Mob Mentality In The Crucible By Arthur Miller

749 Words 3 Pages
“When large enough groups of people gather, things will get accomplished, good or bad.” stated Marc Bousquet of Emory University. This is the state of mob mentality, the individual’s subconscious “decision” to follow the crowd’s movements sometimes not even knowing (whether the effects will be good or bad) (the effects). Understanding how the mob mentality works, and how it can affect individuals as well as groups, can help us better understand the situations and the characters’ motives in The Crucible by Arthur Miller.
There are many different causes and situations in which mob mentality can affect individuals. Although there are certain types of personalities in which some people are more gullible, it usually only takes 5 out of 100 people
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So how can we determine the line that separates the “unruly mobs” from the “wisdom of groups”? Mobs are more likely to turn violent when the group is large, and the members are able to remain anonymous. However in certain situations, the human’s natural tendency to survive can also lead to violence within, and/or out of the groups. For example, with the lack of resources, people will be willing to fight in order to live. Despite the individual personalities, it is in the human’s reflexes to fight for survival. Group violence can especially become dangerous when one emotionally challenges another. Stephen Reicher, a psychologist at the University of St Andrews mentioned that. “If you believe all crowds are irrational, and that even rational people are liable to be dangerous in them, then you'll treat them accordingly, often harshly, and stop people doing things they have a right to do. And that can lead to violence." This can prove how the surrounding people can affect the groups and push them into violence by arousing their …show more content…
A simple example of this can be shown at a concert. At a concert, since the entire crowd is singing along, dancing, and screaming, it becomes more “acceptable” for individuals to do so too. However, if someone were to do that alone at a subway station, people would most likely call the police to report a mental person straying in public. Such groups, as in a concert, can stir an emotional excitement that can lead people into doing things they would normally not do alone. This type of excitement can sometimes become too extreme and cause violent behavior. Once individuals form a group, their minds are already set into “mob mentality”. This means that whatever their actions are, they consider it the group’s actions not their own. This kind of mentality can cause lack of responsibility in one’s own actions and cause them to behave with less thought. Especially in big crowds, when individuals are mostly anonymous, people tend to act more viciously because they know that their actions cannot be traced back to

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