DeIndividuation Aggression A2 Psychology

Examples Essay, including pictures 

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Katie
  • Created on: 26-05-14 12:18
Preview of DeIndividuation Aggression A2 Psychology

First 419 words of the document:

DeIndividuation is a social psychological explanation of aggression. It is described as a
psychological state characterised by lowered self-evaluation and decreased concerns about
the opinions of others, which results in behaviours that violates social norms. The
psychological state is aroused when Individual join a crowd or a large group, and
factors that may contribute to this include anonymity and reduced consciousness.
The theory is based on Le Bon's theory who described that an individual is
transformed as part of a crowd and a collective mind takes possession,
therefore the individual loses self -control. People normally refrain from
acting aggressively because social norms inhibit such behaviours as they are
easily identifiable.
However, according to Zimbardo, being part of a crowd can diminish awareness of you
own individuality. The larger the group that an individual is, the greater the anonymity as
each person becomes faceless which minimises concerns about the evaluation of
others. There is also a diminished fear of negative evaluation of action which results in a
reduced sense of guilt.
A research study was done which led to the suggestion that anonymity increased
aggression. Zimbardo used 4 female under graduate students and required that they
deliver electric shocks to aid learning. Group 1 wore a lab coat, hoods, had no name tags and
were in separate cubicles, group 2 however were in normal clothes, names tags, were
introduced to each other and could see each other. The result showed that anonymity
increases aggressive behaviours as the anonymous group shocked twice as
long as group 2 who were Identifiable.
There is support provided for Zimbardo study, who conducted similar studies in relation to
uniform. Rehm investigated whether wearing a uniform when part of a sports team
would increase aggressive behaviour, so the study involved German students who were
assigned into one of two groups; one team wore normal clothes and the other team wore
the same orange shirts. The results showed that the team wearing orange played the
game more aggressively, showing the effects of being a part of group and forming a
collective mind.
But, there is methological flaw within Zimbardo's study, as it was conducted under lab
conditions, which would have been a controlled setting, so therefore this study lacks
ecological validity. Therefore it would be difficult to explain this aggression outside the

Other pages in this set

Page 2

Preview of page 2

Here's a taster:

An alternative explanation has been explored by Johnson and Downing
suggesting that deIndividuation may not be automatically increasing aggressive behaviour,
but rather that any behaviour could have been produced because of the product of the local
group norms. This theory was conducted using the same conditions as that of Zimbardo's
study, but participants were made anonymous by wearing outfits similar to the KKK, or a
nurse's uniform.…read more

Page 3

Preview of page 3


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all resources »