Like Water and Vapor--Conformity and Independence in the Large Group

Tarnow, Dr. Eugen (1996) Like Water and Vapor--Conformity and Independence in the Large Group. [Journal (Paginated)]

Full text available as:



Conformity and independence in the large group may, in part, be due to collective phenomena analogous to those producing different physical phases like solid, liquid and vapor. This phase model of the large group explains several previous anecdotal observations: It predicts a suddenness in the decision making, it explains the apparent contradiction between crowd suggestibility on the one hand and the difficulty of controlling a crowd on the other hand, and it provides a new rationalization for the phenomenon of splitting. The model is of use to both leaders and members of the large group. For example, it suggests what social parameters to change to disperse a violent crowd, and why crowd crystals, a concept examined by the writer Canetti, can suddenly make the large group conform.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:Collective phenomena, large group, crowd, conformity, group think
Subjects:Psychology > Social Psychology
ID Code:4274
Deposited By:Tarnow, Dr. Eugen
Deposited On:24 Apr 2005
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:55

References in Article

Select the SEEK icon to attempt to find the referenced article. If it does not appear to be in cogprints you will be forwarded to the paracite service. Poorly formated references will probably not work.

ARENDT, H. Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. New York: Viking Press, 1963.

ASCH, S.E. Studies of independence and conformity: a minority of one against a unanimous majority. Psychological Monographs, 1956, 70.

BERK, R. A gaming approach to crowd behavior. American Sociological Review, 1974, 39, 355 373.

BION, W. R. Experience in groups and other papers. New York: Tavistock Publications, 1961.

CANETTI, E. Crowds and power. New York: The Continuum Publishing Corporation, orig. 1960, ed. 1993.

COUCH, C. Collective behavior: an examination of some stereotypes. Social Problems, 1968, 15, 310 322.

FREUD, S. Group psychology and the analysis of the ego, New York: W.W. Norton, orig. 1921, ed. 1989.

HELBING, D. Boltzmann like and Boltzmann Fokker Planck equations as a foundation of behavioral models, Physica A, , 1993, 196, 546 73.

JANIS, I. Victims of groupthink: a psychological study of foreign-policy decisions and fiascoes. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1972.

JOHNSON, N.R., STEMLER, J.G., HUNTER, D. Crowd behavior as risky shift: a laboratory experiment. Social Psychology Quarterly, 1977, 40, 183-187.

KELMAN, H.C., HAMILTON, V.L. Crimes of obedience. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989.

KUHN, T. S. The structure of scientific revolutions, in the International Encyclopedia of Unified Science. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970.

LE BON, G. The crowd - a study of the popular mind. Atlanta: Cherokee Publishing Company, orig. 1895, ed. 1982.

MCPHAIL, C. The Myth of the Madding Crowd. New York: Aldine de Gruyter, 1991.

MILGRAM, S. Nationality and conformity, Scientific American, 1961, 205, 45-51.

MILGRAM, S. Liberating effects of group pressure, J. Personality and Social Psychology, 1965, 1, 127-134.

MILGRAM, S.; BICKMAN, L.; BERKOWITZ, L. Note on the drawing power of crowds of different size. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 1969, 13, p. 79 82.

MILGRAM, S. Obedience to authority: an experimental View. New York: Harper and Row, 1974.

SCHACHTER, S. Psychology of affiliation. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1959.

SHERIF, M. Conformity-Deviation, Norms, and Group Relations. In Conformity and deviation, ed. by I.A. Berg and B.M. Bass. Harper and Row, 1961.

STANLEY, H. Introduction to phase transitions and critical phenomena. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971.

TUCKMAN, B. Developmental sequences in small groups. Psychological Bulletin, 1965, 229-249.


Repository Staff Only: item control page