Why do we act like sheep?

140 replies
Interesting article. It describes (translated from the French) a theory that some portion of the tendency to adjust our stated opinions to match those of others in a group comes from a neurological function.

t r u t h o u t | Why Do We Act Like Sheep?

The most interesting part of the article, for me, is the assertion by a critic of the theory that 25-30% of people are not subject to this tendency.



Paul
#act #sheep
  • Profile picture of the author derrickp
    Interesting concept. Anything that mentions neurological function is way over my head though

    I think we witness this concept here on the forum with certain individuals.

    Derrick
    Signature

    Slime England

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[464479].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
    Maybe we are hard wired to feel that it's more important to belong to the group than be right.

    I think of conformity to be more about fear. The fear of not belonging. An outcast. But what if we have a physiological need that must be fulfilled to be accepted by our group or tribe.

    The results look the same but the motivation is different.

    The drive for money could come from the fear of being broke or it could come from the desire to be wealthy.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[464496].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author VegasVince
    Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

    Interesting article. It describes (translated from the French) a theory that some portion of the tendency to adjust our stated opinions to match those of others in a group comes from a neurological function.

    t r u t h o u t | Why Do We Act Like Sheep?

    The most interesting part of the article, for me, is the assertion by a critic of the theory that 25-30% of people are not subject to this tendency.



    Paul

    I am convinced 95% of the population is comprised of sheep.

    I base that figure on the fact about 5 out of 100 people I come across can actually make a friggin' decision based on their own ideals..... rather then what the Jones Family told them to think or buy.

    Sheep exist because they are generally frightened souls....who gave up living long ago....and instead they "exist"....because there are safety in numbers. That's not living....it's a waste of life...but that's just Vinnie's spin.

    I liken them to one big communistic conscience....where every one worries more about their neighbors...the collective "whole".... then themselves. Sad. But very true.

    Nothing I want any part of. Nothing I would ever choose to participate in either.


    xxx Vegas Vince
    Legend.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[464500].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author jimrpips
      Banned
      [DELETED]
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[464515].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Jim,
        (good thing she already said it, so I didn't have to think it up on my own)
        She could say the same thing about Henry Ford, who was, as I recall, the first to say it.

        Matt,

        I suspect that the same things that make most people follow are closely related to the ones that make some people automatically rebel. The desire for approval and the desire for attention are connected in weird ways. Cross-wire the latter at an early enough age, and attention becomes a form of approval, even if it's highly negative.

        I would guess that the ones who really don't care is closer to Vinnie's estimate than the 25-30% mentioned in the article.

        The interesting part of that, as it relates to that piece, is that the article itself isn't entirely clear on whether it's approval that's sought, or if the trigger is simply an automatic error-correction facility that assumes that the majority must be right. The latter would be a useful function for an intelligent species, from an evolutionary perspective.

        Separating yourself from the crowd and being wrong could be, at worst, fatal. At best, it reduces your chances of successfully propagating your genes. On the flip side, having an ability to be right in critical decisions in areas where the group is usually wrong would be a significant enhancement of your odds.

        Debates between psychologists and neurophysiologists are always fun to watch. Throw in an evolutionary geneticist and they get to be hysterical.


        Paul
        Signature
        .
        Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[464602].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Colin Evans
      Originally Posted by VegasVince View Post

      Sheep exist because they are generally frightened souls....who gave up living long ago....and instead they "exist"....because there are safety in numbers. That's not living....it's a waste of life...but that's just Vinnie's spin.
      Not sure I'd go as far as to say "they gave up living a long time ago" but on the whole I agree. Put a lunatic with an AK47 in a room full of people, and nobody wants to noticed any more. The less you stand out, the greater your chances of getting out unharmed.

      Based on my personal experiences I believe it's a survival instinct, and it's learned and not inherited.

      I've seen people who blazed their own trails turn into sheep after getting themselves or their families hurt because they stood out or made a stand.

      I've also seen normally caring and seemingly "good" people turn into monsters when they were given the means to impose their will on others.

      I guess that's why Paul enjoys the debates between psychologists, neurophysiologists and evolutionary geneticists - none of them really know why, but each thinks they have the key to unlock the riddle.
      Signature

      Sig not working today - too hung over...

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[464771].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Colin,
        I guess that's why Paul enjoys the debates between psychologists, neurophysiologists and evolutionary geneticists - none of them really know why, but each thinks they have the key to unlock the riddle.
        That's certainly part of it.

        The biggest part, for me, is that I only have to do half the thinking, so I can do it better. The specialists will usually argue about the differences, and the ways their disciplines conflict. All I have to do for that information is listen. The thinking comes in the form of the question: How do these things fit together?


        Paul
        Signature
        .
        Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[464806].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
          Jared,

          There are a lot of mammals that live primarily solitary lives. Skunks, badgers, many bears... and if you present your argument to a herpetologist, he's going to look at you like you're nuts.

          The question is much bigger than survival of the individual. It's replication of the genes. Evolutionary, rather than personal, considerations. Species survival (replicating the genes) is almost always secondary to individual survival.

          So, anyway...

          A psychologist, a neurophysiologist and an evolutionary geneticist walk into a bar. They each order a drink.

          5 minutes later, everyone leaves but 2 hookers and a nurse.


          Paul
          Signature
          .
          Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[464845].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Colin Evans
          Paul,

          I'm guilty of hearing but not listening (which sure takes some skill, but I am learning).

          Damn - I sure wish I'd learned to listen a lot earlier in life...
          Signature

          Sig not working today - too hung over...

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[464883].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author chrisnegro
        Originally Posted by Colin Evans View Post

        Not sure I'd go as far as to say "they gave up living a long time ago" but on the whole I agree. Put a lunatic with an AK47 in a room full of people, and nobody wants to noticed any more. The less you stand out, the greater your chances of getting out unharmed.

        Based on my personal experiences I believe it's a survival instinct, and it's learned and not inherited.

        I've seen people who blazed their own trails turn into sheep after getting themselves or their families hurt because they stood out or made a stand.

        I've also seen normally caring and seemingly "good" people turn into monsters when they were given the means to impose their will on others.

        I guess that's why Paul enjoys the debates between psychologists, neurophysiologists and evolutionary geneticists - none of them really know why, but each thinks they have the key to unlock the riddle.

        Very well said Colin -- very articulate !

        Warmest regards,

        Chris Negro
        Signature

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[465049].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Kim Standerline
      Vinnie

      I just want u to know I'm convinced I caught the flu from you when I listened to your show. (When you doin another one)

      Back on topic

      Maybe it all go's back to when we lived in caves and had to live in a group or something for safety

      Hmm that's probably complete crap!

      Kim

      Originally Posted by VegasVince View Post

      I am convinced 95% of the population is comprised of sheep.

      I base that figure on the fact about 5 out of 100 people I come across can actually make a friggin' decision based on their own ideals..... rather then what the Jones Family told them to think or buy.

      Sheep exist because they are generally frightened souls....who gave up living long ago....and instead they "exist"....because there are safety in numbers. That's not living....it's a waste of life...but that's just Vinnie's spin.

      I liken them to one big communistic conscience....where every one worries more about their neighbors...the collective "whole".... then themselves. Sad. But very true.

      Nothing I want any part of. Nothing I would ever choose to participate in either.


      xxx Vegas Vince
      Legend.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[465577].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Harvey Segal
      Originally Posted by VegasVince View Post

      I am convinced 95% of the population is comprised of sheep.
      Sounds like woolly thinking to me

      Harvey
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[465580].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Chris Endres
    Just out of curiosity Paul,.. where exactly would one go to find a panel comprised of a neurophysiologist, a psychologist and an evolutionary geneticist?

    And if that wasn't a good enough question, why are you watching people discuss functions of the mind you already have mastery over?

    Just keeping tabs on developing awareness so as to later implement it into your world domination plans?
    Signature

    "Observation is an act of creation through limitations inherent in thinking"

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[464618].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Riley
      Originally Posted by Chris Endres View Post

      Just out of curiosity Paul,.. where exactly would one go to find a panel comprised of a neurophysiologist, a psychologist and an evolutionary geneticist?
      We have a number of those in the Labs. Mainly, I get them to sweep floors and polish my whiskey glasses.
      Signature
      Kevin Riley, Kevin Riley Publishing, Osaka, Japan


      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[464649].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
      People are sheep because they are afraid, like Vince posted. Afraid of being criticized, afraid of not fitting in, etc. I think most people change as they get older (I know I have)..they start to become less concerned about meeting everyone's approval.
      Signature
      ---------------
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[464665].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author GrantFreeman
        Originally Posted by Karen Blundell View Post

        People are sheep because they are afraid, like Vince posted. Afraid of being criticized, afraid of not fitting in, etc. I think most people change as they get older (I know I have)..they start to become less concerned about meeting everyone's approval.
        I'd go a little deeper and say they are afraid because they don't understand. The last part of your post? Hmmm, I know of people who are older than Paul (and that's pretty damn old) who will go out of their way to blindly follow others, without first staying true to their own likes/dislikes/beliefs.

        People who are strong in maintaining their own beliefs, I think, are the most supplicating to 'sheepism', or the herd mentality. The persons beliefs seem to outlive the person. Why? Don't know.

        Maybe they just don't want to look stupid.

        Paul, that last sentence might be the reason for that article author's iffy percentages

        G
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[526489].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      The only time I've ever encountered all three at once was in a Border's bookstore coffee shop. I noticed a gentleman with a copy of "The Selfish Gene," and we got to talking. Two guys at another table turned out to be professors some place locally, and jumped in. I asked a question, leaned back, and just watched and listened. Learned a lot during that conversation.

      It was like seeing three points of a triangle arguing about which was more important.

      I watched something very, very close to it on the off-topic section of an anti-spam discussion list I'm on.

      Read enough on the subjects, and you start to see the arguments everywhere, usually by reference.
      why are you watching people discuss functions of the mind you already have mastery over?
      I am nothing like an expert in any of those fields.
      to later implement it into your world domination plans?
      Shhh! I'm not even rolling out phase one of that until next month!


