Whether you realize it or not, we can all fall prey to mob mentality. For instance, we encounter this groupthink daily on social media, news outlets, during family discussions, and even among friends. So, with mob mentality – what can be done about it? This article examines its nature, the significance of recognizing its symptoms, and offers advice on how to steer clear of the herd mentality. Particularly, it provides tips to help you avoid falling into irrational mob behavior that contradicts your true self.
Mob Mentality – What Is It And Its Causes?
Mob mentality, also known as herd mentality, is a social phenomenon where individuals in a group adopt certain behaviors or beliefs based on the actions of others within the group. See definition below:
“a large and disorderly crowd of people, especially one bent on riotous or destructive action.”Merriam-Webster
Mob mentality can occur due to peer pressure or the human tendency to conform in order to fit in with a larger collective. Further, it is often fueled by emotions and a desire for acceptance. Hence, this leads individuals to abandon their personal values and critical thinking abilities. Consequently, the members of the mob align themselves with the views or actions of the majority. For more on the causes of Mob Mentality, see Unvarnished Facts’ Mob Mentality Examples – Causes.
Mob Mentality – Prevent And Overcome By Knowing Its Signs.
So recognizing the signs of mob mentality is essential to preventing and overcoming this dangerous psychological phenomenon. When individuals begin feeling pressured to conform, or they lose their sense of individuality and autonomy within a group, these may be warning signs of mob mentality taking hold. Hence to counteract this behavior, it’s important for individuals to maintain awareness of their own beliefs and values. Also, practice critical thinking skills. Lastly, seek alternative opinions outside of the dominant group narrative.
Daily, we see countless indicators of mob mentality on internet social media, cable news, and most TV talk shows. To list, signs of mob mentality include:
- Invincible Optimism. This aspect of mob mentality can lead to a sense of invincibility and optimism that ignores potential risks.
- Frequent Dismissal Of Dissenting Opinions. Here mob mentality sets in and dissenting opinions are rationalized away or dismissed.
- Group’s Moral Standard Must Be Applied To All. Those caught up in a mob mentality may believe that their group’s moral standards should be applied universally, even to those outside the group.
- Self-Censorship To Maintain The Status Quo: A mob mentality will self-censor in order to avoid rocking the boat or challenging the status quo.
- Belief That All Group Members Think The Same. Here, there is often a belief that everyone is in agreement and on the same page, even when this is not actually the case.
“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.”Charles Mackay
Mob Mentality – What Can Be Done To Best Avoid?
Indeed, offering advice on “daring to be different” in order to avoid a mob mentality may seem straightforward. However, overcoming the intrinsic human desire to blend in and be accepted by the group presents an unparalleled challenge. To list, below are some tips to counter mob mentality:
1. Be Inclusive.
To avoid mob mentality, it’s important to include people with diverse perspectives and encourage open discussion.
“Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.”Bertrand Russell
2. Identify Group’s Unspoken Rules And Assumptions.
By identifying and analyzing unspoken rules or assumptions within your group, you can better understand how they may be contributing to a mob mentality.
3. Acknowledge Biases.
Be self-aware. To explain, acknowledging and addressing your own biases can help prevent them from influencing your decision-making in a group setting.
4. Avoid Emotional Decisions.
Practice rational decision-making. Indeed, making decisions based on reason rather than emotion can help prevent the irrationality that often characterizes mob mentality. Specifically, emotions like anger and stress can drastically affect your decision-making. Here you can make decisions you would not normally make or just go with the crowd.
5. Don’t Punish Honest Disagreement.
Punishing those who are honest or disagree can create a culture of fear and conformity. Consequently, this contributes to mob mentality. Instead, be curious about dissenting opinions taking the time to understand these alternative opinions.
6. Have Strong Values And Personal Identity.
Developing a strong sense of personal identity and values helps lay a foundation for resisting conformity pressures from others. Also, sometimes it is just good to pause, and ask yourself if the group’s behavior line up with your values.
7. Do Your Due Diligence.
Don’t Just sign up for a group or a new trend. First, do your homework and determine why it appeals to the majority and does it line up with your values.
For more on the signs of mob mentality and avoiding it, see WebMD’s What Is Mob Mentality? and Profit.Co’s Herd Mentality: Why Do We Want To Do What Everyone Else Does?.
Also from Unvarnished Facts, see Mob Mentality Examples: The Ways They Occur, Reasons They Happen And How To Avoid, Examples of Ideology Past to Present, Political Tribalism In America, and Fear Mongering Examples.
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