In the world we live in today there are many things the human mind can indeed conceive of. Many obstacles humans have the ability to figure variables around, but still there are questions one may ask themselves and not know the answer to. Thanks to psychology some of the unanswerable questions can be answered through the concept of understanding how the human brain or mind works.
One immensely popular and almost unsolvable question is why humans follow the majority or rather what is most popular in the public domain, such as the most prominent activities, life style's, or common knowledge. If it is accepted widely by the masses other humans draw to a practice less hesitantly than if the information was given to them by singular sources.
The answer to this question along with the reasoning is believed to be many things
that could easily branch off into other topics, one of the reasons believed to be behind
"herd mentality" is familiarity. Familiarity results in the attraction of a person to a topic or object and is commonly used by advertisement. through this form of
familiarity people often are deceived into thinking that the thing being advertised
represents general opinion, thus in turn gives people the conception that the thing most
seen or that they are most familiar with through advertisement is considered to be
socially correct. Another reason known to be the causes of "herd mentality" does not apply to all but is still very valid, is dictatorship.
Dictatorship is utilized in a way to seduce the masses, it normally occurs in a state of crisis when a person or a group of people assume authority and has the support of the people. For a dictatorship to function as stated before the people must support it to some degree, and that support could come out in various ways, but it usually comes with the peoples wish for order out of chaos.
Two very suggestible human personality traits that give people the idea to support a dictatorship or anything that is considered to be socially correct by the masses are both, "conformity" and the tendency to "yield to authority".
Conformity is a person's natural ability to adopt the majorities wishes and opinions,
and is an enormously powerful and a remarkably effective means to distort a person’s most ideal judgment and behavior. Even though overall conformity does not tend to get people into considerable amounts of trouble, as stated before it can cause people to change their
perspective and outlook of the world. Resulting in the person doing things like, buying
items they never would have before, but because of what they think is popular or overall
purchased the most by the majority of consumers, they will buy those items.
The same can be said for reasons why people support sports, listen to a certain
types of music, define what they find attractive, and even things like what their favorite
The second tendency that humans have that make them suggestible to what the
masses do, although it relates back to the idea of a dictatorship is, man-kinds instinct or
sense to "yield to authority". This is said to be a person’s ability to identify or distinguish between what a leader or someone of high social status allows to be known as their
wishes and opinions. Such as things like what they believe to be acceptable in terms of
romantic partners, cars you drive, ext. This form of suggestibility as it relates to
conformity is very much different because of its danger, by way of the amount of power one
person can have over another.
Joseph Henrich and Robert Boyd have a theory that is cohesive to a certain degree
with the one previously stated about "conformity" and "yielding to authority". They
believe that humans show forms of suggestibility or psychological bias to copy the majority they
call "conformist transmission" and a bias to copy successful individuals that they call
"payoff-biased transmission" these two factors are the basic explanation for the spread of
cooperation as a stable feature of human social groups.
The first group of people would cooperate and be more successful to some degree
and have more desirable things, and then the second group would be less fortunate and
would try to observe those from the first group. This in turn results in "payoff-bias
transmission” which makes the people from the second group adopt the
cooperative individuals from the first group as role models and begin cooperating
Once enough people from the second group adopt more cooperative traits
they move into the "conformist transmission," it will eventually take over the whole
second group and move it towards cooperation.
Simply put if people follow a successful group of people, and the popular crowd,
then they will end up successful and popular (majority).
After understanding in depth these forms of suggestibility it is logical to
assume that they are bred into human nature by natural selection. People are born with
natural instincts in which they follow the structure and patterns of what appears to be, in
conjunction with what presume is needed to survive comfortably in society, without ridicule, also prominently in an assumed state of incessant high ranking social status.
From a more scientific perspective the RAS is where influence takes hold in the brain. Its a network of neurons that are located in the brain stem that effects the hypothalamus. It regulates the cortex and activates states off sleep and wakefulness. Essentially RAS shifts the processing speed at which each state decodes informational messaging from our environment. The general mood of your environment impacts the way you perceive the world around you through a unique subjective lens. This being the case, its important to overcome our biological nature by auditing the things we pay the most attention daily. As it seems we are truly creatures of communal habit.