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Gustave Le Bons (1895) claimed that a crowd, when
combined with anonymity, suggestibility and
contagion, becomes of one mind.
Deindividuation is characterised by decreased self-
evaluation and lowered concerns over evaluation by
others, meaning that the person/group is uninhibited
by personal morals.
Zimbardo suggested that greater anonymity (such as
wearing uniforms) and an altered consciousness (due
to taking drugs or alcohol) can increase the effects of
Lynching may be made more likely through the
process of deindividuation. As Rothenberg (1998)
points out, however, although some lynchings took
place at night, where violence was obscured by
darkness, most occurred during the day. There are also
differences in crowd size- sometimes only two or three…read more

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Zimbardo (1969) used groups of four female students to
shock other students in a re-enactment of Milgram's
obedience studies.
In the first condition, the deindividuated condition,
participants wore lab coats and hoods, were never
referred to by name, and were addressed as a group
when given instructions.
In the individuated condition, participants were
introduced to each other, dressed normally and had
large name tags, and were given instructions
Those in the deindividuated group shocked for twice as
Diener et al. found that children wearing Halloween
costumes that hid their identity were more likely to
steal sweets/money than children who were identifiable.
Zimbardo's Stanford prison study also showed the
effect of deindividuation on aggressive behaviour.…read more

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Not all crowds perform antisocial behaviours-
deindividuation also increases the frequency
of prosocial behaviours.
Postmes and Speares (1998) concluded that
there is insufficient support for the theory,
due to a mixed result after a meta-analysis of
60 studies into deindividuation.
However, Watson (1973) studied warriors from
24 different cultures. Those who painted their
faces- became anonymous and
deindividuated- tended to take part in more
instances of murder, torture and mutilation.
The theory of deindividuation is
deterministic, stating that the presence of the…read more

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