Behavior: The Gathered Tribes

In 1895, the pioneer crowd psychologist Gustave Le Bon wrote: "Isolated, a man may be a cultivated individual; in a crowd he is a barbarian." Le Bon's insights can be applied to all kinds of crowds—Nuremberg rallies and peace rallies, lynch mobs, the crowds at trials or soccer matches, even the "psychological crowd" swayed by images in TV commercials. Le Bon found that crowds tap the unconscious: individual responsibility and civilized restraints fade, giving way to exaggerated feelings, high suggestibility and impulsive, primitive behavior. These views, expanded and refined by later...

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