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University of Guelph
PSYC 2310
Saba Safdar

Crowd Behaviour October 23 2012 The History of Crowd  Gistav Le Bon (1896) o Suggested than in crowds people submerge in a very primitive mind o Described 3 characteristics of crowds:  Anonymity  Suggestibility  People respond to the cues available in the environment, most of the time are destructive and aggressive  Contagion  When people become destructive, it starts to spread very quickly in a crowd o He described crowd as a source of power as well  It needs to be controlled  He argued that giving a simple message to a crowd, then you can control the crowd energy in your own goals, make it useful. Repeat the message Alternative View  Allport (1924) was highly critical of Le Bon and argued: o The individual in the crowd behaves just as he would behave alone only more so o Suggested that in crowd people reveal their true nature People in Group  Social Facilitation o Norman Triplett – cyclists in a group, cycle faster together  Social loafing o Diminishing ones responsibility  Deindividuation refers to loss of sense of individual responsibility and reduction of inhibition due to joining a group o Zimbardo – prison study – need to know the details  Lack of humanity o Two of the conditions that lead to deindividuation are:  Group size  As the size of the group increase, deindividuation increases, leading to a higher probability of violence in the group o Zimbardo’s car experiment  A care with the hood up in a big city (NYC) and in a much smaller town  Removed the license plate and all identification  NYC = within 10 minutes, people are vandalizing it, removing everything that they can. After 23 days – it was just a piece of metal left (mostly happened by well dressed people, white individuals)  Small town = nothing happened for the first week, 6 or th 7 day, it started to rain, someone stopped and put the hood down and left  It is a result of group size, there is social restraint loosened with more people  Anonymity  As anonymity increases,inhibitions decrease, leading to a higher probability of violence in group o Zimbardo’s KKK experiment  Shock every time the learner makes a mistake. The teacher was asked to wear a uniform that covered the whole body except the eyes (KKK outfit).  Results: group of learner and teacher, the teacher delivered twice as intense shocks than a teacher
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