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Deindividuation

  • In: Encyclopedia of Identity
  • Edited by: Ronald L. Jackson II & Michael A. Hogg
  • Subject:Self & Identity, Identity, Self & Identity

The term deindividuation refers to the process whereby people engage in seemingly impulsive, deviant, and sometimes violent acts when they cannot be personally identified for their actions (e.g., in groups, in crowds, when communicating on the Internet). Deindividuated contexts typically reduce accountability; this means that when people are anonymous, for example, they cannot be easily traced or blamed for their actions. Deindividuation is often equated with a loss of personal identity resulting in negative consequences (e.g., rioting). ...

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