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Evaluate the Psychological and Biological Explanation of Aggression

  • Date Submitted: 09/25/2014 04:42 AM
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One social psychological explanation of aggression is deindividuation theory. it proposes that when individuals are put into a ‘group or crowd setting’ then they lose their sense of individuality and take on a crowd mentality.this would allow them to behave in a way that would be unnatural if they were on their own, but as they would be an anonymous person, ‘a face in a crowd’, they would see themselves as being able to get away with the behaviour.

Milgram’s study has been very influential in this area due to the blind obedience shown in his electric shock study, because the participants had taken on a type of ‘persona’, and because of the anonymity they had, they were able to do something that a very high percentage of people said that they could and would never do.

Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison experiment has also been very highly regarded in this area, as the participants that were acting as the ‘guards’, were all in the same situation together and because they were taking on a ‘persona’ of someone else when they put on the uniform, they were able to act in a way that could have been seen as very shocking to some.
This experiment showed how people can behave in deindividuated situations.

Deindividuation   explains how rational individuals can become aggressive hooligans in a mob or crowd as it suggests that losing their sense of identity and self awareness deindividuates people. Individuals in groups fail to see the consequences of their actions, and the social norms they would normally follow are forgotten and this is when aggressive behaviour occurs. causes people unquestioningly to follow group norms instead of personal norms and sometimes these group norms lead to aggression. According to Zimbardo, in a crowd we feel anonymous and unaccountable.   loss of public self-awareness where individuals lose a sense that others are aware of them...


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