Deindividuation Psychology


This is a social psychology concept which has been generally perceived as losing one’s self awareness when it comes to groups even if it is the matter of contention. Sociologists had studied the deindividuation phenomenon. However, the analysis level is still quite distinct. For a social psychologist, this analysis level refers to a person in a certain social situation context. The social psychologists are also emphasizing the internal psychological process role. On the other hand, some social sciences, like sociology, have been much concerned and focused with broader economic, historical, political, and social factors that can influence different events in a particular society.

The theories involved in deindividuation psychology proposed that it has been the psychological decreased evaluation apprehension and decreased self-evaluation states that cause disinhibited and anti-normative behaviors. This theory is looking for an explanation for various antinormative collective behaviors like lynch mobs, violent crowds, and more. Deindividuation theory was also used to genocide while it has been posited as the explanation for in computer-mediated communication and anti-normative online behavior.

Even it has been generally analyzed within the negative behavior context, like genocide and violence, deindividuation was also discovered to play a crucial role when it comes to positive experiences and behaviors. In fact, there were still variations that existed to understand the deindividuation role when it comes to anti-normative behavior production and understanding how such contextual cues can affect these deindividuation construction rules.

Theoretical Approaches

In terms of modern social psychology, deindividuation psychology is referring to the diminishing of a person’s individuality sense which takes place with a disjointed behavior from the social or personal conduct standards. For instance, an individual who has been one of the anonymous members of the mob will have a tendency to act violently towards the police officers compared to a popular individual. In a sense, the deindividuated state will be appealing if somebody has been affected like he or she felt free to act impulsively without minding the potential consequences. But deindividuation was also associated with antisocial and violent behavior.

On the other hand, there were classic theories that existed as the early psychologists underwent different studies and researches. In the present, there were also contemporary theories that brought up more ideas and concepts related to the deindividuation psychology. One of them is the “differential self-awareness” theory wherein it suggests both self awareness forms that may lead to disinhibited and anti-normative behavior. However, only a decreased process of self awareness had been in the deindividuation definition.

On the other hand, private self-awareness refers to the attention that has been shifted away from oneself. But this has been reduced by the “attentional cues” such as physiological arousal and cohesiveness. This certain reduction will lead to the “internal state of deindividuated” which is comprised of altered thinking and decreased private self awareness as the natural by-product). This also causes decreased attention and self-regulation in order to internalize standards which are directed to appropriate behavior.

There are more important theories and concepts present in deindividuation psychology. The contemporary and classical approaches agreed upon the main deindividuation theory component. This leads to the disinhibited and anti-normative behavior.

-Flow Psychology Editor