PSYC 2310 Chapter Notes - Chapter 10: Gustave Le Bon, Deindividuation, Ingroups And Outgroups

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Published on 13 Apr 2013
School
University of Guelph
Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 2310
Professor
Social Psychology
Chapter 10 (pg. 320-332)
Intergroup Relations
Intergroup relations: way in which people in groups perceive, think about, feel about, and act
toward people in other groups
How Do Different Theories Explain Intergroup Relations?
(How do you explain crowd behaviour?)
Early Research and Theories of Crowd Behaviour
- Gustav Le Bon: riots in France; when people become part of a crowd they “descend several
rungs on the ladder of civilization”
- 3 Characteristics
o Anonymity: less responsible for actions
o Suggestibility: social constraints loosened; copy others acting instinctively
o Contagion: irrationality and violence contagious; may sweep through crowd
- People “go mad” in crowds
- Crowds posses groupmind
- Have to be controlled and managed
- Allport: rejected groupmind; thinks individuals simply exaggerate what they would normally do;
crowds allow people to be bad
Deindividuation
- Sherif, Asch, Zimbardo: crowds cannot be understood by studying individuals
- Deindividuation: when in large groups, people are less likely to follow rules of behaviour= roots
in anonymity; when one loses awareness of oneself as distinct individual
- Anonymity:
o Each individual less distinguishable
o Enhanced when people wear uniforms
o Social circumstance precursor to deindividuation
o Zimbardo Prison Experiment
Participants: male, no history of crime or drug abuse; healthy and intelligent
Two groups: 9 guards and 9 prisoners: random sampling
All instructions were to increase deindividuation (prisoners blindfolded,
handcuffed at home; guards wore uniform)
Guards became abusive, prisoners became passive, depressed
Participants identified with roles given
Study lasted 6 days instead of 2 weeks
o Zimbardo studied University girls: electric shocks given to others
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Document Summary

Intergroup relations: way in which people in groups perceive, think about, feel about, and act toward people in other groups. How do different theories explain intergroup relations? (how do you explain crowd behaviour?) Gustav le bon: riots in france; when people become part of a crowd they descend several rungs on the ladder of civilization . 3 characteristics: anonymity: less responsible for actions, suggestibility: social constraints loosened; copy others acting instinctively, contagion: irrationality and violence contagious; may sweep through crowd. Allport: rejected groupmind; thinks individuals simply exaggerate what they would normally do; crowds allow people to be bad. Sherif, asch, zimbardo: crowds cannot be understood by studying individuals. Deindividuation: when in large groups, people are less likely to follow rules of behaviour= roots in anonymity; when one loses awareness of oneself as distinct individual. Anonymity: each individual less distinguishable, enhanced when people wear uniforms, social circumstance precursor to deindividuation, zimbardo prison experiment.

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