Aggression (deindividuation) AQA A2 Psychology

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Define de-individuation
The loss of personal identity or responsibility as a result of being in a crowd of people, wearing a uniform, being in darkness or an altered state.
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How does deindividuation lead to aggression?
There is a blocking of self awareness (people lose their ability to self regulate their control) which can lead to aggressive behaviour
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Explain Zimbardo's theory
He argued individual behaviour is rational and conforms to accepted social standards. But deindividuated behaviour is based on primitive urges and doesnt conform to norms.
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According to this, why do people become de-individuated?
Anonymity: due to darkness, wearing a uniform etc reduces our fear of negative evaluations and our sense of guilt.
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What did Prentice-Dunn and Rogers (1989) argue?
That deindividuation occurs due to public or private self awareness
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What is public self awareness?
The individuals sense of being visible to OTHERS. Being in a crowd/darkness makes the individual less visible and less likely to be identified. Feel a greater chance of 'getting away' with punishable behaviour.
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What is private self awareness?
The individuals own sense of self awareness (inner thoughts, feelings etc). When immersed in a crowd people tend to focus attention on what is going on around them rather than themselves. This results in more impulsive, irrational behaviour.
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Which IDA point would you use here?
Ethics- to investigate the theory we may have to alter peoples states of mind (alcohol, shocks etc). Participants are having to be decieved, wouldnt have given informed consent and may be at risk of harm.This makes it unethical/lacking in credibility
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Name a study linked to de-individuation
Zimbaro (1969)
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Briefly explain the method
Females asked to deliver shocks to woman as pat of a 'learning experiment'.One group wore hoods, covered faces and were never called by their name. Other group wore normal clothes, had name tags etc.
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What was found?
Shocks delivered by the hooded group were twice as severe as those given by the non-hooded group.
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ground this study to de-individuation
Supports the theory as when pariticpants felt anonymous the showed more aggressive, impulsive behaviour compared to those who still felt their identity was intact.
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Name another study linked to de-individuation.
Prentice-Dunn and Rogers (1982)
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Briefly explain the method
One group placed in a dimly lit room with loud rock music and told to focus attention 'outward' playing video games. The other group were placed in a well lit room and performed indivudual tasks/non-arousing games.
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What was found?
When attention was focused outward, higher levels of aggression were obtained.
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Ground this study to de-individuation
Supports the theory as it shows attention focused outward as well as the feeling on anonymity making them more aggressive as they may feel a lack of control/personal responsibility which leads to irrationality.
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Comment on the validity of the theory
Zimbardos study is oestrocentric (lacking in external validity), individual differences may have played a role, other factors may play a role such as biology, upbringing etc.
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Is it possible to study de-individuation in an ethical way?
Not really as in order to get realistic results participants cant be aware they are being studied which goes against the ethical guidelines.
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Card 2

Front

How does deindividuation lead to aggression?

Back

There is a blocking of self awareness (people lose their ability to self regulate their control) which can lead to aggressive behaviour

Card 3

Front

Explain Zimbardo's theory

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

According to this, why do people become de-individuated?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What did Prentice-Dunn and Rogers (1989) argue?

Back

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