      Paul
      Signature
      .
      Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[464667].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Karen,
        I think most people change as they get older (I know I have)..they start to become less concerned about meeting everyone's approval.
        I have a theory about that. It's a bit more complicated than I want to try and do in a forum post, but the gist of it is this:

        For some people, age brings a combination of changes that include a lessening of the force of the evolutionary drive to reproduce; the experience to see the world more clearly than most; and the loss of desire to control others, which allows the person to stop needing to care what others think.

        If two or more of those are strong enough, anyone will begin to speak their mind and tell things as they really see them. Put all three apples in one cart, and you've got someone with no fear or expressing any opinion at all that they believe is correct.


        Paul
        Signature
        .
        Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[464701].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
          Sylvia,

          Being in the minority is only difficult (outside of situations of physical force, where right or wrong doesn't matter) if you care how other people react to you based on how you think. In short, if you want something from them.

          If you don't want anything from another person, you don't have any reason to try and control them. So, you're free to let them be free, and you simply don't have to care about all that stuff.


          Paul
          Signature
          .
          Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[464725].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
            John,
            Acting like sheep is context dependent.
            Absolutely. Excellent point.
            Probably the only human who doesn't need to feel part of some group in some way, is the sociopath.
            Ooops. Non sequitur.

            Wanting to be part of a group of people who already think like you is not being a sheep. It's being tribal. Those are very different things.

            Consider: If you seek out people who are like you in some way, for the enjoyment of shared [whatever], you are not following anything or anyone with whom/which you don't agree. You are not adjusting your behavior to fit in. You're fitting in because you don't have to adjust your behavior.

            When I finish my work for the evening, I'm going to pull on my jacket (tan leather, with fringe and conchos) and my boots, and head to the bar down the street to play pool. The biker bar down the street. Like most places, the only thing that's required to get along with the people there, no matter how different you might be from the usual theme, is to like people.

            That's it. It works just about everywhere. Just enjoy human beings.

            Tribal instinct is not the same as herd mind. Confusing or conflating the two is a risky thing.


            Paul
            Signature
            .
            Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[464752].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author ptone
          Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

          For some people, age brings a combination of changes that include a lessening of the force of the evolutionary drive to reproduce; the experience to see the world more clearly than most; and the loss of desire to control others, which allows the person to stop needing to care what others think.l
          We less sophisticated types say that these people are no longer "young, dumb, and full of cum."
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[465000].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Cynthia A.
          Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

          Karen,I have a theory about that. It's a bit more complicated than I want to try and do in a forum post, but the gist of it is this:

          For some people, age brings a combination of changes that include a lessening of the force of the evolutionary drive to reproduce; the experience to see the world more clearly than most; and the loss of desire to control others, which allows the person to stop needing to care what others think.

          If two or more of those are strong enough, anyone will begin to speak their mind and tell things as they really see them. Put all three apples in one cart, and you've got someone with no fear or expressing any opinion at all that they believe is correct.


          Paul
          When I was younger I always got in trouble for asking "why?" & going against the grain. I never stopped it & now I'm too old to stop! Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one.

          Cynthia
          Signature
          [WSO]: Learn the The Easiest Way To Get Your Emails OPENED So You Can SELL MORE & MAKE MORE MONEY! Find out here

          Is It Worth The Money?
          Video Reviews of Internet Marketing Products: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly. www.IsItWorthTheMoney.com
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[470618].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
            Originally Posted by Cynthia A. View Post

            When I was younger I always got in trouble for asking "why?" & going against the grain. I never stopped it & now I'm too old to stop! Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one.

            Cynthia
            no, you are definitely not alone, Cynthia. When I was younger, I would also go against the grain, but then I would sometimes back down because I wanted approval. Now I don't back down because I don't worry about approval. I am what I am.
            I know I'm not going to please everyone all the time, and I'm ok with that.

            I tend to think a lot more like Daniel, actually, and try not to take life too seriously because life is too damn short.

            This thread is most interesting and I love learning about people. It's so interesting and Paul, thanks for a great topic!
            Signature
            ---------------
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[471388].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author John Taylor
        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        I asked a question, leaned back, and just watched and listened. Learned a lot during that conversation.
        You don't always have to ask a question. You
        simply start a new thread with a link to an
        article of interest. Position the link within a
        suitable context, then "lean back" and see what
        unfolds. ;-)

        John
        Signature
        John's Internet Marketing News, Views & Reviews: John Taylor Online
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[465550].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author sylviad
      The research probably has its merits, but people make decisions for any number of reasons. Possibly one of the biggest is the need to be accepted by the group. Next to that is probably the fear of being wrong. If everyone else came to the same conclusion, then their answer must be right.

      As you say, Paul, people in the 25-30% (or 5% according to Vince) group can offer valuable input - turn the discussions and conclusions down a different path. This alternate view is essential when it comes to making vital decisions. If everyone was going to jump off a cliff because #1 said so (to use a worn out cliche), that would be one time that the 5% would have something useful to offer.

      Speaking from experience, I can tell you that being in that minority has its drawbacks. If you are strong enough and/or confident enough in your decisions, fitting in probably doesn't hold as much significance. If you do not have that inner fortitude, then it would be less "painful" to just agree.

      I, for one, would find that difficult... and do not fully understand people who do give up their independent thought to join the masses. They are probably the same people who would easily become absorbed into cults.

      Sylvia
      Signature
      :: Got a dog? Visit my blog. Dog Talk Weekly
      :: Writing, Audio Transcription Services? - Award-winning Journalist is taking new projects. Warrior Discounts!
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[464678].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author John Rowe
    Acting like sheep is context dependent.

    And that's something I've never seen mentioned in any study, or by anyone who enjoys prodding the herd.

    I agree with Matthew. One of our strongest instincts, and probably one reason we've survived as a species, is the urge to be part of a group. I don't doubt it's in our genes.

    Being a relatively small and weak species, it makes sense to me that we probably learned to cooperate quickly. And it makes it easier to understand why so many people don't want to go against the group or to be seen as different or difficult.

    I am as individual as they come.

    I think and act for myself. I like standing out from the crowd, and embracing the new and the different. I do not just believe what I am told to believe. But, being an individual is situational.

    At some point, all of us find a way to show people like us that we are people like them. Golfers, cyclists, hippies, rednecks, and even biker gangs make their allegiance perfectly clear.

    Acting like sheep is context dependent. Probably the only human who doesn't need to feel part of some group in some way, is the sociopath.
    Signature

    We have a system that increasingly taxes work and subsidizes nonwork.
    ~ Milton Friedman

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[464717].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Debbie Allen
    As already stated, fear is often the driving force behind conformity - negative emotions are almost always stronger and more compelling than positive ones...

    Time, experience, and even success does seem to provide a certain level of freedom from needing approval from others.

    Some loners are alone because they do not need or seek others and other loners are alone because they fear they are not worthy and will not be accepted by others. Okay - this is my background in psych nursing talking, sorry! lol
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[464726].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Fabian Tan
    [DELETED]
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[464735].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author chrisnegro
      Originally Posted by Fabian Tan View Post

      Discipline, hard work, insider knowledge, knowing the right people, smarts. All that doesn't matter if people can't escape...

      groupthink.

      The best entrepreneurs I know are the worst groupthinkers.

      Employers, on the other hand, love groupthinkers to work for them as underlings.

      Fabian
      Very true Fabian ...I love to see other Warriors such as yourself that have this perspective.

      Cheers,

      Chris Negro
      Signature

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[465034].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author TrendSurfer
    Sheep don't know they are sheep. Just to hang out with the group and eat some nice grass offerings. The lone wolf doesn't know he is a wolf. Just only to find a sheep to eat.

    Question, how is it sheep keep getting eaten time and time again? Maybe the wolf knows where to find his next meal. Hummm!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[464761].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author shanemr
    I agree with a lot of the comments made by others regarding this subject. I believe that leaders will tend to make decisions and create opportunities, while followers, or those afraid of making their own opinions heard, will generally tend to agree with others in a group setting.

    Obviously this could stem from personal insecurities, which forces a person to recede into the background. Another reason could be a fear of confrontation on making a stand for something you believe in.

    Shane
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[464769].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Jared Alberghini
    Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

    Interesting article. It describes (translated from the French) a theory that some portion of the tendency to adjust our stated opinions to match those of others in a group comes from a neurological function.

    t r u t h o u t | Why Do We Act Like Sheep?

    The most interesting part of the article, for me, is the assertion by a critic of the theory that 25-30% of people are not subject to this tendency.



    Paul

    Paul,

    Here's my take on this intriguing topic...

    I believe there is an imprinted DNA/gene/whatever that tells us there is safety in numbers. We all are programmed to survive.

    It doesn't matter if you are a sheep (prey), or a lion (predator), or a sheep herder, or a lion tamer (a mix of both predator and prey). The same rules apply, the bigger number you are associated with, the better chance of survival.

    The more wildebeests that are in a herd, the better chance of them surviving crossing a river infested with crocodiles that are just sitting there waiting to be served wilde-burgers.

    The more lions in a pride, the stronger that unit becomes. The better chance of survival shows it's teeth.

    The more hyenas in a pack, the better chance they will steal their competitors food, since their business model is scavenging.

    Look to nature and our primordial instincts, and you will find more answers you ever thought of asking.

    - J
    Signature

    P.S.

    Join The Future: Telekinetic Marketing

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[464791].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Jared Alberghini
    Paul,

    You are making me think too much... cut it out, I am beginning to smell smoke and I just saw a puff come out both of my ears.

    Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

    There are a lot of mammals that live primarily solitary lives.
    Not completely solitary... I have had quite an issue with skunks, and black bears, that continue to break into my garbage on the back porch, or when I put it out the night before.

    I have seen these 'solitary' creatures up close and in person, with 3-4 young that are following them and learning from their mommies where to go for survival, where to get the best food on Wednesday nights from the fool who doesn't have locking trash cans.

    These young would not know where to go to get food if they weren't told where to go.

    This brings up your point about replication of the genes.

    Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

    It's replication of the genes. Evolutionary, rather than personal, considerations. Species survival (replicating the genes) is almost always secondary to individual survival.
    Now that's cool.

    So anyway,

    I've got nothing on your joke :0

    - Jared
    Signature

    P.S.

    Join The Future: Telekinetic Marketing

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[464888].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author John Rowe
    Paul,
    Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

    Absolutely. Excellent point...
    Ooops. Non sequitur...
    Tribal instinct is not the same as herd mind. Confusing or conflating the two is a risky thing...
    Thanks for the critique, but when you said non sequitur,
    you might have been going for another word because
    that one doesn't work there.

