Crab mentality or crabs in a bucket (also barrel, basket or pot) is a way of thinking best described by the phrase "if I can't have it, neither can you". The metaphor refers to a pattern of behaviour noted in crabs when they are trapped in a bucket. While any one crab could easily escape, its efforts will be undermined by others, ensuring the group's collective demise.
The analogy in human behaviour is claimed to be that members of a group will attempt to reduce the self-confidence of any member who achieves success beyond the others, out of envy, resentment, spite, conspiracy, or competitive feelings, to halt their progress.
Impact on performance
The impact of crab mentality on performance was quantified by a New Zealand study in 2015 which demonstrated up to an 18 per cent average exam result improvement for students when their grades were reported in a way that prevented others from knowing their position in published rankings.
- L. Douglas Wilder (October 1, 2015). Son of Virginia: A Life in America's Political Arena. Lyons Press. p. 185. ISBN 978-1-4930-1952-6.
- Low Robin Boon Peng (2016). Good Intentions Are Not Enough: Why We Fail At Helping Others. World Scientific. p. 104. ISBN 978-981-320-059-3.
- Sudipta Sarangi (April 1, 2013). "Capturing Indian 'Crab' Behaviour". The Hindu. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
- Massie Santos Ballon (May 14, 2010). "Crab Mentality". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on September 25, 2013.
- Miller, Carliss D. (January 2015). "A Phenomenological Analysis of the Crabs in the Barrel Syndrome". Academy of Management Proceedings. Academy of Management. doi:10.5465/AMBPP.2015.13710abstract. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
- Manuel B. Dy (March 3, 1994). Values in Philippine Culture and Education. Council for Research in Values and Philosophy. p. 40. ISBN 978-1-56518-041-3.
- Herbert A. Leibowitz (December 31, 1994). Parnassus: Twenty Years of Poetry in Review. University of Michigan Press. p. 262. ISBN 0-472-06577-7.
- Albert Shanker (June 19, 1994). "Where We Stand: The Crab Bucket Syndrome". The New York Times. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
- Spacey, S. 2015. Crab Mentality, Cyberbullying and "Name and Shame" Rankings. In Press, Waikato University, New Zealand. Retrieved on April 19th, 2015.
|This article about cultural anthropology is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|