Deindividuation Theory Evaluation

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  • Created by: HarveyMac
  • Created on: 29-03-15 12:45
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  • Deindividuatio Theory Evaluation
    • German school children randomly assigned to handball teams of 5.
      • The teams wither wore their own cloths or orange shirts.
        • The children wearing orange shirts, who were harder to tell apart, played the game consistently more violently than the other children.
          • Supports because the children who felt more anonymous played more aggressively.
          • High ecological validity as children in their own environment and therefore likely to be displaying natural behaviour.
    • Real world e.g. is the idea of the 'baiting crowd' i.e. encouraging or provoking.
      • Analysed 21 suicide jumps reported in US newspapers in the 1960's-70's.
        • Found that in 10 of the 21 cases where a crowd had gathered to watch, baiting has occurred.
          • These incidents tended to occur at night, when the crowd was large and some distance from the person being taunted.
            • Supports because when people were more anonymous more baiting occurred.
      • Real life application
    • Groups of 4 female undergrads instructed to deliver electric shocks to another student to aid learning.
      • One group wore bulky lab coats, hoods that hid their faces, sat in separate cubicles and were never referred to by name.
        • Other group wore own clothes, given large name tags, were introduced by name and could see each other seated at the shock machines.
          • P's in the deindividuate condition shocked for twice as long as the other condition.
            • Supports as the person who was anonymous and had their identity hidden shocked for twice as long.
      • Lab study so good control over EV's.  Means that IV is most likely affecting DV.
      • Poor population validity as small sample size and all female undergrads.
    • Found that if prosocial cues were present, deindividuate p's performed slightly more altruistic acts, and fewer antisocial acts compared to a control group.
      • As this theory does not explain all behaviour i.e. it does not explain the effects of deindividuatio on prosocial behaviour, it is not a full explanation of human behaviour.
    • Repetition of electric shock study, other than the dress.
      • The p's in the masked condition were either dressed as a Ku Klux Klan member, or in a nurses uniform.
        • When they were dressed as a KKK member they shocked more than a control group, but when dressed as a nurse they shocked less than a control group.
          • So maybe people are not deindividuate by uniform, but instead respond to social cues of context - nurses suggest kindness whereas KKK suggests violence.
      • Again a lab study so has high control of variables but poor ecological validity.


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