    Just go back and reread what I wrote and I'll bet this time
    you'll see the separation between the two things you've
    commented on.

    I am interested in hearing why you think that confusing or
    con..fla..ting the two is a risky thing, though.

    Did you mean 'fishing out on the open ocean' risky, or more
    like just 'infected sliver' risky?
    Signature

    We have a system that increasingly taxes work and subsidizes nonwork.
    ~ Milton Friedman

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[464899].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      In the article I liked Bril's comments - which seem to say that the theory postulated by Klucharev is based on nothing more than the current trendiness of attributing such behavior almost automatically to neurology - and that would be sheep-like in itself, wouldn't it?

      Such behavior may be social but just as for years every mental problem was blamed on love/hate for your Mother - now it's all "neurological".

      kay
      Signature
      Every child needs a pet because every family needs an optimist

      Saving one dog will not save the world....but will forever change the world for one dog.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[464962].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Sylvia Meier
    I agree with Vince on sheep simply floating through life. And the worst part is they will never know how great life could've been on the outside. They are so ingrained to fear life and anything outside the box that they never will. I mean our children are being institutionalized almost out of the womb now a days, Sure as being part of the "group" can be fun at times I much prefer to walk my own path and have my own thoughts. And prefer to teach my children the same.

    The day I become a shell of a person who let's someone else think for me, is the day I hope someone or something ends my life.

    We are all born unique, we should all die unique, not paper cutter images of the same person with the same thoughts.

    As is one of my favorite quotes (not that I can recall who said it) BE YOURSELF EVERYONE ELSE IS ALREADY TAKEN.

    Just my thoughts though.
    Sylvia
    Signature
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[465068].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author fred67
      Originally Posted by Sylvia Rolfe View Post

      The day I become a shell of a person who let's someone else think for me, is the day I hope someone or something ends my life.

      We are all born unique, we should all die unique, not paper cutter images of the same person with the same thoughts.

      This thread is Soooo interesting because no-one seems to have grasped the fundamentals of WHY we are 'Sheep-Like'.
      Not wishing to abuse this forum, I've put my explanation on Twitter if anyone's interested :-)

      Pete.
      Signature
      Free E-book Library/Business Promotion Resources
      http://fred67.com/library
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[465477].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Jared Alberghini
        Originally Posted by fred67 View Post

        This thread is Soooo interesting because no-one seems to have grasped the fundamentals of WHY we are 'Sheep-Like'.
        Not wishing to abuse this forum, I've put my explanation on Twitter if anyone's interested :-)

        Pete.

        Pete, I'm confused... why is your username here fred67? and why aren't you contributing your thoughts here? Asking people to check out your Twitter page for your thoughts on this topic doesn't fly around here.

        - Jared
        Signature

        P.S.

        Join The Future: Telekinetic Marketing

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[465506].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author fred67
          Originally Posted by Jared Alberghini View Post

          Pete, I'm confused... why is your username here fred67? and why aren't you contributing your thoughts here? Asking people to check out your Twitter page for your thoughts on this topic doesn't fly around here.

          - Jared
          Because this is a business forum, and my reply as to 'why' we mostly behave 'sheep-like' is political.

          It 'would' be abusive to divert the thread, but as I was led here by a link on Twitter it seemed only natural to return the compliment.

          FRED67 is a name I 'used' to use on various forums etc. I also have a website of the same name. I tried to change the name here about a year ago, but it wouldn't let me :-)

          Pete.
          Signature
          Free E-book Library/Business Promotion Resources
          http://fred67.com/library
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[465552].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author VegasVince
        Originally Posted by fred67 View Post

        This thread is Soooo interesting because no-one seems to have grasped the fundamentals of WHY we are 'Sheep-Like'.
        Not wishing to abuse this forum, I've put my explanation on Twitter if anyone's interested :-)

        Pete.

        No offense dude.

        But speak for yourself.

        Aint no sheep in Vinnie Land.




        xxx Vegas Vince
        Legend.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[465555].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author fred67
          Originally Posted by VegasVince View Post

          No offense dude.

          But speak for yourself.

          Aint no sheep in Vinnie Land.




          xxx Vegas Vince
          Legend.

          I know that Vinnie - Don't forget - I read your Tweets too :-)
          Signature
          Free E-book Library/Business Promotion Resources
          http://fred67.com/library
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[465568].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author robocallaghan
    I didn't read the article in the link - thought it maybe a trick by Paul to find the sheep on the forum :-)

    Rob.
    Signature

    .

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[465529].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Robert Puddy
    Isnt this just the social proof argument so widely used in IM

    Case in point...

    When i run a conference and have a round table of experts, where one table is empty of questioners, I simply ask a couple of people to go over to the table and hey presto people start to wander over to that table of thier own accord.

    It seems most new comers into the room naturally congegrate at the table with most people around it

    Robert
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[465999].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author garyv
      Does anyone else find it kind of ironic that we're talking about sheep behavior in a forum? I mean you can't really come in here and make the "I'm not a sheep" argument, because just by being here you've already negated that argument.

      I mean we all exhibit sheep behavior at some point. How do you get from your house to the store? You have to follow the car in front of you. When you're at the store, you have to follow the customer in front of you at the checkout.

      The sheep mentality is not always good, but sometimes it's necessary. If you have to get across a canyon, and the only way across is over a very narrow bridge. Are you going to follow the herd that's already crossing? Or are you going to be the one individual that veers off? Sometimes noticing a herd and following is just an indication, that it's the right thing to do for survival.

      I mean it's not always that Baaaaaaaad!
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[466092].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
        Originally Posted by garyv View Post

        I mean it's not always that Baaaaaaaad!
        LOL.. no it isn't, but this attempt at humour was REALLY bad
        Signature

        Bare Murkage.........

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[466161].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author MakingMoneyAtHome
          Originally Posted by JayXtreme View Post

          LOL.. no it isn't, but this attempt at humour was REALLY bad
          I ditto this comment.

          Dawn
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[466211].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
            Originally Posted by Colin Evans View Post

            Not sure I'd go as far as to say "they gave up living a long time ago" but on the whole I agree. Put a lunatic with an AK47 in a room full of people, and nobody wants to noticed any more. The less you stand out, the greater your chances of getting out unharmed.

            Based on my personal experiences I believe it's a survival instinct, and it's learned and not inherited.
            Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

            The question is much bigger than survival of the individual. It's replication of the genes. Evolutionary, rather than personal, considerations. Species survival (replicating the genes) is almost always secondary to individual survival.
            It works the same way with a school of fish and a circling shark. The fish will ball together tightly, so that no individual presents itself as a target. If the shark charges the school, it scatters in all directions only to reform behind the shark and start the dance again.

            That survival instinct is definitely inherited. Individuals that lose themselves in the school survive and pass on the genes. Individual that stray too far from the school pass through the predator's digestive tract.

            I saw a fascinating piece of video this weekend. Many fishing shows will show the host throwing a cast net to catch bait for a fishing trip. This one showed the net from the bait's perspective.

            As the net hit the water, the baitfish clumped into the characteristic ball. Since most predator attacks come from below, the instinct is to escape by swimming upwards.

            Now the net is sinking slowly from above. The frightened bait swims up - straight into the settling net. When simply swimming sideways or down would allow them to escape unscathed.

            In footage of several throws of the net, not a single, solitary fish would abandon the school and swim to freedom.

            You can see this same cluster-and-flee behavior with many herd species. Watch the footage of a cheetah bursting into a school of antelope. The entire herd will bolt off in the same direction, when the odds of individual survival would favor scattering.

            In the grand scheme of things, it wasn't all that long ago that humans were the baitfish or the antelope, and there were a lot more sharks and cheetahs roaming around.

            It's going to take a lot more than a few thousand years of civilization to breed that instinct out of us.
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[466431].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author Colin Evans
              Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

              That survival instinct is definitely inherited. Individuals that lose themselves in the school survive and pass on the genes. Individual that stray too far from the school pass through the predator's digestive tract.
              It could also be because the fish is killed, it can't teach siblings the same behaviour.

              I've been around wildlife my entire life and one of the biggest challenges when re-introducing animals back into the wild is they don't have many "normal" survival instincts - you have to "unteach" the habits they learned from being in captivity and teach them how to survive in the wild (be it hunting or defending).

              The flight or fight response is about the only "normal" instinct all animals seem to inherit, how they use that response is learned (or seems to be).
              Signature

              Sig not working today - too hung over...

              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[467506].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author rafaelapolinario
              Maybe it was just our nature to conform for the things that is happening around us. But sometimes we must learn to do what we think is right and stand our ground.

              Rafael
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[526323].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
        Originally Posted by garyv View Post

        Does anyone else find it kind of ironic that we're talking about sheep behavior in a forum? I mean you can't really come in here and make the "I'm not a sheep" argument, because just by being here you've already negated that argument.
        I resent that comment, Gary. I don't come into this forum because I'm a sheep. I come into this forum because I'm a leader who wants to learn from other leaders, thank you very much, sir!
        Signature
        ---------------
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[468350].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
    Colin,
    Based on my personal experiences I believe it's a survival instinct, and it's learned and not inherited.
    I tend to think it's a bit of both. There is survival value in having some risk-takers in an intelligent species, as they're going to be the source of advancement.

    Too many of them, and you end up with chaos. Too few, and they appear sufficiently abnormal that they'd likely be shunned. The balance seems to come from the traits for favoring the familiar and desire for gain, both of which relate strongly to the drive for reproductive success.

    The psychological end of it would come from the social impact of the different behaviors on those same considerations.

    Evolutionary forces tend to favor Jared's examples, while social forces fit many of the others in the thread. Particularly the question of social proof that Bob brought up.

    We all have some mixture of all three positions - follower, leader and lone actor. Most of the time, we tend toward following the norms, simply because they're unlikely to result in dangerous situations. When something is important enough, for whatever reason, we will move toward whichever of the other states is most likely to get us what we want.

    For a lot of people, following becomes a default state, due to various fears. Still, they have the other two qualities. Suppressing them due to fear is what leads to "lives of quiet desperation."


