Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Haslam I 12
Crowd psychology/Le Bon: Gustave Le Bon (1895/1960)(1) used careful observations of a range of large groups and collectives to develop an influential theoretical analysis of crowd behaviour that emphasized emotional, irrational and unconscious influences. Le Bon’s perspective on the potentially negative aspects of groups was highly influential, and can be seen as an intellectual precursor to modern research on deindividuation – the potential for an individual to lose his or her sense of self-awareness and accountability when submerged in a group (Zimbardo, 1969(2).


1. Le Bon, G. (1895/1960) The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (translation of La Psychologie des foules). New York: Viking Press.
2. Zimbardo, P.G. (1969) ‘The human choice: Individuation, reason, and order versus deindividuation, impulse, and chaos’, Nebraska Symposium on Motivation, 17: 237–307.


Steven J. Karau and Kipling D. Williams, “Social Facilitation and Social Loafing. Revisiting Triplett’s competition studies”, in: Joanne R. Smith and S. Alexander Haslam (eds.) 2017. Social Psychology. Revisiting the Classic Studies. London: Sage Publications


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Le Bon, Gustave
Haslam I
S. Alexander Haslam
Joanne R. Smith
Social Psychology. Revisiting the Classic Studies London 2017


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