Deindividuation: Effects of group size, density, number of observers, and group member similarity on self-consciousness and disinhibited behavior
Diener, E., Lusk, R., DeFour, D., & Flax, R. (1980). Deindividuation: Effects of group size, density, number of observers, and group member similarity on self-consciousness and disinhibited behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39(3), 449-459.
Predictions about the social causes of self-consciousness in groups were derived from the theory of deindividuation and tested in three experiments. In Experiment 1 it was found that increasing group size was related to a decrease in selfconsciousness. Group density did not influence self-consciousness. In Experiment 2 it was found that increases in the number of observers increased self-consciousness. In Experiments 1 and 2, self-reports of self-consciousness were independent of one's group, whereas the degree of behavioral disinhibition was highly correlated within groups. In Experiment 3 it was found that gender similarity within a group was related to lower self-consciousness. These findings offer support for a perceptual/attentional model of self-consciousness within groups. Contrary to deindividuation theory predictions, however, behavior intensity did not vary across conditions in Experiments 1 and 2, even though self-consciousness did differ. This finding suggests that deindividuation theory is incomplete in its present form, and several potential inadequacies are discussed.
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