    John,
    Just go back and reread what I wrote and I'll bet this time you'll see the separation between the two things you've commented on.
    I'm sorry. I'm not seeing it. Those two quotes were one right after the other, in the same paragraph. The quote about context dependence was the first sentence in the post and the start of the last paragraph.

    What am I missing here?


    ptone,

    I've only ever heard one person use that phrase before. I thought it was particularly clever, even though it's not always an appropriate choice of words.


    Rob,
    maybe a trick by Paul to find the sheep on the forum
    Okay. THAT was funny.


    JT,

    Shhh! You're giving away my secrets!


    Gary,
    Does anyone else find it kind of ironic that we're talking about sheep behavior in a forum? I mean you can't really come in here and make the "I'm not a sheep" argument, because just by being here you've already negated that argument.
    If you define it that way, sure. I don't think that's what most people mean by the word. If it was, they probably wouldn't use it with such implied scorn.

    The characteristics I think of when I hear the word "sheep" applied to people (which I don't really like most times) all fit around the idea of being a follower almost exclusively, by default.

    I would make a distinction between that and the tribal nature of people. You don't have to be a follower to be social.


    Paul M,

    Sacred cash cows make the tastiest burgers.


    Paul
    Signature
    .
    Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[466333].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Kurt
      First, how do we know that sheep don't act like us?

      The truth is, everyone can't be a leader. And sheep aren't necessarily following the herd, they are following a leader. Also, lambs aren't following the herd, they are following their mother, who in turn follows the leader.

      And this leader has earned his right to lead by fighting for the right to be the leader. He won. And if you want to be the leader, all you have to do is challenge and beat the leader.

      Why do elephants follow a matriarch? Because she has proven she knows where the food and water is. Go ahead Dumbo, go off on your own and see how long you last on your own in the middle of the Sahara.

      Why do wolves follow the alpha male and female? Because they have proven they can kick your butt and fighting for rank at each meal has a steep price to pay. So, they <basically> fight once and let that be the determining factor for who leads.

      Even solitary creatures have social structures, such as boundaries and mating rituals.

      Great societies are built on having good followers, as every great society in the history of mankind is possible only through military victory (victories). And the militaries of history may be the best example of "follow the leader". You need good followers to have good leaders.

      As Gary said, we all are followers to some degree. It makes sense that we don't fight every time a decision is made. Is it better to get out and fight at every intersection for the right of way, or do we follow what society has deemed to be the rules of the road?

      To use terms from another thread, we have "micro" and "macro" leaders. Obama is a macro leader for the US. Our parents, bosses, are micro leaders,

      On a side note, I saw a show on Animal Planet about a zoo that put gorillas and some specie of antelope together. These species are not naturally found together. It was interesting that the alpha males of both species "hung out" together...For some reason that I can't explain, it seems relevant.
      Signature
      Serious about Print on Demand? Discover how YOU can join my FREE exclusive secret alliance
      Plus how to get my Print on Demand Treasure Maps for FREE
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[466447].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
      Man's first psychological/emotional need is the need to belong.

      We are herding animals.

      Put simply the person who can't stay part of a tribe was far less likely to survive hence a large percentage of people are almost completely unable to think or act beyond their need to belong.

      Fortunately a small percentage of people aren't wired this way (leaving the tribe often meant the formation of new tribes or at least surviving to mate).

      Most people will act like sheep in response to their desperate need to belong (and this is certainly something you can be aware of and use both to your advantage and their advantage).

      But there will always be the outcasts, mavericks and exceptional leaders who don't feel the need to fit in.

      There are also ways to reduce your desire for belonging...developing strong self acceptance and self esteem is the most powerful.

      Kindest regards,
      Andrew Cavanagh
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[469170].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author fred67
        Originally Posted by AndrewCavanagh View Post

        Man's first psychological/emotional need is the need to belong.

        We are herding animals.

        Put simply the person who can't stay part of a tribe was far less likely to survive hence a large percentage of people are almost completely unable to think or act beyond their need to belong.

        Fortunately a small percentage of people aren't wired this way (leaving the tribe often meant the formation of new tribes or at least surviving to mate).

        Most people will act like sheep in response to their desperate need to belong (and this is certainly something you can be aware of and use both to your advantage and their advantage).

        But there will always be the outcasts, mavericks and exceptional leaders who don't feel the need to fit in.

        There are also ways to reduce your desire for belonging...developing strong self acceptance and self esteem is the most powerful.

        Kindest regards,
        Andrew Cavanagh
        That's exactly the point ;-)
        Signature
        Free E-book Library/Business Promotion Resources
        http://fred67.com/library
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[469828].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author kiethdavis
      I couldn't agree more. Sheep are the majority. You could give someone a bullet proof plan on a way to guarantee success at anything and most people wouldn't even read it, let alone apply it.

      I'm so glad someone pointed out to me long ago that I was a sheep. Because the minute you realize and see what you are, you can change it....and I did!

      Thank you Anthony Robbins!!
      Signature

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[470123].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author ExRat
        Hi ZigZag,

        That's obvious but thanks for pointing it out ExRat. The point is that many people would rather trust other people (either a group or a person in authority) than trusting themselves.
        With respect, this is probably obvious too - but your conclusion above doesn't really stack up. The conclusions from the experiment can't be summarized in a brief sentence like that, and nor can typical human behaviour.

        Many people who are generally 'aware' (for want of a better word) are fully aware that most 'authority figures' are simply normal people with fancy job titles, who's guidance is to be accepted only with caution. And as for crowds/groups, many people spend most of their life avoiding them as much as possible.

        Quick example - bungee jumping. Even though the guy telling you to jump is an authority figure, and even though someone might have witnessed many others jumping safely beforehand, most people will only jump once they have decided for themselves that it really is safe, and other peoples' encouragement while they come to that conclusion is merely a useless annoyance.

        As you can see from my above statements, the word 'many' is such a flexible word it is probably unwise to use it in any kind of conclusion.

        Hi Keith,

        I couldn't agree more. Sheep are the majority. You could give someone a bullet proof plan on a way to guarantee success at anything and most people wouldn't even read it, let alone apply it.
        Why does that make them sheep? It sounds more like they are either lazy, or lacking in belief.
        Signature


        Roger Davis

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[470196].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
          I'm not really interested in debating this ExRat. Even so you've raised some good points.

          I probably should have mentioned that the experiment was an experiment and that people weren't really being electrocuted. I mostly posted that for entertainment. Something interesting for people to watch. Rather than something to be intellectually discussed.

          It's almost beer time here in England and I can't be bothered posturing.

          Also I posted it to make my point that being the leader of your life means: "Trusting yourself independent of what other people think." Personally I think I would have stopped the experiment because it's against what I stand for. And trusting yourself or being a leader is an important skill to master in my opinion.

          Thanks for the discussion and all the best, my friend.
          Signature
          "Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity."―Joseph Sugarman
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[470243].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JamesPenn
    Fantastic article mainly because I'm currently in the process of writing an essay on compliance and conformity for my university studies and this provides a fantastic resource to refer to.

    James
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[466491].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Angela V. Edwards
    I spend 20 years in the (chain) restaurant business. I could tell practically to the minute when one of our commercials came on television, because that would be what we'd sell. People are like sheep and that's a very good thing for those who advertise to the masses.
    Signature
    -----------------------------------------


    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[466504].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
    I completely agree with the article. Wait. What. Hang on a moment ...
    Signature
    "Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity."―Joseph Sugarman
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[466515].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author rlnorthcutt
    If you read Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini, there are some great insights into the "click-whir" programs we have built into us AND how marketing/sales taps into it to get people to do stuff.

    See wikipedia for the 6 factors of influence he outlines... interesting stuff:
    Robert Cialdini - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I think that this provides a useful model for discussing the herd mentality displayed in humans. Its not that there is a single factor influencing "sheep-like" behavior... rather there are programs built into us that tend to naturally lead most people to follow the crowd.

    Whether these programs are genetic or learned (or both!) is really academic... the fact is, they exist.

    I think that marketers who learn these "tricks" in order to use them to sell are naturally going to be resistant to having the tricks used on them. I personally find it really funny when people try to sell me, because I usually know exactly what they are trying to do (even if they don't).

    My wife and I often joke and analyze their approach and use it as an opportunity to expand our knowledge. So from a certain perspective we are NOT sheep because we tend to make decisions independent of what other people think or do (just ask my family!)

    THE BOTTOM LINE: WHATS IN IT FOR ME?

    This is a great thread, and good information... but I think there are two main points here:

    1) How can we use these tendencies to get past our customer's filters and get our information to them (so that they hopefully buy our product/service)?

    2) How can we be aware of these tendencies at work within ourselves so that we can make decisions based on logic and reason instead of programming and emotion?

    Of course, this assumes that your goals are similar to mine... but hey - aren't we all just members of a different herd on WF? It may not be a herd of sheep, but a herd nonetheless

    ron
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[466595].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
    Maybe we're not sheep. Maybe we're monkeys.

    "The Hundredth Monkey" by Ken Keyes, Jr
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[466618].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author sylviad
      You've all heard the expression, "too many chiefs and not enough Indians" (no disrespect intended to the Native community that might be listening).

      While we might not want to admit it, we are not much unlike other mammals - we have our own pecking order. Those who lead and those who follow. If everyone led, which direction would we go? :rolleyes:

      Take it back through evolution to the cave man. He was boss, his wife followed (or was dragged) and the ensuing children followed her. In a tribe, one person leads and is respected for his decisions. That tribe leader (or Indian chief) would be one of those 25-30% (or 5%) who are independent thinkers. The rest either conform to his thinking or leave the tribe.

      There are many situations where leaders are either chosen or just allowed to take over, like in disaster situations and on juries.

      This clearly indicates that we want leaders for guidance, because otherwise we are just individuals heading off in different directions, achieving little. We probably knew this from the beginning of time and it is now emblazoned onto our thought processes.

      This mentality certainly can be used to our benefit as marketers. How often have you seen ads featuring star athletes, famous people, admirable people and people we envy for their achievements (better bodies, more success, happier family, etc.). By using such references in our advertising, we can lure the followers to buy from us.

      For sure, Tiger Woods has initiated billions in golf-related sales because he's always on TV swinging a club. Whether he's promoting your product or not doesn't really matter. Simply hinting that he uses a certain golf ball will drive sales to that brand. Of course, you have to be careful using such famous names or you could end up getting sued if he has not agreed to be featured in your promos.

