Herd Psychology

From 1960 to 1975, Allen Funt hosted a TV series called Candid Camera. The show secretly filmed people doing peculiar things. In addition to being hilarious, the show highlights how inane behavioral traits drive our actions.

For example, the episode Elevator Psychology exhibits how humans tend to follow the lead of others. In market parlance, this is coined FOMO, or the fear of missing out.

In the first scene of the video, a man enters an elevator, followed by Candid Camera actors. The actors entering the elevator all face the rear of the car. Upon seeing this, the puzzled man slowly turns around and faces the rear of the elevator. In the second skit, another man not only follows the actors facing backward but then proceeds to rotate back and forth as the actors do. As the scene goes on, he takes off his hat and puts it back on, following the lead of the actors.

The skits highlight our instinctive need to follow the actions of others, regardless of the logic of such activities. Importantly, they highlight the stupid things we do to battle our fear of not conforming.

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