by Chris Chaos
Creatures with low cognitive capacity follow the herd, for example birds flock, fish school
and social insects swarm.
Humans are considered to be the most evolved and intelligent of all the animals on the planet. But among the lowest rung of humankind the urge to herd still holds true. The deindividualization of the person occurs when in a larger crowd and then all inhibitions go out the window.
The crowd mentality takes over and as a swarm, if members of this crowd start doing
negative acts, then even a person that would normally not engage is such behaviors will
follow suite and go along with the acts.
For example, among kids in school a person in a group might start to pick on and tease a
classmate. Other members in the group will see this and wanting to belong and be accepted
will join in to heckle the student thus lowering their own accountability. Usually this person
would not engage in this kind of detrimental behavior but as stated previous the crowd
mentality will take over.
A prime example is a flash mob, where a mass of people will run through the streets and
either attack people/property, plunder stores or commit some sort of vandalism. They are "in
the moment" and would normally not do this while alone. The group cloaks them in a sort of
invisibility and anonymity.
This behavior is most prevalent during/after a sporting event, a political rally or any other event where a large number of people gather.
(Chris Chaos is a long time resident of South Jersey who once again resides in and writes from Gloucester City, New Jersey. He is a filmmaker, a business owner, writer, urban explorer and investigator of the odd and weird, a proud parent, happily taken and a connoisseur of hot wings. Chris can be reached at AxisVideo@aol.com)