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Based LeBon theory that an individual is transformed in a crowd.
The combination of anonymity, suggestibility and contagion means that the
`collective mind' takes over the person. They lose selfcontrol and often go
against their personal/social norms.
It is a psychological state it leads to lowered selfevaluation and
decreased concerns of others evaluating them.
This state is aroused in a large crowd. Zimbardo said a crowd can
diminish awareness of own individuality. In a large group the greater the
anonymity (each person is faceless).
Factors that contribute to the state drugs & alcohol + anonymity.
The focus of this theory is on antisocial behaviour.
Mullen 60 lynching's in US. 18991946. The more in the crowd the
greater the savagery.
Zimbardo Groups of 4 female undergraduates. ½ had lab coats with a
hood to cover face and were never referred to by name they were
addressed as a group. ½ had normal clothing with large name tag and
were given instructions individually. Required to gives shocks to another
student to `aid learning'. 1st group shocked for twice as long.
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Rehm German children playing handball. Those wearing orange
uniform compared to normal clothes played more aggressively.
Pottes & Spears 60 studies saying insufficient support. Disinhibition and
behaviour not common in large groups. No evidence to show that the person
gets lowered selfesteem etc.
Reductionist theory fails to take biology as a factor in to
consideration. The diathesis stress model would be better.
Gender aggression was only obtained in all male groups so theory
cannot be generalised to women (Cannavale).…read more