My inquiry question is “how does the media affect the way we think?”
My second round of research will be on “how does mob mentality affect the way we think?”
Mob mentality is the influence of a group on an individual to change their behavior as they would not normally in other situations (4). It is rooted in the idea of conformity, a pressure to yield to deindividuation, the lack of individuality (2). An explanation for this is ‘normative conformity,’ choosing to submit yourself to deindividuation in hopes of validation (2).
Aristotle once said, “Man is by nature a social animal.” Being social creatures creates both an affinity towards being liked and a fear of being disliked (3). Social media is a center of information where we can formulate opinions on things, especially others. Being behind a screen can give a sense of deindividuation, a part of it is that there is a sense of anonymity, among others (1). The concept was put forward by Gustave Lebon stating that this occurs because it is less likely one will be held responsible for their behavior creating more space for them to let loose (1). The online disinhibition effect is what researchers refer to this state.
An example of the online disinhibition effect is someone leaving hurtful comments on someone’s post. The person leaving these comments would not see how the other person is affected by this, making their consequences not as visible if these things were said in person (5). The person who received these comments might later change something about themselves to conform to what others deem as normal. This is an example of normative conformity.
In conclusion, mob mentality is a factor of a lot of different things. It also takes different forms in different ways in our everyday lives if you take a closer look.