Crowd Behavior: Notes

Crowd Behavior: Notes

Main Points Of Crowd Behaviour Essay London Riots August 2011 Mark Duggan Shooting Denver Colorado Riots 1998 Denver Broncos Failed community vs celebration of sporting excellence Classic Theories attempted to analyse behaviour through emergant properties of the group Gustav Le son (1895) Man losing his maturity Anonymity in crowds produces a man losing his personal and social responsibility Freud described crowd behaviour as the unconscious ‘ID’ being released whilst the superego is supressed. Early studies paved way for idea of deindividuation.

Zimbardo (1970) Created model of deindividuation Anonymity = loss of personal responsibility Social pressures to conform and behave relieved. Diener (1980) added to zimbardos framework stating that in crowds we have poor self-monitoring and this in turn reduces capacity to think rationally Zimbardo (1989)- Electric shock exp. A multitude of research in differing settings has concluded the same hypothesis, that in the face of anonymity people are often likely to behaviour more erratically and impulsively (Singer et al 65; Diener 76; Festigan 52). Criticisms to Classical theories

Anonymity No strong research supports- Contradicting results even from pioneers of deindividuation theory (Diener 76; Zimbardo 69) Oservational studies showed that friends and families often gather together within crowds decreasing the sense of anonymity (Aveni 1977; McPhil 1991). Could be suggested that people do not lose their selves in crowds and rather behaviour is part of human decision making process in order to achieve the persons goals. Anonymity supposed to increase abnormal behaviour, however the behaviour is compared to the norms of the bserver and not the norms applicable to the situation or event.

The debunking of additionally it reaffirms the idea that behaviour must be understood on a personal level rather than as a group whole. Spontaneity Spontaneous behaviour is described in classical theories as one of the biggest factors in sudden violent behaviour Behaviour internal or external is based on the internal state of this person which is obviously effect by external factors. As each person has their own individual perception of the environment, this ‘spontaneious’ behaviour ould be triggered by an unlimited number of factors either external or internal.

So this so called spontaneous behaviour is possibly only spontaneous in the eyes of the observer, but could equally be completely rationalised by the individual. Uniformity Classical theories explain uniformal behaviour of the crowd. (Mcphail , 1991) Turner + Killian (1987) described uniformity as a myth. Uniformal behaviour is a spontaneous act based on situational circumstances where people may behave collectively. However recent studies (Adang, 1999; 2010) show hat of violent beahaviour of crowds it is normally only a small percentage always under 10% normally nearer 1%.

The other 90% Just cheered on rioters or walk with them etc. This shows that these other people have made a conscious decision to not loin in with riotous acts. Move towards norms Emergant Norm Theory (Turner + Killian 1987) Suggest that a crowds begins normless and slowly new social norms within the crowd evolve and influence behaviour of the crowd. What about when crowds have a specific purpose? Reicher(87) states that shared norms within a crowd regulate behaviour Just as in any group.