The War of the Worlds study

The War of the Worlds study - The War of the Worlds...

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The War of the Worlds study (1941) On October 30, 1938, Orson Welles broadcast an adaptation for radio of H. G. Wells’ War of the Worlds . At least a million listeners were seriously frightened or disturbed by word that "strange creatures" (Cantril, Gaudet, Herzog 25) from Mars had landed in central New Jersey and were "unleashing a deadly assault." (Cantril, Gaudet, Herzog 32) People packed the roads, hid in cellars, loaded guns, even wrapped their heads in wet towels as protection from Martian poison gas, in an attempt to defend themselves against aliens, even though there were clues at the beginning and end of the story that the piece belonged in a radio play. For Hadley Cantril, along with the assistance of Hazel Gaudet and Herta Herzog, this provided a great opportunity to investigate the anatomy of panic and to study mass behavior. Shortly after the event, they interviewed 135 people, of whom 100 were known to have been upset by the program, in New Jersey to try and understand how they had reacted and what might have affected how they reacted. “Critical ability” was identified
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