Scientific study done on 'Sheeple' - Crowds 'pick leaders to follow'
2008-02-16 0:00

By Roger Highfield | telegraph.co.uk

People in crowds behave just like sheep, scientists claim, by blindly following one or two people who seem to know where they are going.

Researchers at Leeds University believe their findings could have important applications, notably in the management of disasters.

The team, led by Prof Jens Krause, conducted a series of experiments in which volunteers were told to walk randomly around a large hall without talking to each other. A select few were then given more detailed instructions.

The results published today show that it takes a minority of just 5 per cent of what they called "informed individuals" to influence the direction of a crowd of a minimum of 200 people. The remaining herd of 95 per cent follow without realising it.

"There are strong parallels with animal grouping behaviour," says Prof Krause, who reports the work with John Dyer in the Animal Behaviour Journal, with colleagues at the Universities of Oxford and Wales Bangor.

"We've all been in situations where we get swept along by the crowd but what's interesting about this research is that our participants ended up making a consensus decision despite the fact that they weren't allowed to talk or gesture to one another.

"In most cases the participants didn't realise they were being led by others."

The work follows another study by Dr Simon Reader of Utrecht University that showed that most of us are happy to play follow-my-leader, even if we are trailing after someone who does not really know where they are going.

"Even more striking, that study found that even when we are shown a faster route, we still prefer to stick with the old one and tell others to take the long road too.

That discovery could have lethal implications when it comes to evacuating a building or ship in an emergency, when people would likely stick to the familiar evacuation route, even if slower than an alternative.

Read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml
?xml=/earth/2008/02/14/scisheep114.xml



Related Articles
Like ants, humans are easily led
Now scientists create a sheep that's 15% human
Forget crop circles - now we've got a mysterious SHEEP circle
Subtle Bodies - Manipulating the Mind of Man
The Subversive Use of Sacred Symbolism in the Media - Symbol Literacy (Part One)
The Subversive Use of Sacred Symbolism in the Media - Symbol Literacy (Part Two)
Mass Mind Control Through Network Television
Subliminal Advertising and Modern Day Brainwashing
The Century of the Self (Video)
Television and the Hive Mind
How Television Controls And Programs Minds
In-house memos on television news presentations
In-house memos on television & print media news presentations
Edward Bernays - How to Brainwash a Nation
The Persuaders (Video)
Clotaire Rapaille - Reptilian Marketing (Video)


Latest News from our Front Page

Turkey's Erdogan threatened to flood Europe with migrants: Greek website
2016-02-09 23:04
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan threatened in November to flood Europe with migrants if European Union leaders did not offer him a better deal to help manage the Middle East refugee crisis, a Greek news website said on Monday. Publishing what it said were minutes of a tense meeting last November, the euro2day.gr financial news website revealed deep mutual irritation and distrust ...
Will Denmark Be The First Islamic Nation In Europe?
2016-02-09 23:44
Daily headlines prove that Europe is bursting at the seams with Islamists attempting to establish Sharia law and homegrown terror plots. France is ablaze with radicals, ISIS threatens they will send Spain back to the times of the Ottoman Empire, and Britain is much too concerned with appeasing Muslims that they are doing away with their own citizens’ free speech. The ...
'Hamilton' musical: All American founders non-White, but evil King George. I hate musicals!
2016-02-09 22:43
‘Hamilton’, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton, one of America’s founding fathers, is being performed on Broadway. You know it’s going to have political undertones, when you read that the first act is titled: “Immigrants : We get the job done!” In addition to Alexander Hamilton, Miranda’s musical also casts Aaron Burr, George Washington, James Madison, John Laurens, Marquis Gilbert ...
Ted Nugent Posts "Anti-Semitic" Facebook Message About Gun Control
2016-02-09 22:53
Rock musician Ted Nugent posted a message about “who is really behind gun control” on Facebook that the Anti-Defamation League slammed as "anti-Semitic". More: ADL claims 26% of all world population is “anti-semitic” The ADL and domestic spying: Roy Bullock case revisited "Antisemitism on rise across Europe in worst times since the Nazis" says "expert" to the Guardian In the post, Nugent shares a ...
Illegal immigrant is arrested over murder of American nanny in Austria after she took him in to stop him being deported - and is revealed to have raped underage girl
2016-02-09 22:20
An illegal immigrant has been arrested over the murder of an American nanny who had given him shelter at her Vienna apartment. The 24-year-old Gambian had been wanted by police since the death of Lauren Mann, 25, from Grand Junction, Colorado last month. He was arrested on Thursday in Bern, Switzerland, at an asylum center there after his mobile phone use was ...
More News »