Mob Mentality

Topics: Ku Klux Klan, Violence, Sociology Pages: 4 (1526 words) Published: June 3, 2012
Research Paper on Mob Mentality
Have you ever been caught up in a situation where you have acted in a way you would normally find unacceptable? (Donley) This can be something small like at a sporting event, or something as extreme as your life being in danger where violence and riots break out. (Stott) Whatever the case, you would be the victim of mob or herd mentality. By falling under the spell of this psychological phenomenon, one could make rash and imprudent decisions with lasting consequences. The whole premise of the book, The Hunger Games, is of a future world where every year children are chosen to fight to the death with millions of spectators. If anything like that today were to happen, the whole world would be dismayed. But how could something that seems so gruesome now in a future society be accepted, even endorsed, and part of everyday life? “Herd Mentality can be defined by us as the general acceptance of a practice or belief primarily not due to comparative merit but to the popularity itself.” (Brody and Scott, 1) It is quite a common psychological effect, if we take this concept literally enough we could see it’s effects in our everyday lives on everything we do. By observing and conforming to the social norm, we are partaking in mob mentality. (Cialdini, 8) Who says it is wrong to walk around a city with no pants on? Those are our social norms, but if we go to some third world country that might be perfectly acceptable! We base what is right and wrong on what the majority of people are doing. (Cialdini, 8) Some 95 percent of people are considered to be followers of strong leaders or “initiators”. (Cialdini, 9) In fact when people coincide with accepted behavior, some feel responsible to make them feel excluded. (Cialdini, 8) People collect into groups and groups and all groups have a leader. The members of the group want their ideas to match those of their leader. (Griffin, 240) But today, people are scared of judgment...
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