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The Nature of Crowds

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Summary of the French social psychologist Gustave Le Bon's classic and highly influential work The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind. In this work Le Bon investigates the nature of crowd psychology.



Transcript: 

The nature of crowds has long been a topic of interest in philosophy. However, the 18th and 19th centuries were a time when an increased emphasis was placed on understanding the psychology of crowds. For example,the 18th century philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau proclaimed that“…we have a very imperfect knowledge of the human heart if we do not also examine it in crowds.” Gustave Le Bon (1841-1931), a French social psychologist, is often seen as the father of the study of crowd psychology. Le Bon believed an understanding of crowd psychology was essential for a proper understating of the both history and the nature of man. As he wrote in his classic and highly influential work The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind: “It is crowds rather than isolated individuals that m…