Looking for research on identity concealment and violent behavior
August 27, 2014 1:58 PM   Subscribe

I recently saw a news article/blog post that talked about the effect of identity concealment on violent behavior. It also referenced anthropological research that was done on warfare in primitive tribes to back up its conclusions. Did not bookmark it and now I can't find it.

Turning to the hive-mind in the hope that somebody has better memory or Google skills than I do...

I read the news article/blog sometime early-to-mid August. From what I recall the referenced research looked at the effect of identity concealment through the use of masks and war paint, and came to the conclusion that tribes that used some form of identity concealment were much more likely to kill their enemies during tribal warfare. Tribes that did not use some form of identity concealment still waged war, but the fatality rates were much lower.

Unfortunately I didn't bookmark it, and my Google skills are letting me down. Anybody remember this article? Or even better, can somebody point me at the referenced research?
posted by skaffen42 to Society & Culture (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Would it be this article on Israel's Gaza policy? The reference is toward the bottom of the article, but there's an older article on Philip Zimbardo and the Stanford Prison Experiment that references a 1974 study on masked and warpainted warriors.
posted by Mercy at 2:32 PM on August 27, 2014

Response by poster: Wow. That was fast! Not the article I had read, but the research by John Watson mentioned in this article is what I was looking for. Thanks for the help.
posted by skaffen42 at 2:48 PM on August 27, 2014

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