Opinion: Trick or treating this Halloween? Know your group behaviour

October 31, 2014

Associate Lecturer Zenobia TelatiHalloween is upon us tonight and it’s all just a bit of harmless fun, right? Or is there truly a dark side to Halloween? Associate Lecturer in Psychology Zenobia Talati explores these questions in her opinion piece in The Conversation.

Dr Talati looks at typical trick or treating behaviours and the psychological implications of anonymity in line with a study in the United States looked at how children’s behaviour was influenced by anonymity and/or the behaviour of the other children when left unattended with a bowl of candy and a bowl of coins. Results showed that children were more likely to steal when they were in an anonymous group compared to when they were anonymous and alone.

Dr Talati explores the psychological behaviours surrounding deindividuation, the idea that people’s inhibitions are lowered and they are more likely to violate social norms when acting anonymously as part of a group. Read the full article in The Conversation.

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Media contact: Natalie Hailes-Phakos
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