The Oxford Biblical Studies Online and Oxford Islamic Studies Online have retired. Content you previously purchased on Oxford Biblical Studies Online or Oxford Islamic Studies Online has now moved to Oxford Reference, Oxford Handbooks Online, Oxford Scholarship Online, or What Everyone Needs to Know®. For information on how to continue to view articles visit the subscriber services page.

Related Content

Related Overviews


More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Science and technology
  • Psychology


Show Summary Details



Quick Reference

A psychological state characterized by loss of the sense of individuality and a submerging of personal identity and accountability in a group. In some circumstances it can lead to a relaxation of inhibitions and the release of antisocial behaviour, and it has been used to explain certain forms of mob behaviour. See also bystander effect, diffusion of responsibility. Compare individuation.

Reference entries