Psychology: Aggression - Deindividuation

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  • Created by: aliyah007
  • Created on: 08-06-16 10:15
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  • Aggression - De-individuation
    • Psychological state where an individual loses their identity when placed in a group situation. Explains why civilised individuals can become aggressive when in a crowd. E.g football teams
    • LeBon proposed that this happens because being in a group provides anonymity
      • Anonymity difuses personal responsibility. Allows impulsive, irrational behaviour
    • Thought to cause:
      • 1) A reduced need for social approval
      • 2) A reduction in rational thinking
      • 3) Reduced inhibitions
      • Untitled
    • Some factors are thought to influence the likelihood of deindividuation occurring: the size of the group or whether individuals are wearing items which makes it difficult to identify them
    • Zimbardo
      • divided women into 2 groups. 1 in lab coats and hoods and addressed as a group, others wore their usual clothes with name badges on & given instructions individually + introduced to each other by names
        • gender biased
      • Similar to Milgram's study but with women
        • Had to administer shocks, those in lab coats and hoods shocked victims for  twice as long
    • Watson
      • Looked at practises of warriors of 23 different tribes. 15/23 changed their appearance before entering the battle. Those who did not change their appearance were seen as the least aggressive whereas those who changed their appearance were described as being more destructive in killing/torturing their victims
    • Johnson & Downing
      • PPs made anonymous by either KKK hoods or nurses uniforms.
      • PPs shocked more when wearing hoods than nurses uniforms. PPs conformed to the behaviour expected by these groups.
    • Spears et al
      • meta-analysis on over 60 studies did not find deindividuationto have a significant influence on an individuals behaviour
    • Fails to explain pro-social behaviour
      • Studies similar to Zimbardo's were repeated with altruistic acts such as giving money. PPs were found to be significantly more pro-social when they were unidentifiable.


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