Mob Mentality

Mob mentality, or herd mentality, has taken over America. What is that? Mob mentality is why humans adopt behaviors, buy merchandise, join protests, and follow trends based on their circle of influence. It explains how one’s point of view can be easily altered by those around them. Scientists conducted experiments and found that just 5 percent of a crowd can influence how the other 95 percent react.

People are predisposed to imitating other’s behaviors. When enough people get together, people lose their individuality and identify with whatever the group is doing. In other circumstances or when in small groups where their names and faces are known, they wouldn’t do the things they do when they are in a large crowd. They lose who they are. Their actions are based on what other people are doing rather than on logical thought, social mores, or would consider independently.

Crowds make more noise than an individual. While this is useful at times like at football games cheering on the home team, it can be dangerous when the 5 percent decides to get violent, especially when alcohol is involved. The anonymity of being in a crowd frees people from their inhibitions, and they do things that they would never otherwise do. The situation escalates into mob violence and destruction, and that’s hard to get under control.

Think of how society is in America today. A few people have stirred up the 95 percent so much that disrespect, death threats, violence, and social disruption abound. The few brave people who stand up and say that we need to calm down and think things through logically are harassed and threatened so much that they hide. No one is willing to be the voice of reason for fear of being thrown from a high castle wall. The masses get their torches and pitchforks and are ready to storm the Bastille because of what they read on social media or heard on TV. Remember what followed the last storming of the Bastille? The Reign of Terror, where people were imprisoned and beheaded because someone, proof or not, accused them of being against the cause. People were afraid to speak up lest they suffer the same consequences. Same thing happened at the Salem Witch Trials where many innocent women were killed or tortured due to gossip.

Whether scientists have proved it or not, observations indicate it’s easier for the 5 percent to influence the 95 percent toward evil and violence than it is for the 5 percent to influence the 95 percent to do good. What will happen to the voice of reason? Will it be shouted down?

It’s up to the 5 percent (or whatever percentage of reasonable people are left) to hang on to their individuality and logical thinking to try to influence as many as they can. Someone needs to think things through in a sensible manner and keep the mob mentality from taking over. Surely no one wants a repeat of the Reign of Terror. It’s time to pull away from the mob and think for ourselves. Don’t lose yourself to the crowd.

(I Thessalonians 4:11 …aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands…)

References:http://inpathybulletin.com/what-is-mob-mentality/, https://psychcentral.com/news/2008/02/15/herd-mentality-explained/1922.html, and http://source.southuniversity.edu/examining-the-mob-mentality-31395.aspx

2 Comments
  1. Good thoughts. Our Bible study was delving into 1 Thess 4:11 last Tuesday. Being told to lead a quiet life is so lovely. Being quiet also helps us be able to hear what God has to say.

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