ERIC Number: ED060466
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969
Reference Count: 0
Anonymity, Deindividuation and Aggression.
Baron, Robert S.
Several writers suggest that reducing one's sense of individuality reduces social restraints. The author suggests that the effect of uniformity of appearance on aggression is unclear when anonymity is held constant. This poses a problem of interpretation given that a distinction must be made between lack of individuality and anonymity. One must hold anonymity constant if one is to generate support for the notion that lack of individuality reduces social restraints. The present research addresses this problem. Subjects, ostensibly participating in an empathy study, were asked to administer a stressful noise to a victim engaged in a learning task. Subjects were encouraged to aggress on each of 20 trials. Results showed that "hooded" subjects aggressed with significantly lower latencies than nametag subjects; and in the nonvisible cells, hooded subjects had significantly longer latencies than nametag subjects. It was concluded that the degree of anonymity provided to a subject affects perception of aggression severity. (Author/RK)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHEW), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: Iowa Univ., Iowa City.