Crab mentality, sometimes referred to as crabs in the bucket, is a way of thinking best described by the phrase, "if I can't have it, neither can you." The metaphor refers to a bucket or pot of crabs. Individually, the crabs could easily escape from the pot, but instead they grab at each other in a useless "king of the hill" competition which prevents any from escaping and ensures their collective demise. The analogy in human behavior is claimed to be that members of a group will attempt to negate or diminish the importance of any member who achieves success beyond the others, out of envy, spite, conspiracy, or competitive feelings, to halt their progress.
- The Dog in the Manger
- Prisoner's dilemma
- Allegory of the long spoons
- Law of Jante
- Terror management theory
- Tall poppy syndrome
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- Herbert A. Leibowitz (December 31, 1994). Parnassus: Twenty Years of Poetry in Review. University of Michigan Press. p. 262. ISBN 0-472-06577-7.
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