When Crowds Turn Violent Examining Mob Mentality
Refresher Crowds – people who congregate, may have similar interest/purpose but lacks regular, influential interactions People at a concert may share interests in the bands/groups, may interact but tend not to have long lasting influence on one another
When Does A Crowd Turn Into A Mob • People act differently in crowds • May be due to fact that you feel faceless/nameless, increased anonymity • Freud’s thoughts: minds of individuals merge and form collective way of thinking • Results = intensified emotions, lack/decrease of morality • Collective crowd mentality determines actions
Or is it because? • Convergence Theory – crowd behaviour determined by several like-minded individuals • Existing beliefs/values come together to create a reaction • Shows true values/behaviour Truth: we aren’t really sure what causes to groups to turn into mobs!
Role of Power • People feel may “ineffective” and/or “powerless” in their lives leading up to mob situations • Existing feelings/thoughts expressed through collective action • Events act as a catalyst for change (ie death of person, loss of sports team, etc) • Can move from peaceful to riot quickly when those in power act in an “oppositional” way (abuse of power)
What We Know... Normal people’s values and morals are eroded away by the crowd, resulting in irrational and senseless destruction Internet has increased incitement of riot/mob activity prior to event (“unite and hit the streets” and hypes people up ahead of time Not always negative behaviour: clean up crews after riots Have existed since the dawn of time and will continue to happen as long as people congregate Happens in all ages, cultures, genders