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Deindividuation refers to the process whereby people engage in seemingly impulsive, deviant, and sometimes violent acts when they cannot be personally identified (e.g., in groups, in crowds, when communicating on the Internet). Deindividuated behavior can occur for two reasons. Some deindividuated situations can reduce accountability, meaning that when people are hidden within a group, for example, they cannot be easily traced or blamed for their actions. As such, the effects of deindividuation can sometimes be viewed as socially undesirable (e.g., rioting). However, research has shown that deindividuation also strengthens adherence to group norms. Sometimes these norms conflict with the norms of society at large, but they are not always negative. As such, the effects of deindividuation can be rather inconsequential (e.g., “letting loose” on ...

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