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How Does Crowd Behavior Impact on Individual Development?

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How does crowd behavior impact on individual development?

Turarova Saltanat

Nazarbaev Intellectual School


From the beginning of time, humanity lives, hunts and does other things together. It is evident that crowd instinct plays an important role in human development since ancient times. Therefore, mankind tried to be with crowd and ignore self-desires. Nowadays, this behavior has still been displayed among people and in the 21 century its known as Crowd behavior and crowd instinct.

This  type  of  instinct  allows a person not to start moving against or across the crowd ,thereby this instinct that makes a person stays on his feet, and in case of a fall try to get up on his feet as soon as possible, so as not to be trampled down. Moreover, people developed their skills, shared opinions, learned new.

However, crowd has a negative impact on humanity. Each person has certain stereotypes imposed by the society; the social status in society and the generally accepted norms of morality, to which he/she has been obeyed for many, many years. Due to this stereotypes many people are embarrassed to be themselves and restrict opinions, desires, talent, goals and whole life following crowd rules which are established as standard. I saw many people who for an idea of ​​crowd betrayed  their own ideas. So, I started thinking ‘why is this happening?’ and I decide to find reasons and answers by   making research work.

This research will provide information and arguments for both positive and negative impact of crowd on individual development by taking into account people’s opinion about this topic.


Based on the Cambridge dictionary (2018) crowd is a large group of people who are together in one place.However, every person who enters the crowd begins to change their behavior and support the ideas of the crowd. These mob effects manifest themselves in mass social mobilization and during social movements around the world (Yaragarla,2017).

From a psychological point of view, a crowd should be understood as initially unorganized (or lost organization) congestion of people who do not have a common conscious goal (or lost it) and, as a rule, are in a state of emotional arousal (Mokshantsev and Mokshantseva,2001).

The psychology of the crowd made transformations in people, leading to the disappearance of consciousness and individuality, to the prevalence of unconscious mechanisms and to orientation through suggestion and contamination of thoughts and ideas (Penna,2016). "Collective behavior" of the crowd, led to credulity, inability to reason, lack of criticism and automatic thinking, characteristics that these days can be attributed to some signs of regression in groups(Young,2007). Beliefs, illusions and ideals, mainly those that were passed on by leaders, played an important role in the behavior of the crowd. The hypnotic character of the leadership and its influence in the leadership of the political and religious crowd were also discussed by Le Bon (Penna, 2014).

 One of the reason forming of initial core of the crowd can be formed under the influence of rationalist considerations and set for itself quite definite goals. However in the future the core becomes overgrown with avalanche and spontaneous. The crowd increases, taking in people who, it would seem, had nothing in common with each other before(Popova,2014). Spontaneously, the crowd is formed as a result of an incident that attracts people's attention and gives rise to the interest in them (more precisely, at the very beginning, curiosity). Being agitated by this event, an individual who has already joined gathered is ready to lose some of his usual self-control and receive exciting information from the object of interest. A circular reaction begins, encouraging people  to show similar emotions and satisfy new emotional needs through psychic interaction. The circular reaction constitutes the first stage of the formation and functioning of the crowd (Krisko, 2006, p.32).

Crowd instinct has advantages, it means that being with crowd can be necessary in some terms. In a crowd, a person can learn to be in unity with others. In addition, the crowd is a kind of team and so a person can receive some ideas with help to improve collaborative work, creativity, effectiveness  of the work(Salehi, McCabe, Valentine, Bernstein,2017 ).Many social movements in history organized by crowd rich success and mant of them were directed to good deeds. For instance, reformative social movement in 1970 in America which was about ‘Marriage equality’ or ‘Same-sex marriage’(Duggan, 2011). Another example are communities formed by crowd and one type is animal protecting community ‘Best friends animal society’ which has assist in diminishing  the number of animals  being killed in Los Angeles(Pittman,2016).

On the other hand, crowd instinct and crowd behavior have a list of negative influences on individuals. Once psychologist Serge Moscovici said ‘The individual acts consciously and the mass of the crowd is unconscious because consciousness is individual and the unconscious is collective’(Moscovici,1998, p.21). Furthermore, crowds move throughout three stages: submergence, contagion, and suggestion. For the period of submergence, the individuals in the crowd misplace their sense of personality and individual duty, which is quite heavily initiated by the obscurity of the crowd. Contagion refers to the tendency for individuals in a crowd to unthinkingly follow the predominant ideas and feelings of the crowd. Suggestion refers to the stage in which the ideas and emotions of the crowd are basically tired from a shared unconscious. This behavior comes from a prehistoric shared insensible and is therefore uncivilized in nature. It is restricted by the moral then by cognitive abilities of the least capable individuals(Reicher,2001 p.5-6).

The main negative effect of crowd is loss of connection with reality and loss of faith in oneself. Accordingly, a person readily submits to the authority of a group or leader and becomes compliant to the commands of the leader. He is in the state of war with oneself, the war that confronts his individual "I" with his social "I". Influence can cover and absorb a person, up to its dissolution in such undifferentiated mass, where it is no more than a set of simulations(Chen,2013).

The phenomenon responsible for transformation is suggestion or influence. It's about your kind of impact on consciousness: some kind of orders or messages with convincing force is forced to accept some idea, emotion, action, which logically man had not the slightest reasonable reason to take. People have the illusion that they decide, and they do not realize that the object of influence or suggestion (2015, February 18).



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