Lecture 7

Lecture 7 - Psych 135 Lectu re 7 Losing the self, losing...

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Psych 135 – Lecture 7 Losing the self, losing control What is deindividuation? Gustav Le Bon (1895) – when an individual is placed in a crowd, the unconscious mind of each individual emerges and creates a “collective mind” that is primitive in nature, causing uninhibited behaviour. o Loss of self awareness and of individual accountability in a group o Loss of self awareness, individual identity (and thus individual accountability) What causes deindividuation? (Zimbardo 1969) Anonymity Lack of accountability for actions High physical arousal Large group Sensory Overload Altered states of consciousness o via drugs, alcohol and lack of sleep What deindividuation does to our minds Minimises self-awareness Minimises concerns for social evaluation – if you are not self aware, you are not thinking about the generalised other and what people are thinking about you. Less inhibition, more impulsiveness Time distortion o only now, no past or future No subject-object dichotomy – less of a sense of the boundaries between you and what is around you. More connected to what and who are around you. In other words, diminished reflective processing, but more Dionysian What deindividuation does to our behaviour Uninhibited/impulsive behaviour Behaviour not guided by “generalised other” Behaviour of nearby others is contagious – group decides what we do in the moment. Why deindividuation leads to riots, people in a large group drinking and shouting. People do not feel like accountable individuals and then copy others’ actions. Reduced memory for actions – especially under influence of specific substances Does losing self-awareness (i.e. deindividuation) cause socially deviant behaviour? Under all our self-restraint we are just like animals and we do bad things to
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This note was uploaded on 03/07/2011 for the course PSYCH 135 taught by Professor Lieberman during the Fall '08 term at UCLA.

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Lecture 7 - Psych 135 Lectu re 7 Losing the self, losing...

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