Deindividuation Essay Plan

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  • Created by: Laura B
  • Created on: 02-06-15 16:15

Deindividuation Basic Premise + Definitions

What is the Basic Premise of Deindividuation?

This is a process where people lose their sense of identity and engage in anti-social behavior 

What is Individuation?

This is where people feel under scrutiny and are more likely to act in a socially acceptable way

What is Meant by Public Deindividuation?

This is where an individual becomes anonymous and therefore becomes less likely to comply to social norms 

What is Meant by Private Deindividualisation?

This is where an individual acts on primitive urges and loses sense of morals 

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Zimbardo's study into deindividuation (AO1)

  • Conveyed a LAB EXPERIMENT on women and put them into groups of 4.
  • The groups were then split into 2 conditions.
  • The first group were the individualised condition and these wore their normal clothes.
  • The second condition were the deindividualised and wore lab coats with their faces 
  • They found p's in the first condition shiocked for twice as long as the p's in the second condition
  • This suggest that when self-awareness is reduced people are more likely to enagage in agg behaviour 


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  • Criticed Zimbardo's study as they suggested his research had overlooked the importance of already established group norm expectancies 
  • To support this they repeated Zimbardo's experiment
  • However, in this case p's in condition 1 were asked to wear uniforms similar to the Klu Klux Klan
  • In condition two they were asked to wear nurses uniforms 
  • They found p's in condition 1 shocked more than p's in condition 2
  • Therefore, even though we can still assume that deindividualisation may affect agg, instead we can suggest that groupnorm exepectancies are more important in influencing agg 
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  • Research has suggested that there may be gender differences in deindividuation 
  • It's believed men and women act differantly under conditions of anonymity 
  • Increased levels of agg were found more in men than women under these circumstances 
  • Therefore, suggesting that gender differences can also effect agg
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  • Analysed 60 newspaper reporting on lynching incidents, taken from the first half of the 20th Century 
  • They found alongside the bating crowd, the larger the crowd the more deindividuation occured which often resulted in victums getting killed 
  • This supports that lose of public self awareness can encourage levels of agg 


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  • Looked at 21 US sucide jumps 
  • In 10 of these cases there was a presence of a bating crowd, encouraging the jumper to jump
  • These usally occured at night and in large crowds 
  • We can therefore assume that these factors further promote deindividuation which can lead to heightened agg
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  • Looked at warriors who changed their apperance when they had to injure their victums in war
  • They found a link between these factos and suggested that that change did influence how warriors treated their victums 
  • Suggesting apperance change can ledto deindividuation which can heighten agg 
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  • Looked at the link between anonmity and agg in violent assualts that had taken place in N.Ireland over 30months 
  • They found out 500 assualts, 206 were carried out by anonymous individuals who wore masks 
  • They also found there was a postive correlation between disguise and agg and found that disguised offenders were more likely to cause serious injuries on their victums
  • Suggesting that heightened agg can be a result of lose of individualisation 
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