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Mob psychology is a theoretical approach attempting to explain collective behavior solely on the basis of the psychological states of people who participate. Mob Psychology is similar to terms such as: crowd psychology and group mentality. It is portrayed in many works of literature, including William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.
Mob psychology shows that individuals tend to behave in a different manner as part of a group in contrast to acting independently. Members of a group are prone to acting in ways that they would deem immoral or unjust if in control of their behavior. This is not due to change in one's belief or principle, but rather the fact that individuals tend to ignore or avoid one's conscience or rational judgement. It can be said that individuals in a group defer their goals and take upon the identity of the group. Therefore, members of a group are likely to commit acts they would never commit alone. Being in a group allows individuals to defer blame, responsibility, accountability, and/or judgement upon the group.
There exist many evidence and examples of mob psychology in modern society. One example is the persecution of the Jews during the Holocaust. The Nazi party blamed Germany's weak economy at the time upon the Jews. Experts and scholars have long pondered how an entire nation came to persecute their Jewish neighbors. Jews were harassed and treated with the utmost insolence. Another example is the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), uniting under the principles of Anglo-Saxon pride, nationalism, and segregration. The Ku-Klux-Klan persecuted African-Americans, promoting segregation under Jim Crow laws, and even murdered innocent people. Both the Nazis and members of the KKK feel that their race is superior to others' and united under a common identity. Nazis had numerous symbols and emblems that they bore, and the KKK dressed in white cloaks and hoods, masking their identity. Books that have been written that exhibit mob psychology include Lord of the Flies by William Golding and George Orwell's 1984.
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