YOUR VIEWS ON THE NEWS
There has been a lot of talk in the past few weeks about the influence of ‘the mob’ on people’s opinions. Herald Sun columnist and Sky News correspondent Andrew Bolt attributed his remarkable
double-about-face regarding Archbishop George Pell’s testimony to the Royal Commission to giving ‘in to the mob’.
As individuals – how strong is our need to belong to the mob?
In the 1950s, American psychologist Abraham Maslow identified The Need to Belong as a basic human requirement. Subsequent studies suggest that identifying those who don’t belong (the other) is an important characteristic of strong groups.
Whether it is on a global scale – such as building walls to keep out ‘undesirables’ or using military might to turn away boats packed with desperate asylum seekers – or a more local level (willful ignorance of wrong-doing to protect a church), how easy is it to challenge ‘the mob’?
When we boo the opposition team at the footy, demand people ‘go back to where they came from’ or reject new ideas because ‘it’s not how we do it here’ – are we simply reacting to an innate need to belong to the mob?