      The point is, people (the sheep) want to do what their peers (the rams) have accomplished. Show them their peers and you will attract buyers.

      Interesting that tribes, packs and herds put males up front as the caveMAN was head honcho.

      (... I think I'm losing focus)

      Sylvia
      Signature
      :: Got a dog? Visit my blog. Dog Talk Weekly
      :: Writing, Audio Transcription Services? - Award-winning Journalist is taking new projects. Warrior Discounts!
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[466706].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author richdirtygirl
        Hum... couldn't find it... read some time ago about the evolutionary side of the conversation... it was something about the sheep behavior was actually a winning gene: copy the ones who succeed one way or another allowed other folks to learn and succeed faster than by their own means.

        Now that I think about it... aren't all the products based on interviews to experts in this line?

        Found only this... but it's kind of dry...

        ScienceDirect - Evolution and Human Behavior : An experimental simulation of the &#x201c;copy-successful-individuals&#x201d; cultural learning strategy: adaptive landscapes, producer&#x2013;scrounger dynamics, and informational access costs

        I like to think about it like this... we can't be experts on everything... so develop the art in one area and take the fast track (sheep) in the others...

        I personally love to find sheep in my areas of "expertise"... it is so much easier to sell to them...

        RDG :p
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[466813].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Melody
          Gosh - the discussion one misses when one is actually spending the am working (hate it when that happens!)

          Quote:
          to later implement it into your world domination plans?

          Shhh! I'm not even rolling out phase one of that until next month!


          I assume you will have a two-tier affiliate program?

          ;-)

          Melody
          Signature
          Our first "Digital Yard Sale"! A massive PLR Blowout Sale to help a friend pay medical expenses.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[466862].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
            Melody,
            I assume you will have a two-tier affiliate program?
            Nope.

            I might be planning to overthrow Dogbert, and take control of DNRC.

            Or I might not.


            Paul
            Signature
            .
            Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[467117].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author Melody
              Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

              Melody, Nope.

              I might be planning to overthrow Dogbert, and take control of DNRC.

              Or I might not.


              Paul
              LOL - in that case, forget the affiliate program - I want to JV!
              Signature
              Our first "Digital Yard Sale"! A massive PLR Blowout Sale to help a friend pay medical expenses.
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[467156].message }}
              • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                I think most people act like sheep because of fear.

                They're afraid to do something that's not in the norm either because they're
                afraid of being laughed at, ridiculed, criticized or they're simply afraid of
                failing.

                It's a lot easier to just do what everybody else does than to blaze your own
                trail.

                That's why the greatest people of our generation and generations before us
                were the ones who dared to be different or come up with a new idea.

                There is more risk, but there is also more reward.

                And then there is that. Some people are petrified of success. They don't
                know what they'd do if they ever achieved it.

                I am speaking from experience because I was a sheep for many years of
                my life. When I came close to getting my first song recorded, I was
                petrified. What would this do to my life? How would it change it?

                It is because of that fear that I truly believe that it never came to be.

                I have since stopped being afraid. I take my shots and whatever happens,
                happens. The worst thing that can happen from taking chances is you die.

                And we're all going to die sometimes anyway, so why worry about it?

                I think some people are so afraid of living that they don't really live at all.
                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[467203].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
          RDG,
          it was something about the sheep behavior was actually a winning gene: copy the ones who succeed one way or another allowed other folks to learn and succeed faster than by their own means.
          If you liked that article, you might enjoy Dawkins' "The Selfish Gene." Or, given your propensities, Matt Ridley's "The Red Queen."


          Paul
          Signature
          .
          Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[467129].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Steve T.
    Some of the latest evidence indicates that sheep [real sheep] are not that timid at all. In fact, what they do is sort of "group think".

    Recent studies in the UK show that animals like sheep are very democratic in their behavior.

    Rather than be led by a single leader, what they tend to do is to "vote" one group decisions. The members of the group test out different paths to take and when a majority of them decide which direction they want to go in, they all join in.

    This is sooooo cool.

    The same behavior has been documented in birds, herds of animals and schools of fish. It seems that the animal world is more democratic that we thought.

    Let me know what you think. Have a great day everyone.

    Steve
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[467234].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author LarryC
    Interesting article -I think I'll post that to one of my blogs. Of course, when you are a marketer, you have to tap into the sheep instinct to some extent. At least that's how big brand names and in internet marketing, gurus get their following.
    In some cases, the popular products have real value, but the value is perceived by many more people if an established authority promotes it. Think Oprah.
    Signature
    Content Writing, Ghostwriting, eBooks, editing, research.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[467262].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author PaidToEmpower
    We act like sheep because we are lazy.

    I could go on and on about this...but....I'm lazy. (yawn)
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[467279].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
      Originally Posted by PaidToEmpower View Post

      We act like sheep because we are lazy.

      I could go on and on about this...but....I'm lazy. (yawn)
      I completely agree with this post.
      Signature
      "Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity."―Joseph Sugarman
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[467358].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
    We also need to take in to consideration the thought that it really is a lot more difficult to be unique and different than one would guess on the surface.

    Just an example in the Arts, the Greeks have already covered the 26 or 27 plots or conditions of any story. Yes, there are variations on a theme, however, the truth is that the basic structure of all of our modern stories have already been explored and noted.

    Then there is the matter of dress. Anyone here that is familiar with the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco can tell you that it's almost impossible to stand out in that crowd.

    If you wear short hair, someone will immediately associate you with a group. Long hair has a group. Dress in black and you're a Goth...

    So, out of 6 billion people and the Internet showing kids everything happening right now, who really has the time to try and find a distinctive style or look. How many different short sleeve shirts do the manufactures make. Just how many ways can you wear facial hair.

    Not to mention the rules that apply to getting a job, keeping a job, what you must wear if you go into a restaurant, regulations on customizing your vehicle and so on.

    Maybe the combination of limited choices, imposed rules and regulations, and time dictate our paths more than we realize.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[467404].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author lcombs
    The bottom line is, people are just too damn lazy to think for themselves.
    I've always gone with the philosophy that when ever I find myself agreeing with the majority I need to re-think my position.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[467437].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
      Originally Posted by lcombs View Post

      when ever I find myself agreeing with the majority I need to re-think my position.
      What if they are telling you not to play in the freeway?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[467469].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author fred67
    There's only one reason we all act like sheep, and that's because we're all ONE. Mark Joyner puts it pretty good with his 'Mind bombs'. David Blaine & Derren Brown ALSO demonstrate exactly HOW we can all be manipulated against our will. The initiator of this post has herded us all into a coral and can now do what he likes with us (or our comments & thoughts).

    I wrote a book last year called 'The Human Survival blueprint'. If you Google that title it will show on the 1st page. Get it 'for free' and be prepared to be dismayed.

    Pete :-)
    Signature
    Free E-book Library/Business Promotion Resources
    http://fred67.com/library
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[468636].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Pete,
      The initiator of this post has herded us all into a coral and can now do what he likes with us (or our comments & thoughts).
      Ummm.... Yeah. Right.

      So, you think that intelligent discussion of the realities of human interaction, in a marketing forum, is done for purposes of control? Or that the people participating in this discussion (a very tiny percentage of the membership) are here because they're "sheep," rather thyan out of an interest in the subject?

      That is an... interesting... perspective. I'd be curious how you arrive at this assertion.


      Matt,

      Making an effort to deliberately stand out is not a sign of independence. It's a sign of dependence on the opinions of others.


      Paul
      Signature
      .
      Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[468665].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Allen Lewis
        Wait a minute, since we are all agreeing with Paul here, doesn't that make us sheep?

        Seriously, people are easily influenced by things around them.

        That's why you see people talking about how they need to go to the library or Starbucks to work productively. They are affected a lot by their environment. The environment practically controls how they think and act.

        Now, I'm not saying the 'environment' doesn't affect everyone, but some people are less affected by it. These are the independent thinkers who are not easily influenced.

        Why are con men and confidence tricksters able to win the confidence of people easily? Because they know what it takes to fool people.

        A bit of charm and a sweet tongue is enough to get most people on your side.

        People don't want to hear the truth, they just want to blend in.

        Allen
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[468676].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        Matt,
        Making an effort to deliberately stand out is not a sign of independence. It's a sign of dependence on the opinions of others.
        Paul
        Paul, I agree with that but my point was that even if your objective was to make a deliberate effort to stand out, it's not as easy as it appears.

        In the society we live in today, in order to stand out purely in appearance (since it is easier to see someone or something that is different or unique than what they think or feel) would be very difficult without crossing the line into appearing mad.

        Also, if one were to choose to just "be" who they are and they happen to by coincidence go out the door in the morning looking like Mr. Jones don't they run the risk of being labeled a "sheep".

        It would seem to me that it is very difficult to judge a "non-sheep" given the parameters here. Also, it would be just as difficult, if not more so, to know if said "non-sheep" did in fact come up with a unique idea all on his own or if he based his opinions and beliefs on a previous reference point that had been presented to him by a known "sheep". Therefore, by default making the mistaken "non-sheep" a "sheep".
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[469717].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
          You guys are making this very complicated. And you're debating for no other purpose than debating. Nothing wrong with that. But remember it's only a discussion and there are more productive pursuits to be concentrating on.

          No person is a sheep whether they've created something original by being influenced by other people or not. My perspective is that important to be the leader of your own life. And what that means is: Trusting yourself independent of what other people think. Master that skill and you'll be more successful
          Signature
          "Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity."―Joseph Sugarman
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[469740].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author ExRat
      Hi Matthew,
      Anyone here that is familiar with the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco can tell you that it's almost impossible to stand out in that crowd.
      Baaaaaaaaa!

      Hi Paul,

      Making an effort to deliberately stand out is not a sign of independence. It's a sign of dependence on the opinions of others.
      Baaaaaaaaa! to me ;-)

      Seriously, I don't think it necessarily means that someone is 'dependent' on the opinions of others. They might just believe that if they are going to make the effort, then they prefer a more interesting/strong reaction. They might just enjoy seeing the opinions of others and gain more from it, rather than being dependent on it.

