Herd mentality, or mob mentality, describes how people are influenced by their peers to adopt certain behaviors, follow trends, and/or purchase items. Examples of the herd mentality include stock market trends, superstition, home décor, etc. Social psychologists study the related topics of group intelligence, crowd wisdom, and decentralized decision making.
History [ edit ]
Herd mentality and
herd behavior have been prevalent descriptors for human behavior since people began to form tribes, migrate in groups, and perform cooperative marketing and agricultural functions. The idea of a " group mind" or " mob behavior" was first put forward by 19th-century French social psychologists Gabriel Tarde and Gustave Le Bon. Herd behavior in human societies has also been studied by Sigmund Freud and Wilfred Trotter, whose book is a classic in the field of social psychology. Sociologist and Economist Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War Thorstein Veblen's illustrates how individuals imitate other group members of higher social status in their consumer behavior. More recently, The Theory of the Leisure Class Malcolm Gladwell in , examines how cultural, social, and economic factors converge to create trends in consumer behavior. In 2004, the The Tipping Point 's financial columnist New Yorker James Suroweicki published . The Wisdom of Crowds
21st-century academic fields such as marketing and behavioral finance attempt to identify and predict the rational and irrational behavior of investors. (See the work of
Daniel Kahneman, Robert Shiller, Vernon L. Smith, and Amos Tversky.) Driven by emotional reactions such as greed and fear, investors can be seen to join in frantic purchasing and sales of stocks, creating bubbles and crashes. As a result, herd behavior is closely studied by behavioral finance experts in order to help predict future economic crises. [1 ]
See also [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
^ Fromlet, Hubert. "Predictability of Financial Crises: Lessons from Sweden for Other Countries." Business Economics 47.4 (2012): 262-72. ProQuest. Web. 15 Sep. 2014.
Further reading [ edit ]
The Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century. (2000) John Wiley & Sons, New York. Freud, Sigmund's
Massenpsychologie und Ich-Analyse (1921; English translation , *1922). Reprinted 1959 Liveright, New York. Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego Gladwell, Malcolm,
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. (2002) Little, Brown & Co., Boston. Le Bon, Gustav,
Les Lois psychologiques de l'évolution des peuples. (1894) National Library of France, Paris. Le Bon, Gustave,
The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind. (1895) Project Gutenberg. McPhail, Clark. The Myth of the Madding Crowd (1991) Aldine-DeGruyter.
Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War. (1915) Macmillan, New York. Suroweicki, James:
The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, *Societies and Nations. (2004) Little, Brown, Boston. Sunstein, Cass,
Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge. (2006) Oxford University Press, Oxford, United Kingdom.
External links [ edit ]