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The Group Mind


This Is A New Release Of The Original 1920 Edition. A Sketch Of The Principles Of Collective Psychology With Some Attempt To Apply Them To The Interpretation Of National Life And Character.
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The Group Mind

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This Is A New Release Of The Original 1920 Edition. A Sketch Of The Principles Of Collective Psychology With Some Attempt To Apply Them To The Interpretation Of National Life And Character.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781498082143
  • Publisher: Literary Licensing LLC
  • Publication date: 3/30/2014
  • Pages: 442
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER III The Highly Organised Group THE peculiarities of simple crowds tend to appear in all group life; but they are modified in proportion as the group is removed in character from a simple crowd, a fortuitous congregation of men of more or less similar tendencies and sentiments. Many crowds are not fortuitous gatherings, but are brought together by the common interest of their members in some object or topic. These may differ from the simple fortuitous crowd only in being more homogeneous as regards the sentiments and interests of their members; their greater homogeneity does not in itself raise them above the mental level of the fortuitous crowd; it merely intensifies the peculiarities of group life, especially as regards the intensity of the collective emotion. There is, however, one condition that may raise the behaviour of a temporary and unorganised crowd to a higher plane, namely the presence of a clearly defined common purpose in the minds of all its members. Such a crowd, for example a crowd of white men in one of the Southern States of North America setting out to lynch a negro who is supposed to have committed some flagrant crime, will display most of the characteristics of the common crowd, the violence and brutality of emotion and impulse, the lack of restraint, the diminished sense of responsibility, the increased suggestibility and incapacity for arriving at correct conclusions by deliberation and theweighing of evidence. But it will not exhibit the fickleness of a common crowd, the easy yielding to distracting impressions and to suggestions that are opposed to the common purpose Such a crowd may seize and execute its victim with inflexible determination,perhaps with a brutality and a ruthless disregard of all deterrent considerations of which no one of...
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