Effects of self-awareness on antinormative behavior


Diener, E., & Wallbom, M. (1976). Effects of self-awareness on antinormative behavior. Journal of Research in Personality, 10(1), 107-111.


Based on Zimbardo's (1970) theory of deindividuation and Duval and Wicklund's (1972) theory of “objective self-awareness” it was predicted that self-awareness would lead to a decrease in transgressive behavior. Subjects were either made self-aware (seated in front of a mirror listening to their own tape-recorded voice) or nonself-aware (seated to the side of the mirror listening to another's voice) and were given an opportunity to cheat on an anagrams test. Significantly more cheated in the nonself-aware condition (71%) than in the self-aware condition (7%). The results support the basic premise of deindividuation theory that self-awareness influences impulsive, counternormative behavior and suggest that an integration of the theories of deindividuation and objective self-awareness is possible.

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