Ebuenga, Desiree Lei P. 2007-51277DEINDIVIDUATIONViolence, gang wars, riots, atrocities, and vandalisms had increased instances alarminglyespecially among adolescents nowadays. These are not just true to very populated cities likeMetro Manila or in other countries but also in Baguio City. The growing numbers of gang warsand riots in Baguio are undoubtedly distressing. Surprisingly, these do not just happen in thenights but also in broad daylight. In addition, the gang members are in very young ages thatrange from approximately 12 years old and above. These youths are just in their high schoolages. Thus, these are problems that must take seriously by the local government officials.On August 23 2009, one case of gang-related violence took a life of a 14-year old highschool student in broad daylight along Harrison Road. According to Supt. Agripino Javier, thecity director, the suspect in this incident is a 16-year old high school student who is a member of the Pinoy True Crips Gang. This is not just the case for the month and succeeding months. Allof the cases of deaths among adolescents in Baguio City were gang-related incidents.In later cases, an 18-year old gang member was murdered by the members of another gang. The gang of the victim went from Nevada square and rode a car. Other gang memberswere just ridden in the open compartment of their car since it was already packed full of their members. They just decided that when they arrive in Session Road, the other will just have toget a cab. But as soon as the three gang members in the compartment got out, about 20 to 30armed gangsters suddenly appeared and attacked their group. Others managed to escape butwhen their car reached Leonard Wood Road in which they were caught up, the attackers draggedthe lone teenager out of the compartment. They aided each other in striking him with punches,kicks, metal pipes, knives, bats and other weapons while his companions sped away. He wasrushed in the Saint Loius University Hospital of the Sacred Heart and died as a result of multipleskull fractures and other body injuries. Two days later, another 18-year old youth was stabbed30 times in different parts of his body by 20 armed youth gangsters. The Baguio City PoliceOffice reported 15 gang-related crimes from July 2005 to May 2007, eight or more than half happened in Nevada Square. This year, in just one month, there were already almost 5 gang-related crimes.
What does this mean? What can possibly be the causes for these antisocial behaviors and lynch mob atrocities among different gangs in the city? Is it simply the arousal of emotions and other physiological reactions in the parasympathetic nervous system? Or are thereother more influential factors causing all of these aggressive behaviors to happen?Research studies in social psychology explained reasons on these social problems. Social psychologists found out that antisocial behaviors are mostly influenced by being a member of agroup. They called this factor deindividuation.This review of the different research studies made aims to explain the gang-relatedcrimes and lynch mob atrocities in Baguio City using the Social Psychological theories andexperiments.Deindividuation is an experiential state caused by factors relating to being in a groupsuch as anonymity, diffused responsibility and group cohesiveness. Characterized by the loss of self-awareness, deindividuation usually results to aggressive behaviors, other anti-social andanti-normative behaviors. However, it yields not just a ³one-side´ effect. Rather, in some cases,it results to pro-social behaviors as shown in lots of research studies.