      I think it can be a sign of independence and it can be a sign of dependence on the opinions of others. But I also think it can be something else entirely.
      Signature


      Roger Davis

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[468683].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Roger,
        They might just believe that if they are going to make the effort, then they prefer a more interesting/strong reaction. They might just enjoy seeing the opinions of others and gain more from it, rather than being dependent on it.
        Note that I said, "an effort to deliberately stand out."

        Put that together with your suggested possible motivations, and you still have people basing their behavior on an expected/hoped for response from others. Not precisely "sheep-like" behavior, but hardly independent.

        A truly independent person will, for the most part, not adjust their behavior at all based on the opinions of others, unless it's a conscious and delberate decision that's made with a higher priority in mind.

        An example would be the person who hates pop-ups, but uses them because they're within acceptable ethical boundaries and get the desired results.


        Paul
        Signature
        .
        Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[468708].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author ExRat
          Hi Paul,

          Put that together with your suggested possible motivations, and you still have people basing their behavior on an expected/hoped for response from others.
          What about if someone -

          a) made an effort to deliberately stand out because by doing that, the responses that they got were simply more revealing and useful

          and

          b) they were a marketer/learning marketing and they had no expected/hoped for response - they simply want a response and by standing out they increase the odds of a response, and a more useful one

          In that scenario, they could be entirely independent and unsheeplike, but perhaps are testing others - and although not exclusively, one of the possible (but not expected) outcomes could be to observe the sheeplike responses of others?

          If I mention that I'm thinking in terms of someone doing this on an online marketing forum, perhaps that context reveals where I am coming from? (double-meaning intended) ;-)

          unless it's a conscious and delberate decision that's made with a higher priority in mind.
          That's what I meant ^

          I was being picky, but for good reasons -

          So when you said -

          Making an effort to deliberately stand out is not a sign of independence. It's a sign of dependence on the opinions of others.
          I wondered if you really meant -

          Making an effort to deliberately stand out is not always a sign of independence. It can be a sign of dependence on the opinions of others.

          {sidenote/compliment} When I say 'for good reasons', I mean that it is yourself that has demonstrated the value in being 'picky' like this.
          Signature


          Roger Davis

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[468722].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author fred67
    'The Collective Consciousness Society' - Apart from being a great band with Alexis Korner, is as old as the hills, and even an old Hippie like me can understand it's merits.

    We don't really have the 'choices' we think we do folks - Sorry :-(
    Signature
    Free E-book Library/Business Promotion Resources
    http://fred67.com/library
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[468738].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
      Originally Posted by fred67 View Post


      We don't really have the 'choices' we think we do folks - Sorry :-(
      that's a crock! of course we have choices, lots of them...choose to think about unlimited possibilities and you are no longer part of the flock who chooses limitations.

      change your thinking, change your life!
      Signature
      ---------------
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[469554].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Jared Alberghini
    OK, Paul & Roger, you two need to slow down here... I'm starting to smell smoke... the Riley hamsters you two have in your brains are spinning their little exercise wheels too fast, this thread might end up revealing the meaning of life.

    -J
    Signature

    P.S.

    Join The Future: Telekinetic Marketing

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[468747].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author fred67
      Originally Posted by Jared Alberghini View Post

      this thread might end up revealing the meaning of life.

      -J
      It already has - You're too late :-)
      Signature
      Free E-book Library/Business Promotion Resources
      http://fred67.com/library
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[468761].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Roger,

        That scenario also depends on how the image is maintained. A good example might be Kelly Felix (The Rich Jerk). That is/was a facade maintained for marketing purposes, and not an attempt to influence his personal status socially.

        Contrast that with the clones that popped up using riffs on Kelly's riffs, and you see the difference.
        I wondered if you really meant -

        Making an effort to deliberately stand out is not always a sign of independence.
        Not precisely. If the goal is simply to stand out, that's socially motivated. Standing out as a way to test for a response can be something other.


        Pete,
        We don't really have the 'choices' we think we do folks - Sorry :-(
        What's this 'we' stuff, paleface?

        People have whatever choices they wish to make. Many options are ruled out in favor of higher survival probabilities or priorities, but they're still choices.

        There is no such thing as collective consciousness, in any way that I've heard the phrase used. It's just a way to "reason away" responsibility for our choices.


        Paul
        Signature
        .
        Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[468789].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author fred67
          Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

          Roger,


          Pete,What's this 'we' stuff, paleface?

          People have whatever choices they wish to make. Many options are ruled out in favor of higher survival probabilities or priorities, but they're still choices.

          There is no such thing as collective consciousness, in any way that I've heard the phrase used. It's just a way to "reason away" responsibility for our choices.


          Paul
          Without wishing to appear rude - You're general reading scope requires 'widening'.

          The global Economic meltdown is 'ALL' about collective consciousness, as you will discover if you care to just 'scratch' the surface of the issue instead of closing your mind to things you don't comprehend :-)

          The shoals of fish & flocks of birds? They all act as one for the perceived good of all.

          Study the behaviour of the 1,000's of supporters at any football match and you'll see the proof. (Or, the original Band-Aid' concert) Ypou may think you have choice, as do 'all' of us. But illusionists know differently, as do politicians and Media controllers.

          You & I are merely drops in the ocean, and unless we're one in a billion, will rise & fall with the swell like everyone else.
          Signature
          Free E-book Library/Business Promotion Resources
          http://fred67.com/library
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[468814].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
            Pete,
            Without wishing to appear rude - You're general reading scope requires 'widening'.

            The global Economic meltdown is 'ALL' about collective consciousness, as you will discover if you care to just 'scratch' the surface of the issue instead of closing your mind to things you don't comprehend :-)
            Hmm. Yes, I'd like to widen my reading scope. Unfortunately, I face the physical limitations associated with a finite being in a time-space continuum.

            I will point out, however, that it's been wide enough for me to grasp, assimilate and accept the concept that failing to agree with an argument is not equivalent to failing to comprehend it.

            That said, the economic example is a bad analogy to use to try and prove your point. You're confusing interconnectedness with unity. Social structures and collective consciousness are hardly interchangeable terms.
            The shoals of fish & flocks of birds? They all act as one for the perceived good of all.
            That's demonstrably untrue. They all act based on evolutionary pressures that each one "thinks" (it's actually largely hard-wired) will increase its chances of successfully replicating its own genes. I refer you to the previously mentioned book, "The Selfish Gene," for a more complete explanation by a genuine expert in the field.


            Paul
            Signature
            .
            Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[468833].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
              Pete,
              joking aside, a little more 'research' would do wonders for you Jay.
              By doing wonders, I presume you mean, "make him think more like you?"

              Sloppy technique, sir. And verging on unnecessary rudeness.



              Paul
              Signature
              .
              Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[468836].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author fred67
              Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post


              That said, the economic example is a bad analogy to use to try and prove your point. You're confusing interconnectedness with unity. Social structures and collective consciousness are hardly interchangeable terms.That's demonstrably untrue. They all act based on evolutionary pressures that each one "thinks" (it's actually largely hard-wired) will increase its chances of successfully replicating its own genes. I refer you to the previously mentioned book, "The Selfish Gene," for a more complete explanation by a genuine expert in the field.


              Paul
              They all act based on evolutionary pressures that each one "thinks" (it's actually largely hard-wired) will increase its chances of successfully replicating its own genes.

              That's 'exactly' my point, & the Economic downturn is the 'perfect' example of 'sheep following sheep' which is what the discussion is about.

              By the way. Because someone writes a book, that doesn't make them a 'genuine expert' on any subject, as 'all' Warriors here who've written books to fill their bank accounts will testify.

              (Apart from a select 'few' of course)
              Signature
              Free E-book Library/Business Promotion Resources
              http://fred67.com/library
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[468848].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
        Originally Posted by fred67 View Post

        It already has - You're too late :-)
        I'm repeatedly puzzled, and amused at your frequent attempts to appear "more informed" than others, when in reality the truth seems to be quite the opposite.. "Pete"

        Peace

        Jay
        Signature

        Bare Murkage.........

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[468808].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author fred67
          Originally Posted by JayXtreme View Post

          I'm repeatedly puzzled, and amused at your frequent attempts to appear "more informed" than others, when in reality the truth seems to be quite the opposite.. "Pete"

          Peace

          Jay
          I love 'tetchy' people. - But joking aside, a little more 'research' would do wonders for you Jay.

          Pete :-)
          Signature
          Free E-book Library/Business Promotion Resources
          http://fred67.com/library
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[468821].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
            Originally Posted by fred67 View Post

            I love 'tetchy' people. - But joking aside, a little more 'research' would do wonders for you Jay.

            Pete :-)
            Trying to prove your "abundance of knowledge" with half arsed suggestions only serves to make you look like an arse Pete, debate and discuss anything you like.. but do it like an adult.
            Signature

            Bare Murkage.........

            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[468846].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author John Taylor
            Originally Posted by fred67 View Post

            I love 'tetchy' people. - But joking aside, a little more 'research' would do wonders for you Jay.

            Pete :-)
            Generally speaking you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.

            John
            Signature
            John's Internet Marketing News, Views & Reviews: John Taylor Online
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[468849].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author fred67
              Originally Posted by John Taylor View Post

              Generally speaking you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.

              John
              Absolutely right John - I'll go and do a bit of grazing - quite liking being the 'black sheep' of the flock :-)

              Pete.
              Signature
              Free E-book Library/Business Promotion Resources
              http://fred67.com/library
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[468865].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author ExRat
              Hi Pete,

              But illusionists know differently, as do politicians and Media controllers.
              It seems strange that you're preaching this to marketers, as it's marketers who know most differently, and in fact are pulling the strings of the puppets who you mention in the last two examples above.
              Signature


              Roger Davis

              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[468874].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
              Pete,
              That's 'exactly' my point, & the Economic downturn is the 'perfect' example of 'sheep following sheep' which is what the discussion is about.
              No, and no.

              The discussion is about why some people act in a way that's usually called sheep-like. It's a given that many do. Society is sufficiently complex that very few people have the luxury of time and resources to make many decisions based on anything but trends and public image.

              The economic downturn isn't an example of "sheep following sheep." It's an example of people making decisions based on inaccurate and incomplete information, and the consequences of interconnectedness when those types of decisions are made high enough up in the chain.

              The majority of the people who created the situation are anything but what we generally mean by the term "sheep."

