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Main page / "Knowledge. Understanding. Skill" Journal / Contents / 2014 / No. 1

Zhuravlev A. L. and Sosnin V. A. The Psychology of Mass Behavior: The Origins and Contemporary Research Tendencies

(The Institute of Psychology of the Russian Academy of Sciences,
Moscow University for the Humanities)

Abstract ♦ The article presents a brief historical survey of the development of a scientific field. The authors consider the new tendencies of investigations into big social groups’ behavior in contemporary psychology. It is shown that nowadays the classic theories of crowd behavior (mass gatherings), developed by Le Bon, Tarde and Freud, are not adequate for the explanation of people’s mass behavior. The classic works contain an evident psychological determinism and an overstated opposition of the two forms of individual’s behavior — the first one implies that the individual is an autonomous subject and the other implicates his/her behavior in the crowd. The individual is mainly described as an irrational subject who is liable to a psychological contamination and a decrease of his/her brain power in the crowd. In this regard, the article makes a brief analysis of the evolution of mass behavior theories (crowd theories) in social psychology. The viability of research in this branch from the standpoints of the social and identification approach is indicated.

The article is based on the investigations conducted in this field at the Institute of Psychology of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Keywords: history of psychology, group, crowd, mass behavior, evolution of theories, psychological determinism, social identity, impact, management, crowd psychology.


Zhuravlev Anatoly Laktionovich, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Science (psychology), professor, the director of the Institute of Psychology of the RAS, head of the Social and Ethnic Psychology Department, Moscow University for the Humanities. Postal address: 13 Yaroslavskaya St., Moscow, Russian Federation, 129366. Tel.: +7 (495) 683-38-09. E-mail: adm3@psychol.ras.ru

Sosnin Viacheslav Aleksandrovich, Candidate of Science (psychology), associate professor, senior researcher of the Social and Economic Psychology Laboratory, the Institute of Psychology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Postal address: 13 Yaroslavskaya St., Moscow, Russian Federation, 129366. Tel.: +7 (495) 683-38-09. E-mail: sosninrus@rambler.ru

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Citation: Zhuravlev A. L. and Sosnin V. A. (2014) Psikhologiia massovogo povedeniia: istoki i sovremennye tendentsii issledovaniia [The Psychology of Mass Behavior: The Origins and Contemporary Research Tendencies]. Znanie. Ponimanie. Umenie, no. 1, pp. 49–61. (In Russ.)

Submission date: 10.12.2013.

RUSSIAN VERSION


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