Deindividuation and Attribution Theory

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Deindividuation and Attribution Theory
Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Deindividuation and Attribution Theory
Theory
One of social psychology theories that describe human behaviors is attribution theory. Attribution theory is the theory of how individuals explain others’ behaviors (Myers, 2008). Deindividuation is the situation where anti-normative behavior is released in groups in which individuals are not recognized as individuals (Festinger, 1952). Many people are a part of this deindividuation process and don’t even realize it. Many people fall into deindividuation because they don’t want to ridiculed or be consider an outcast. Something that is an example of deindividuation is a cult. In a cult people are no longer an individual and there is no uniqueness to them. They become just like everyone else in the group. Another example of this is a fraternity or sorority. They go from being an individual person to becoming a part of a group where they are considered one big group versus being their own person. Being in the military is also an example of deindividuation. They are to fight and defend themselves against anyone who is considered a threat. They also have a uniformed look. Everyone has to go through training and every guy has to shave his hair. Social Issue Deindividuation can be both desirable and undesirable depending on the circumstances (Spivey & Prentice-Dunn, 1990; Johnson & Downing, 1979). A study by Spivey & Prentice-Dunn (1990) found that deindividuation leads to either pro-social or anti-social behavior depending on the situations factors. When pro-social environmental factos were present deindividuated subjects were more likely to behave unselfishly. People that were deindividuated performed more thoughtful acts such as giving money and became less antisocial. Also, Johnson & Downing (1979) found that deindividuation...
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