Crowd Psychology

STUDY
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crowd
multiplicity of instances
characteristics of a crowd
heightened emotionality
people carried away by crowd psych
lack of self-control
people act out of character
3 key concepts of Le Bon's Model
1. submergence
2. suggestibility
3. contagion
submergence
loss of individuality; replaced by group mind
suggestibility
people n crowds are highly susceptible to suggestion
contagion
ideas in crowd spread contagiously
critique of Le Bon's model
crowds generally have a purpose
denial of voice (renders actions meaningless)
legitimates repression
deindividuation
immersion in a group to the point that one loses a sense of self-awareness and feels lessened responsibility for one's actions; draws on Le Bon's notion of submergence
what does anonymity lead to (Zimbardo)
reduced self-evaluation
less shame, guilt, fear
What is the resulting behavior from anonymity?
lower threshold for exhibiting antisocial behavior
impulsive, emotional, destructive behaviors
similarities between emergent norm theory and social identity theory
social context of crowd behavior is important for understanding the behavior; crowds emerge out of wider social conditions
emergent norm theory
crowd behavior is governed by norms
steps of emergent norm theory
1. individuals with no history, no prior norms
2. distinctive behavior perceived as implicit norm
3. normative influence pressures against non-conformity
4. inaction of majority is confirmation of norm
5. collective behavior
limitations
crowds usually gather with a specific purpose
crowd violence often has an intergroup component
crowds often behave logically even when they're violent
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