. As they are in a group they fail to see the consequences of their actions, they now have a group identity and have a new found confidence. Zimbardo carried out research on anonymity. Female students who wore lab coats and hoods to cover their faces gave twice as much electric shock as participants who wore their own clothes and large name badges. The hood acts as a buffer and hides the student’s identity; this makes them feel less guilty when providing shocks. Another study carried out by Zimbardo et al is the prison experiment in......

Words: 1206 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Deindividuation as Explanation of Aggression

...Deindividuation is a social psychological explanation of aggression it is the process whereby people lose their sense of socialised individual identity making them more likely to engage in behaviour that is deemed antisocial. Zimbardo suggested that deindividuation is due to anonymity, reduced responsibility, increased arousal, sensory overload and altered consciousness due to drugs and alcohol. Individuals become deindividuated when anonymous because there is less awareness of their individuality, which makes them seem almost faceless when they are merged with a large group of people or when wearing a mask. They can also be deindividuated in times of increased arousal and sensory overload this can happen when in crowds where it is loud and packed especially if people are getting intoxicated by drugs and alcohol. Likewise in large groups an individual may act violent due to the responsibility not being completely on them. By being masked, in uniforms, groups, in the dark etc. can influence deindividuation Prentice – Dunn and Rodger suggest that an individual loses different types of self-awareness in a group. Not concerning about the impression you have to the people around you leads to less public self-awareness and losing concerns you have for own standards and morals leads to less private self-awareness. The loss of private self-awareness that leads to increased anti-social behaviour. Furthermore, Festinger et al suggested that when an individual is submerged in a......

Words: 1124 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay


...findings suggest how managers should organize workers. D. Deindividuation: Getting Lost in the Crowd • Deindividuation is the feeling of anonymity and reduced sense of ourselves as individuals that can occur when people are in groups and/or anonymous; it leads to a loosening of normal constraints on behavior and an increase in impulsive and deviant acts. • Mullen (1986) content analyzed news reports of lynchings in the U.S. from 1899-1946 and found that the larger the mob, the greater the savagery with which they killed their victims. Similarly Watson (1973) found that cultures in which warriors hid their identities before going to fight were significantly more likely to kill, torture, or mutilate captives than cultures in which warriors did not hide their identities. 1. Deindividuation Makes People Feel Less Accountable • One cause of this is an increase in impulsive, deviant behavior making people feel less accountable for their actions because it is less likely that any individual will be singled out and blamed • The scene of To Kill a Mockingbird of a mob is an example of deindividuation. When Scout recognizes one of the men and speaks to him, thus breaking the deindividuation, his behavior changes, and he breaks up the mob. 2. Deindividuation Increases Obedience to Group Norms • Another explanation of deindividuation is that it increases obedience to group norms. Whether or not deindividuation leads to positive or negative behavior depends on what......

Words: 3454 - Pages: 14

Premium Essay

What Is Social Facilitation?, so we are not dealing with a unitary phenomenon. So why do these ‘elusive’ and ‘finicky’ (Guerin, 1993, p.1) effects matter? This question will be addressed both with regard to the position of SF vis-à-vis other psychological fields of interest, and its potential everyday application. As a basic constituent of human social influence, it is arguable that social facilitation effects can be regarded as the ‘bottom layer’ of social behaviour (Williams & Harkins, 1979). However, it tends to occupy a sub-field position outside the more integrated theoretical framework of interactive social behaviours, namely deindividuation and social loafing. These phenomena also observe facilitation and inhibition effects in different social settings and share common variables of evaluation potential, task difficulty and presence of others. Deindividuation, aside from anonymity and measured in terms of anti-normative behaviour rather than task performance, can be similar to SF situations. With social loafing situations, task performance is pooled, therefore individual evaluation potential is reduced. Hence, it may be plausible that with a more integrated approach, SF theory can be aligned with these other areas of social psychology as part of a wider social presence effect continuum (Paulus, 1983, Guerin, 1999, Williams & Harkins, 1979). Certainly, there is an increasing concern, amongst researchers, to move away from analysing performance purely in terms of task......

