Tavris' in Groups We Shrink

Topics: Rodney King, Stoning, Single person Pages: 2 (713 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Tavris' In Groups We Shrink

The main position in, In Groups We Shrink, is so true when applied to situations of aggregation of a large number of people. As stated in, In Groups We Shrink, in large groups we are reluctant to deviate from the norm, however, if alone we often act without even hesitating. We can apply this to everyday situations as with, The Lottery. Why are people so hesitant to act out when in large groups? There may be a broad spectrum of reasons from the mentality of "diffusion of responsibility" to the fear of ridicule.

It seems as if within a group we act as single entity instead of a group of individuals. "In groups we shrink" may sound paradoxical but it is evident to be true. In a group we tend to think singularly instead of groups of many single individuals. This could be due to the fact that people are afraid of ridicule. So afraid that nobody is willing to do the morally correct thing. As in The Lottery, we see that people are reluctant to act out against the remainder of the group. Why did the town's people just stand by and take part in the senseless stoning of Mrs. Hutchinson? Why didn't anyone intervene? Nobody was willing to be an individual and step up to take responsibility and put an end to the senseless lottery.

Another good example of the reluctance to act against the group would be the Rodney King incident. As the officers clubbed, electrocuted, and beat Rodney King to a bloody pulp, onlookers just looked on. Nobody did anything to stop the senseless beating. It was obvious that the police officers were using excessive force. Someone even shot the whole incident on videotape. Despite the number of onlookers, to no one's surprise, not a single person tried to stop it. Even as other fellow officers watched on, they just stood around. Again, we ask the question of why didn't anybody do anything? What were the people thinking?

In addition to being afraid of being an individual...
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