Social psychological explanations: Di-individuation

  • De-individuation applied to aggression:
  • AO1:
  • De-individuation refers to reduced sense of personal responsibilty:
  • Zimbardo argued behaviour is usually constrained ny socia norms - aggressive behaviour is usually discouraged. But when we become part of a crowd we lose restraint and may behave in emotional, impulsive and irrational ways - we become de-indiviuated and lose individual self-identity and responsibilty for our own behaviour. responsibility is shared throughout the crowd - we ignore social norms and experience less personal guilt at harmful aggression directed at others. 
  • Anonymity is a major condition of de-indiviuation:
  • Several conditions of de-individuation promote aggression (e.g. darkness, uniforms) - a major one is anonymity. We have less fear of retribution because we are unidentifiable in a crowd - the bigger the growd, the greater the anonymity.  Anonymity provides fewer opportunites for others to judge us negatively.
  • Anonymity reduces private self-awareness:
  • Prentice-Dunn and Rogers argue that anonymity reduces private self-awareness because our attention is focussed outwardly to the events around us. This means that we think less about our own beliefs and feelings - we are less self-critical and evauloative. 
  • Anonymity reduces public self-awareness:
  • Anonymity also reduces public self-awareness because we realise we are anonymous and out behavout is less likely to be judged by others. We no longer care how others see us - we become less accountable for our aggressive and destructive actions. 
  • Key study: Dodd. Student de-individuation:
  • Procedure: Dodd asked psychology students: 'if you could do anything humanly possible with complete assurance that you would nit be detected or held responsible, what would you


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