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3670[evol-psych] Re: Mind virus could give us shopping bug

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  • Julie Coultas
    Apr 2, 2000
      On Fri, 31 Mar 2000, Jerrod Hansen wrote:

      > The link didn't work for me, but I tracked down the article. Marsden
      > is blatantly lifting Doug Rushkoff's ideas about media influence, and
      > his grasp of social psychology is weak. (He claims to get a whole
      > group of people staring into the sky simply by planting one person
      > staring into space. This result is dependent on the number of initial
      > cohorts and relies on an actual object, not empty space).

      I agree that the number of initial cohorts is important *but* there is
      no requirement that an actual object needs to be present. People will
      impose meaning on a situation and the size of the initial cohort is
      often reason enough to stare up at the sky or up at a building. Milgram
      ran this type of experiment in the 1960s (reported in large number of
      introductory social psychology textbooks). I have 'replicated' his study
      in 3 different locations in the UK. The size of the group staring up at
      'something' seems to be an important factor. However city size also
      needs to be taken into account.

      I ran these series of experiments because I had found an interesting
      effect of group size on imitative behaviour in a previous experiment set
      up to test a gene-culture coevolutionary model.

      BTW in order to run these experiments it requires more than 1 trial. I
      sent groups of 3, 4, and 5 out 5 times to stare up at a building (15
      randomly ordered trials x 3 locations = 45 times).

      Milgram, S., Bickman, L., & Berkowitz, L. (1969) Note on the drawing
      power of crowds of different sizes. Journal of Personality and Social
      Psychology, 13 79 -82

      Coultas, J. (2000) Milgram Revisited: The influence of group and city
      size on imitative behaviour (submitted paper)
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