The Why and How of Crowd Behaviors

The Why and How of Crowd Behaviors - The Why and How of...

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The Why and How of Crowd Behaviors There have been a number of core research studies on how and why crowds behave as they do. Keep in mind that a crowd at a bus stop that gets on the bus does not necessarily qualify as having participated in collective behavior because of the brevity of their time together and the purpose in which they share the same public space. A crowd coming together to celebrate a State College’s transition to a University does participate in collective behavior (See UVU case below). Gustav Le Bon (1841-1931) was a French Social Psychologist who studied crowds in his work, The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind.” Le Bon believed that when a crowd came together their individual conscious merges into one large collective conscious. Le Bon’s Contagion Theory claimed that in a crowd people get caught up in the collective mind of the crowd and evade personal responsibility for their actions. Though his idea proved not to be true, it helped other social scientist study the ways in which crowds and the people who comprise them are motivated to act. Another more viable argument, Convergence Theory, proved to be a better explanation of crowd behavior. The Convergence Theory claims that motivations are not born in the crowd but develop in individuals who carry them to the crowd. The crowd may provide an outlet for relieving their frustration. By themselves, it would be difficult to act out. Together in the group
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This note was uploaded on 12/04/2011 for the course ANTHRO 2000 taught by Professor Monicaoyola during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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The Why and How of Crowd Behaviors - The Why and How of...

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