Words: 2038 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

Discuss Evolutionary Explanations of Group Displays of Aggression in Humans

...male more attractive to potential female mates. The evolutionary explanation of group displays of aggression can also be criticised as it fails to take into account other factors which may be a cause of the group displays of aggression. Social psychological influences would help to explain how and why group aggression occurs through a psychological rather than evolutionary manner, yet are ignored. It is perfectly plausible that group displays of aggression are a result of the observation and imitation of such behaviours from a role model or as a result of deindividuation which is brought on by being in a large group. Deindividuation theory is a logical explanation for group displays of aggression as it states that individuals in a large group are less likely to be identified and therefore more likely to behave in ways which they would not ordinarily, e.g. aggressively. Neither social learning theory nor deindividuation theories are taken into account within the evolutionary theory and this thus weakens the theory’s overall application and effectiveness. In addition to the criticisms identified above, determinism is a key criticism of the evolutionary explanation of group displays of aggression as it takes the view that humans have evolved to behave in aggressive ways and that this will be seen in all groups; it assumes human group displays of aggression are determined by our need to survive, gain resources and reproduce. Underestimating the role of free-will in......

Words: 1442 - Pages: 6

Free Essay


...Summary Deindividuation account is the earliest major social psychological theories of aggression. Le Bon (1895), a French social psychologist and sociologist was the first to recognise how an individual’s behaviour changes when s/he is part of a crowd. The most important factor is anonymity. The more anonymous the crowd, the greater the threat of extreme action. A ‘collective mindset’ takes over and the crowd acts as one unit. The individual becomes part of the crowd and loses self control. ‘Deindividuation’ was defined by Festinger et al. (1952) as a state of affairs in a group where members don’t pay attention to other individuals as individuals and, correspondingly, the members don’t feel they’re being singled out by others. According to Festinger et al., individuals merge to the group, forego individuality and become anonymous when belonging to a group. Anonymity is the start of the process that leads to uncharacteristic behaviour in the individual. Being in a group causes the individual to be less bothered about the consequences of their actions. Zimbardo (1969) argued that there is more to deindividuation than just anonymity in a group or crowd. Diener et al. (1976) conducted an experiment involving over 700 Halloween trick-or-treaters visiting local houses in their Halloween costumes. Friends of the researchers put out bowls of sweets or coins that were labelled “TAKE ONE”. There were two conditions, the non-anonymous condition and the anonymous condition.......

Words: 957 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Outline and Evaluate Deindividuation Theory as an Explanation of Aggression (12 Marker)

...Deindividuation is the process whereby people lose their sense of individual identity and engage in unsociable, often antisocial behavior. Anonymity is a key concept, where people are likely to behave aggressively because of the loss of sense of individuality. Deiner stated it occurs when; self-awareness is blocked by environmental factors, there is a reduced need for social approval, there is a reduction in rational thinking and a decrease in inhibition. This suggests that collective behavior of violent crowds, mindless hooligans and social atrocities such as genocide can be explained by the deindividuation theory. To a large extent, deindividuation theory is based on the classic crowd theory of Le Bon (1895), were he recognized how behavior changed in a crowded situation. Le Bon suggested that a collective mind-set takes over and people start to act as one, as individual submerge and lose self-control. This suggests that the individual reduces its own morals and takes aboard morals of the group. Zimbardo further developed this idea, by emphasizing the importance of anonymity, as the release from internal restrains, produces emotional, impulsive and irrational behavior. Zimbardo supported his argument by carrying out an experiment on groups of four female undergraduates, where they were required to deliver electric shocks to another student to ‘aid learning’. Half of the ps wore hoods over there face and were never referred to by name, whereas the other half wore normal......

Words: 1029 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Psyc 201 Final Exam

...technique C.implicit assocation test D.foot in the door technique Question 16 of 35 8.58 Points The theory that best states that we adopt certain attitudes in order to justify our past actions is________ theory. A.cognitive dissonance B.self presentation C.psychology reactance D.self reliance Question 17 of 35 8.58 Points The concept of romantic love is present A.only in individualistic societies B.only in affluent societies C.only in cultures in which there are clear differences in gender roles most cultures Question 18 of 35 8.58 Points The difference between deindividuation and groupthink can best be described as A.Deindividuation is a psychological state; groupthink is impaired group decision making B.Both involve an attempt to blend in with the crowd C.Groupthink is when a group's initial average position becomes more extreme following group interaction; deindividuation is the opposite D.Diffusion of responsibility is part of both of these processes Question 19 of 35 8.58 Points Our desire to return a favor is best explained in terms of the... A.complementary hypothesis B.reciprocity norm C.mere-exposure effect Question 20 of 35 8.58 Points The finding that people pair of with others who are equally as attractive is known as A.the matching phenomenon B.complementarity C.the reciprocity effect D.Gause's law Question 21 of 35 8.58 Points Shared goals that necessitate cooperative effort are said to......

Words: 1186 - Pages: 5