Social psychological explanation: De-individuation

  • Created by: EloiseMay
  • Created on: 23-03-18 20:15


Crowd behaviour: Originally used by Le Bon. When we are in a crowd we are less restrained by and have more disregard for social norms as we have less self-identity and responsibility for behaviour. Responsibility is shared so less personal guilt is felt from harmful aggression.

How does de-individuation lead to aggression: Zimbardo states that in an individuated state our behaviour is rational and normative, but in a de-individuated state we lose self-awareness, monitor our behaviour less, ignore social norms and fail to form longer-term plans. Darkness, drugs, uniform, disguises are conditions of de-individuation that can cause aggression. Dixon states that anonymity shapes crowd behaviour. We fear less for retribution as we are like undentifiable. Anonymity means less opportunities for others to judge us negatively.

Role of self-awareness: Prentice-Dunn and Rogers say that the above isn't directly caused by anonymity but the consequences of anonymity. Private self-awareness (paying attention to our thoughts and feelings) is reduced when we are in a crowd as we focus on the events around us. We become less self-critical and less evaluation, so we adopt a de-individuated state. Whereas, public self-awareness refers to how we care about how others see our behaviour which is also reduced when in a crowed - we become less acocountable for our aggression.

Research: Dodd…


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