Philip Zimbardo once said, “Treating other people as insignificant, as anonymous, as dehumanized, bothered me very much. So one of the things I studied later on was the psychology of deindividuation.” He soon proposed the idea of deindividuation to be a mental state in which a person is “less concerned with the future, with normal societal constraints on behavior, and with the consequence of their actions.” (Gilovich 2013) This state usually happens when one is absorbed in a large group. Zimbardo had done much research on studying the effects of deindividuation amongst people in groups. His results proved that when anonymous people feel isolated from others and had no regard to their actions. Additionally, this state is also active when one is not held to consequences of their actions. While in this state people are more likely to be involved in impulsive behaviors due to a lower threshold for exhibiting actions that are usually held back. (Gilovich 2013) There is also the idea that there is more incentive to act because of heightened arousal, and less of a restraint because of the weakened sense of responsibility.
This experiment is an extension of a study done by Dobbs, which examined if there was a difference between educated students and prison members when deindividuated from a situation. Using Dobbs method, this experiment explored the differences between male and female deindividuated participants. It is expected that both male and female participants when deindividuated will act in an antisocial manner. Meaning that participants will be “behavior as injuring others or depriving them of their rights.” However, it is also expected that in regards to response content males will gravitate towards criminal ac...
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... effect social circles and other groups have on individuals. It will also show the difference between males and females in these groups. There are also many other testable hypotheses that have been and should be made for deindividuation. For example Zimbardo’s two studies on the Ku Klux Klan and the prison study are great examples of studies done to help find out more about deindividuation. There are many holes left in the research on deindividuation, and this experiment presents a possible way of filling part of this gap and giving more data to help lead new and different studies in this area.
Dodd, D. K. (1985). Robbers in the Classroom: A Deindividuation Exercise. Teaching of Psychology, 12(2), 89-91. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
Gilovich, T., & Gilovich, T. (2013). Chapter 12/ Groups. In Social psychology. New York, NY: W.W. Norton.
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