| To investigate the process of Deindividuation by simulating an authentic prison environment.
| Method/ Experiment
| A simulation of a prison was created in the basement of Stanford University, 24 male participants were recruited. One group were given the role as the guards and the other group were the prisoners. Both the guards and prisoners were deindividuated and became anonymous in their group. On arrival they were put into suits with an ID number on the back. The guards were in military styled uniforms with all the equipment.
| The guards created a brutal atmosphere for the prisoners, the prisoners became very passive whereas the guards aggression levels rose. Every guard at some point became abusive and authoritarian.
| Both sets of participants showed classic signs of Deindividuation through a lowered sense of identity and an altered state of subjective consciousness.
| High ecological validity, realistic measures of aggression
| Unethical, Sample Characteristics
The Costume Experiment (Johnson & Downing, 1979)-
This experiment was to see how wearing a uniform affects the level of shock a person gives when in a controlled environment. There were 3 conditions/uniforms & shock level given out of 8: * Identifiable (Normal clothing) --- 5/8
* Hoods and coats (similar to the clothing of the KKK) 7/8 * Nurse’s uniform 3/8
This shows that it isn’t anonymity that leads to aggression but the norms associated with the social context that affects our behaviour.
Evaluation of Deindividuation-
Experimental Support- There are lots of experiments that support and lead to the idea of Deindividuation
| Deindividuation doesn’t always lead to aggression- The idea that it leads to loss of inhibition may mean an increase in pro- social behaviour. For example a group may act as one and...
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