I’m currently sitting in my last Organizational Behavior class and thought I’d share a unique topic that we covered not moments ago.
We were discussing the tendencies of groups to fail as the group becomes larger. One example that the professor shared was that of someone prepared to commit suicide.
Suppose for a moment that someone is on a bridge clearly preparing to jump.
If one person were to walk by, it is very likely that they will stop and talk to the person on the bridge and encourage them to step down. As a second person comes along, one of the two people will likely go to get additional help.
As the crowd grows to about 10 people, passersby start ignoring the guy on the ledge. They just walk by.
Apparently research has shown that when the group grows to between 20-25 people, the crowd starts making comments to one another until the point is reached where members of the crowd actually start encourging the suicidal person to jump.
This is alarming and disturbing, but it’s a good thing to be able to recognize.