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The interaction of depersonalization and deindividuation


Abnormal experiences of the self defined here in terms ofdepersonalization may predispose individuals to aggressive behavior in situations that further alter their self-awareness. Conditions that raise self-awareness may inhibit the aggressive behavior of individuals prone to these abnormal experiences of self. In the current research, individuals prone to a distorted body image were least likely to express attitudes reflecting verbal hostility when their self-awareness was raised. Individuals prone to a sense of unreality about others were most likely to express attitudes that reflect physical aggression when their sense of social identity was raised. However, these attitudes were less likely in individuals prone to self-criticism whose social identity was enhanced. The results suggest that a multidimensional construct of depersonalization may aid in the prediction of aggressive behavior that is facilitated by situations that alter the individual’s sense of self.

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Correspondence to Gregory Bovasso.

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Bovasso, G. The interaction of depersonalization and deindividuation. J Soc Distress Homeless 6, 213 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02939566

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Key words

  • deindividuation
  • dissociation
  • depersonalization
  • aggression
  • social identity
  • self-awareness