              If your whole point rests on the fact that we're all driven to some degree by evolutionary pressures, you're missing my point entirely. We can control and even override those pressures. And we are "free" to the extent to which we do that. None of us does it all the time, which is a good thing. But we can do it.

              The fish and birds to which you seem to equate humans cannot.
              By the way. Because someone writes a book, that doesn't make them a 'genuine expert' on any subject, as 'all' Warriors here who've written books to fill their bank accounts will testify.
              You don't need to be an expert to write a book that delivers value. And even when you are dealing with genuine experts, there is not always agreement throughout the field.

              That aside, it's interesting that you seem ready to dismiss Dawkins' expertise without examining his credentials. They are, I would wager, far more substantial than yours on this subject. They're certainly more substantial than mine.


              Paul
              Signature
              .
              Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[468878].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Daniel E Taylor
    To me it's simple.

    There are two sets of people.

    Those who are found their source/center, and know who they
    are and why they are here.

    and Those that are still searching... and the sad part is most
    people don't know what they are searching for.

    So the Egoic mind (Which is very slick) has most people
    seeking their identity in external things. Such as Money,
    Relationships, Celebrity, etc...

    And when that occurs that individual must be
    what you call "Sheep" because they follow outside
    influences for identity. IE, GANGS, CLANS, CULTS, Etc...

    But the thing is that HOLE is still there when they
    go to sleep at night because they have not yet
    found themselves.

    So: Know who you are as the spirit, and life is
    easy. In fact it's quite funny actually. You'll realize
    life REALLY isn't that serious.

    And the more I grow inside the less serious life becomes.

    Daniel
    Signature

    Self Actualization is one's true purpose. Everything
    else is an illusion.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[469747].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Matt,
      Also, if one were to choose to just "be" who they are and they happen to by coincidence go out the door in the morning looking like Mr. Jones don't they run the risk of being labeled a "sheep".
      Yes, they do. The question seems to me to be, should they care?

      But, if someone really wants to stand out, there's a way to do it that's super easy, has nothing to do with how they dress, and that has all sorts of benefits that cost them nothing at all to get.

      Treat people with respect, as equals.

      Judge folks based on what they do, not what they wear or where they work or went to school. (Here's where someone says, "You shouldn't judge others." Bullshit. We almost do it, all the time. The only person who doesn't judge others is the person with no standards. What we should be careful of is condemning them unfairly.)

      A truly independent person will almost always do this by nature anyway. One of the characteristics of human beings is a tendency to believe, "Everyone else is pretty much like me."

      That works whether you happen to like people or not. If you like people, there are other things that will fit. The biggest one is: Try to leave everyone you meet just a little better off than when you met them.

      Will some people call this sheep-like behavior? Yep. Those people just confuse being social with being a follower. That's come up enough times in this thread to be obvious at this point.


      Paul
      Signature
      .
      Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[470028].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Matt Remuzzi
    There are a couple interesting social psychology experiments that demonstrate people's inherent tendency to takes cues from the people around them to determine their own behaviors.

    In one, experimenters had ten people (nine of whom were in on the experiment, and only one actual test subject) sit in a room and answer a series of questions by raising their hands- so everyone could see what everyone else was answering. One of the questions was- are these lines on the blackboard all the same height- where three lines where one length and one was slightly but obviously longer. Over 70% of the time the test subject raised their hand to agree with the other nine people that the lines were the same length even though when interviewed later they all agreed they were not. The influence of group persuasion caused them to deny what they could plainly see with their own eyes. They didn't want to be the only one saying something different. They started to think maybe they misunderstood the question or maybe they really couldn't see it right- after all- if nine other people said it was so, maybe they were wrong?

    In a second, similar experiment, experimenters put various numbers of people in a room and then left. They then started blowing smoke into the room. When none of the nine confederates showed any concern, the subject would wait over three times as long to get up and see if there was some emergency as when the subject was in the smoky room alone. Again, taking cues from the actions of others was more influential than common sense or what the person would do by themselves.

    The theory of the researchers is that people figured out a long time ago that generally the wisdom of the crowd can be trusted. If no one else was drinking out of a certain stream or eating a certain plant, it was probably safe to assume there was a good reason to follow suit without trying it personally. In most situations being able to learn without personal experience was an evolutionary advantage and so became strongly ingrained in us.

    As shown above however, and in situations much more far ranging than was ever tested in most of our evolutionary history, this same system of follow the crowd can break down and lead us into trouble instead of out of it.

    The conclusion from the above to me is that you can't be too hard on people for following the crowd because that is what we are built to do but you can also see that in our modern world with its much more complicated requirements for success the person who can break out of their biology and think differently and ignore the crowd pressure may find opportunities the rest will miss.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[469792].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
      If you think that experiment is interesting CapForge you should check out the Milgram Experiment where people sent life-killing amounts of electricity to other human beings simply because there were following the advice of a person in authority.

      To their credit a percentage of people stopped before they reached the lethal amount but they were in the minority. You can watch a re-creation of the experiement here if you're interested.

      http://uk.youtube.com/results?search...rren+brown+mil
      Signature
      "Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity."―Joseph Sugarman
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[469804].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Matt Remuzzi
        Originally Posted by ZigZag View Post

        If you think that experiment is interesting CapForge you should check out the Milgram Experiment where people sent life-killing amounts of electricity to other human beings
        Yep, I've seen that one to but that was a proof of the power of authority. The ones I referenced were a proof of the power of crowd influence. I thought all of social psychology was pretty fascinating when I had it in college.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[469843].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
          Originally Posted by CapForge View Post

          Yep, I've seen that one to but that was a proof of the power of authority. The ones I referenced were a proof of the power of crowd influence. I thought all of social psychology was pretty fascinating when I had it in college.
          True. Good point. For me there's a relationship between the power of crowd influence and the power of authority.
          Signature
          "Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity."―Joseph Sugarman
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[469922].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author ExRat
          Hi ZigZag,

          the Milgram Experiment where people sent life-killing amounts of electricity to other human beings
          Actually, they were led to believe that they were sending shocks - no electricity was sent.

          You can read about this and other similar experiments in a book I'm currently reading, which was recommended on here a few weeks ago - 'irrationality' by Stuart Sutherland. I think the experiments are also mentioned in 'influence'?

          Call me evil, but it always makes me laugh when you watch the video and hear the stooge screaming from the imaginary electric shock, and then look at the faces of the shockers. Lol...They look concerned, but also thrilled...
          Signature


          Roger Davis

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[469939].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
            That's obvious but thanks for pointing it out ExRat. The point is that many people would rather trust other people (either a group or a person in authority) than trusting themselves.
            Signature
            "Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity."―Joseph Sugarman
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[469963].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
          When I first started out in IM I didn't understand why everybody had these long one-page websites. My idea of a website was something with lots of pages with content relevant to the title. So I thought, as this behaviour was prevelant, there must be something going on that I was not aware of.

          I didn't join the crowd because I didn't know WHY they were the crowd.

          Now I understand the difference between using single page sites and authority sites and can choose without being a sheep.

          If a group does something that is against the norm you can try and analyze why they are doing it instead of automatically abandoning your own truth. Maybe you are on candid camera, maybe they all recently had a lobotomy, maybe they are all members of the CIA and they automatically try and screw with people's minds.

          Sheep, as far as I know, don't have the same reasoning ability as humans so, to behave like a sheep you have to suspend logical thought. If you do that it would seem to indicate you have no faith in your own brain.

          Martin
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[470003].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Clark
            Originally Posted by Martin Luxton View Post

            Sheep, as far as I know, don't have the same reasoning ability as humans so, to behave like a sheep you have to suspend logical thought. If you do that it would seem to indicate you have no faith in your own brain.

            Martin
            Actually, it is a common misconception that sheep are unintelligent.

            In fact, sheep possess the ability to problem solve and have the ability to remember.

            Sheep defeat cattle grids

            An amazing story emerged from England in 2004, when locals reported that they had been outsmarted by local sheep, who were escaping their paddocks by rolling over cattle grids!

            The sheep, from the county of Kirklees in West Yorkshire, perfected the art of rolling over the 3m wide cattle grid to get to tastier pastures - such as the village bowling green, cricket field and graveyard - on the other side. The same sheep have also been known to scale 1.5 metre walls.

            Local councillor Dorothy Lindley says this new commando technique has led to havoc in local gardens and on the highway!

            "They lie down on their side, or sometimes their back, and just roll over and over the grids until they are clear. I've seen them doing it. It is quite clever, but they are a big nuisance to villagers," said Councillor Lindley.

            Source: BBC News Online, 30 July 2004
            Live Animal Exports :: The truth about sheep

            Catalyst: Sheep Smart - ABC TV Science

            So to inaccurately use sheep in a derogatory manner in reference to one's intelligence quotient is evidence that sheep are in fact more intelligent than a large portion of their lazy mammal cousins, the Homo sapiens -- Latin: "wise human".

            Make no mistake, I'm not referring to you at all as a sheep
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[470101].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author sunnyman
        Originally Posted by ZigZag View Post

        If you think that experiment is interesting CapForge you should check out the Milgram Experiment where people sent life-killing amounts of electricity to other human beings simply because there were following the advice of a person in authority.

        To their credit a percentage of people stopped before they reached the lethal amount but they were in the minority. You can watch a re-creation of the experiement here if you're interested.

        YouTube - darren brown milgram experiment
        Excellent point. I read about that experiment, and for years I kept thinking about it, feeling horrified.

        For me, the implication was that the majority of "ordinary" people around me could not be trusted -- that they could easily be manipulated into the most appauling acts!

        Nowadays, I have come to terms with this fact -- sort of. Actually, I confess I have a rather low opinion of people I percieve as "sheep" (although REAL sheep may not be that "sheepish" at all, it's just a manner of expression we use).

        The ones I instinctively put more trust in are the ones I see as independent-minded. The ones who would likely have refused to obey during the Milgram experiment...

        Like many have said, being part of the group was necessary for our ancestors, because outside the tribe they could not survive for very long. Personally, I do feel the necessity to be part of the group -- and for that very reason. Yet, I tend to be on guard against identifying with any group! Rather, I act "as if"...

        I go through the motions because I know I have to -- like I am an actor in a play.

        It may make me a loner, but I'd rather have that than becoming one of the "obedient" group in the Milgram experiment...

