March 28, 2006

Group Mentality

16 strangers were arranged into 4 groups for an expieriment. Each group then entered Manhattan using one of several means (1 group came by boat, 1 by train, 1 by cab, ect). Their goal was to find a way to meet up with each other in the city.

Now, you may say, that could take forever! Experts in group mentality, however, gave them very good odds.

The expieriment started at 9am and by noon they had all found each other. Think about it; there are only a handful of really big "get lost points" in Manhattan: Times Square, Empire State Building, Grand Central Station. I believe two of the groups met in Times Sqaure, and the other two met at the Empire State Building. It's also interesting because as the participants got into the project, they started to really use their resources; shy people were approaching everybody for information, they made signs and tried to stand out so that others could find them....... it worked like a charm.

I went online looking for the specifics of this project and came across websites for "Flash Mobs" in Manhattan. For those that don't know, this is a bunch of people who agree to converge on a specific spot at a specific time (for example; Nick's Shoe store @ 4:40pm). Timing is everything because all of the sudden there are hundreds of people mobbing the location at's really weird.

So what does this say about people: Well, for starters; goals are extreamly powerful. Having goals and working toward them makes us use our resources at a remarkable level of efficiency. Then there is the social aspect; people will do things that are completely out of their individual comfort zone if it fits with a group social acceptance.


R the Great said...

very interesting. How did you find out about this?

Iris Blue said...

I would head for Times Square.
Hey....I say we 'Flash Mob' YOU!

R the Great said...

Flash Mob at 321 on Saturday!!!! BE THERE