The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (Google eBook)

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Macmillan, 1896 - Crowds - 230 pages
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Review: The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind

User Review  - Louis III - Goodreads

One of the best books written on crowd psychology. The Crowd gives a clear understanding of how groups are capable of both great triumph and tragedy. Read full review

Review: The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind

User Review  - Jessica - Goodreads

I read The Crowd this week for my Leadership and Moral Responsibility class. It was interesting and one of the better readings that I've had to do for the class. His ideas about crowds seemed reasonable. Read full review

Contents

I
xiii
II
1
III
70
IV
164

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Page 13 - Isolated, he may be a cultivated individual; in a crowd, he is a barbarian that is, a creature acting by instinct. He possesses the spontaneity, the violence, the ferocity, and also the enthusiasm and heroism of primitive beings...
Page 7 - The conscious life of the mind is of small importance in comparison with its unconscious life. The most subtle analyst, the most acute observer, is scarcely successful in discovering more than a very small number of the unconscious motives that determine his conduct. Our conscious acts are the outcome of an unconscious substratum created in the mind in the main by hereditary influences.
Page 6 - Whoever be the individuals that compose it, however like or unlike be their mode of life, their occupations, their character, or their intelligence, the fact that they have been transformed into a crowd puts them in possession of a sort of collective mind which makes them feel, think, and act in a manner quite different from that in which each individual of them would feel, think, and act were he in a state of isolation.
Page xvii - The divine right of the masses is about to replace the divine right of kings," and already "the destinies of nations are elaborated at present in the heart of the masses, and no longer in the councils of princes.
Page 3 - The disappearance of conscious personality and the turning of feelings and thoughts in a different direction, which are the primary characteristics of a crowd about to become organised, do not always involve the simultaneous presence of a number of individuals on one spot. Thousands of isolated individuals may acquire at certain moments, and under the influence of certain violent emotions such, for example, as a great national event the characteristics of a psychological crowd.
Page 23 - A crowd thinks in images, and the image itself / immediately calls up a series of other images, having no logical connection with the first. We can easily conceive this state by thinking of the fantastic succession of ideas to which we are sometimes led by calling up in our minds any fact. Our reason shows us the incoherence there is in these images, but a crowd is almost blind to this truth, and confuses with the real event what the deforming action of its imagination has superimposed thereon.
Page 11 - We know to-day that by various processes an individual may be brought into such a condition that, having entirely lost his conscious personality, he obeys all the suggestions of the operator who has deprived him of it, and commits acts in utter contradiction with his character and habits.
Page 54 - ... immediately concludes that all employers exploit their men. The characteristics of the reasoning of crowds are the association of dissimilar things possessing a merely apparent connection between each other, and the immediate generalisation of particular cases. It is arguments of this kind that are always presented to crowds by those who know how to manage them. They are the only arguments by which crowds are to be influenced.
Page 14 - The conclusion to be drawn from what precedes is, that the crowd is always intellectually inferior to the isolated individual, but that, from the point of view of feelings and of the acts these feelings provoke, the crowd may, according to circumstances, be better or worse than the individual. All depends on the nature of the suggestion to which the crowd is exposed.
Page v - The substitution of the unconscious action of crowds for the conscious activity of individuals, is one of the principal characteristics of the present age.

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