        PS: Daniel E Taylor:
        There are two sets of people.

        Those who are found their source/center, and know who they
        are and why they are here.

        and Those that are still searching... and the sad part is most
        people don't know what they are searching for.
        -- Yes, therein lies the answer to the behaviours recorded during the Milgram experiment. Those who have found their source are the ones that would refuse to obey.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[470765].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
          Great point about rather being a loner than an obedient Milgram Experiment participant Sunnyman.

          I've taken a lot of personality tests and I've been living with myself for 25 years and I'm something of an independent-minded person. I pride myself on being different. And like yourself I don't feel the need to belong to the point of being a sheep or evangelical follower.

          Something to remember that only just over 50% of people went on to the lethal amount of electricity so while it would be natural to assume that many people can't be trusted a massive percentage of people have strong morals even when under the pressure of authority.
          Signature
          "Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity."―Joseph Sugarman
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[474725].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Clark
    From the article:

    <Blandine Bril> - And how do we then explain that between 25 and 30 percent of the population does not submit to the rules of social conformity?
    ...I love it when "sheeple" pull statistics out of their wooly ass to shape an argument in their favor (probably to keep the government grant money flowing to float their "research" project).

    This Mutton doesn't buy into that crap so I suppose I don't conform or... do I?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[469962].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ExRat
    Hi Rich,

    Paul Myers talks about sheep, Allen Says talks about the herd mentality and Seth Godin talks about tribes; if this is a negative trait on the part of a person's personality, what does that say about us?

    Can anyone elaborate?
    Yep. It's called making a positive out of a negative. :rolleyes:
    Signature


    Roger Davis

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[470279].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
    Richard,

    For the most part, I assign what many people call "sheep-like," or follower, behavior to tribal tendencies, rather than calling people sheep. There are exceptions, but they tend to be the minority.

    What this sort of discussion says about 'us' seem, to me, to be that we're aware of the tendency. Anything beyond that would require looking at the specific comments and associated judgments.

    If we talk about it in terms that are universally negative and condemning, and especially scornful, we reveal an attitude of superiority that is largely unwarranted.

    That's one of the things I learn most in discussions like this: Who thinks they're completely immune, who thinks no-one is immune at all, who thinks we've all got different mixtures of the same ingredients, and who's interested in understanding the mix better before leaping to any tall conclusions.

    Your question might well be the most important one in the thread. I think the answer is going to be different for everyone who reads it.


    Paul
    Signature
    .
    Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[470309].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
      And when we've finished talking about sheep, can we move on to lemmings and misconceptions?

      Martin
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[470361].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Clark
        Originally Posted by Martin Luxton View Post

        And when we've finished talking about sheep, can we move on to lemmings and misconceptions?

        Martin
        Since you asked, here is a link I know you'll enjoy:

        Lemming - Myths and misconceptions

        Thank you for being a great sport, Martin.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[470466].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author panamajack
    Ref: to this part of the Article

    Such shortcuts in thinking are ever more current in neuro-psychology, the researcher deplores ... An artifact of trendiness, she believes. A suggestion to remind some people that, as Asch's pioneering experiment specifically demonstrated, just because the majority asserts something, that doesn't mean the majority is right.

    Let's get Rid of the recession Sheep...with recession Wolves

    Cheers Gary
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[470767].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Lewis Turner
    Banned
    [DELETED]
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[470850].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author DaveLloyd
      Given that this is an 'Internet Marketing Discussion Forum', I am mildly surprised that no-one, as yet, seems to have broached the topic of consumerism.

      The early 20th century saw the advent of mass advertising, the invention of PR Consultants, and their identification, and exploitation of 'the herd mind', thanks in large part to the good offices of one Sigmund Freud, and his nutty nephew Edward Bernays.

      In August 2006, the BBC aired an outstanding four-part documentary on the subject entitled "The Century of The Self".

      All four episodes can be found on Google video. If you haven't watched them before, do yourself a favour, make sure you have plenty of your favourite beverage to hand, and settle down for a long evening's entertainment.

      Part 1

      Part 2

      Part 3

      Part 4

      After that, if you still have time on your hands, you could read Vance Packard's 1957 classic "The Hidden Persuaders"

      Enjoy

      Dave
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[470861].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author sunnyman
    Then there are those who "think outside the box" while actually sheepishly following the trend of posting useless posts just to pimp their sig....!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[470858].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author fred67
    What a brilliant idea of Paul Myers to subtly drop a powerful mind-bomb into the 'Warriors' forum and see it explode with such awesome effect.

    OK Paul, we're all in the penn now. When do we get 'dipped'?

    can't wait to see what 'flavour' it'll be :-)

    Pete.
    Signature
    Free E-book Library/Business Promotion Resources
    http://fred67.com/library
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[474693].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author fred67
    Originally Posted by Craig Desorcy View Post

    Paul, you always get stuff going with thought provoking topics.

    After reading this whole thread, I had to dig this up...
    & what a great little video that is - It just about 'nearly' says it all.

    Of course, things have developed dramatically since then, as Obama will certainly testify :-(

    Pete
    Signature
    Free E-book Library/Business Promotion Resources
    http://fred67.com/library
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[474823].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author bboblv
    People act like sheep for a number of reasons:

    1. People fear not being accepted so they go along with the crowd. People fear censure and ridicule.

    2. People are lazy intellectually. It's easier to believe something that one has been told than to spend the time to look at a subject, and come to a conclusion based on rational thought and common sense.

    3. People are trained by the educational system to learn by rote and memorization.

    4. People learn to conform rather than stick with integrity to what they think.

    5. People are hypnotised by the subliminal messages broadcast primarily in movies and on TV
    Signature

    Bob Mulle

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[476881].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author ExRat
      Hi bboblv,

      People act like sheep for a number of reasons:

      1. People fear not being accepted so they go along with the crowd. People fear censure and ridicule.

      2. People are lazy intellectually. It's easier to believe something that one has been told than to spend the time to look at a subject, and come to a conclusion based on rational thought and common sense.

      3. People are trained by the educational system to learn by rote and memorization.

      4. People learn to conform rather than stick with integrity to what they think.

      5. People are hypnotised by the subliminal messages broadcast primarily in movies and on TV 01-31-2009 01:44 PM
      With respect, you can't make a list like that without -

      6. Because they are a wolf in sheep clothing and are trying to avoid attracting attention to themselves.
      Signature


      Roger Davis

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[477017].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Roger,

        Or...

        7. Many circumstances involve things that aren't important enough for them to bother with.

        8. They don't know much about the thing involved, and assume others are following the lead of someone who does.

        As far as number 5, I think that says all we need to know about the poster's views on such things.


        Paul
        Signature
        .
        Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[477092].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
          I just found a quote I'd scribbled down and lost...

          "Be normal, and the herd will accept you. Be deranged, and they will make you their leader." --comedian Christopher Titus
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[477570].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author fred67
            Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

            I just found a quote I'd scribbled down and lost...

            "Be normal, and the herd will accept you. Be deranged, and they will make you their leader." --comedian Christopher Titus
            I think Titus knew exactly what he was talking about - Am hoping I'm discovered as deranged now - Let me run the Global Economy - Pleeeeease :-)
            Signature
            Free E-book Library/Business Promotion Resources
            http://fred67.com/library
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[479827].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Jared Alberghini
        Roger,

        6. Because they are a wolf in sheep clothing and are trying to avoid attracting attention to themselves.
        I learned this lesson as a child watching Wile E. Coyote.

        Enjoy the show folks!


        Jared
        Signature

        P.S.

        Join The Future: Telekinetic Marketing

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[479841].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author fred67
          Originally Posted by Jared Alberghini View Post

          Roger,



          I learned this lesson as a child watching Wile E. Coyote.

          Enjoy the show folks!


          Jared
          You suggesting Paul Myers is a Wily old Wolf? :-)
          Signature
          Free E-book Library/Business Promotion Resources
          http://fred67.com/library
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[479862].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Jared Alberghini
            Pete,

            Originally Posted by fred67 View Post

            You suggesting Paul Myers is a Wily old Wolf? :-)
            No, more like Ralph or Fred, the sheepdogs protecting the herd from wolves/coyotes.

            .jrd
            Signature

            P.S.

            Join The Future: Telekinetic Marketing

            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[479867].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author fred67
              Originally Posted by Jared Alberghini View Post

              Pete,



              No, more like Ralph or Fred, the sheepdogs protecting the herd from wolves/coyotes.

              .jrd
              That'll make him smile (I hope :-)
              Signature
              Free E-book Library/Business Promotion Resources
              http://fred67.com/library
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[479875].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Jared Alberghini
    I wonder if Charles E. White is somehow related to Wile E.? It sure looks like they could be distant cousins.

    Watch out folks, Charles E. could be a coyote in human clothing!

    Signature

    P.S.

    Join The Future: Telekinetic Marketing

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[479884].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ArthurRose
    Banned
    [DELETED]
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[480021].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author chrisnegro
      Originally Posted by ArthurRose View Post

      To be honest, I think all of us are sheep in a way.

      Some sheep are black, some sheep are white, some sheep are yellow or blue, or red. But we are all sheep.

      Most of our genes are identical and only minor mutations make us look different than the other. We all have the basic fears, emotions and needs.
      God calls us sheep in the Bible but at the same time he calls his precious children in which we have royalty and a great wealthy inheritance. Put your little nugget around that one

      Chris Negro
      Signature

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[525512].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
    There's money to be made if you sell outwith the herd, so to speak.

    If you're outside the herd, you can bet others are too, even if they won't publically admit it!

    Cheers,

    Neil
    Signature

    Easy email marketing automation without moving your lists.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[526592].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author chrisnegro
    It seems though...understanding "the herd" or "sheep"and how they think....(and go down to their level) is very wise into terms of marketing your products. Simply put...their is money to made and its just using the gifting the good Lord has blessed you with. We all do it...whether we think we do it or not.

    God needs good marketers

    Chris Negro
    Signature

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[530879].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author chrisnegro
    I'm sorry this was too funny. Not only do sheep follow the herd mentality but they are also seem to get very angry and do stupid things like ram their head on the side of a car.


    Too funny and how appropriate!

    Warmest regards,

    Chris Negro
    Signature

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[793381].message }}

Trending Topics