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Lecture 3

SOCPSY 2L03 Lecture 3: Other Accounts of Collective Mental Life

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McMaster University
Social Psychology
Cyril Levitt

Other Accounts of Collective Mental Life Wednesday, January 24, 2018 6:59 PM Big Ideas/Great Thinkers in Social Psychology C01 Dr. Cyril Levitt Other Accounts of Collective Mental Life -Le Bon's description fits well with our own psychology in the emphasis which it lays upon unconscious mental life -Freud found that only two points Le Bon made were original; other people had already said the same things Two notions of the unconscious and with the comparison of mental life of primitive people Le Bon admitted that some of the things he said were contradictory E.g. Crowds could be violent and cruel but sometimes they can act with a moral purpose -We often think of the individual genius who comes up with wonderful accomplishments but Freud says that the group mind has its own genius that is independent of individual geniuses -Contrasts the notion of the group Le Bon was mentioning Le Bon spoke of unorganized groups Freud mentioned other, more structured groups -William McDougall and William Trotter were the most significant social psychologists in Freud's day -McDougall says that primitive groups can be tempered through organization -In order for there to be a group, the people within it have to have something in common and they have a reciprocal influence on one another People in a group who think the same, react the same, manifest these actions of the group mind in a clearer way -McDougall emphasizes the importance of emotion and the loss of the limits of their individuality within a group People lose their character, personality -McDougall also believed that crowds were suggestible and were susceptible to contagion
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