Paired Texts > Why Do People Follow The Crowd?
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
The Third Wave was an experimental social movement created by high school history teacher Ron Jones in 1967 to explain how the German populace could accept the actions of the Nazi regime during the Second World War. While he taught his students about Nazi Germany during his "Contemporary World History" class, Jones found it difficult to explain how the German people could accept the actions of the Nazis, and decided to create a social movement as a demonstration of the appeal of fascism. As the movement grew outside his class and began to number in the hundreds, Jones began to feel that the movement had spiraled out of control.Pair “The Third Wave” with “Why do people follow the crowd?” and ask students to compare the conclusions of each social experiment.
Violent acts and delinquent behavior have long been associated with soccer games. The need to feel accepted by a group and to gain power are the main reasons people partake in what is known as football hooliganism.Pair “Why Do People Follow the Crowd” with “Football Hooliganism” and ask students to come up with their own theories about why people tend to act the way other people around them are acting.
In this article published by NPR, Patti Neighmod of "All Things Considered" interviews a number of individuals who deactivated their Facebook accounts. This article explores the different reasons that people choose to deactivate from Facebook, such as being overwhelmed with too much information and rise of other social media networks including Instagram and Twitter.Pair “Many Younger Facebook Friends ‘Unfriend’ the Network” with “Why Do People Follow the Crowd?” to spark a discussion about costs of following the crowd and the implications of going with the flow on the Internet.
The text, transcribed from an original NPR interview segment, reports on the social pressure students feel to be popular in school as well as new research suggesting that among teens, peer pressure and popularity can have significant effects on education.Pair “Why Do People Follow the Crowd” with “Students’ Work Ethic Affected by Peer Groups, Desire to Be Popular” and ask students to pay particular attention to the first section.
Rebecca Saxe, an associate professor of cognitive neuroscience at MIT, conducted an experiment to study the way people behave in groups. This article explores the study's findings, and what they can teach us about the science behind mob brutality.Pair "When Good People Do Bad Things" with "Why Do People Follow the Crowd" and ask students about social courage. Does it take courage to deviate even when everyone is doing the same thing? Are there times when conformity is a good thing?
In "The Golden Calf," this religious excerpt documents how, in Moses' absence, the Israelites began to worship a golden idol instead of their God.Pair “Why Do People Follow the Crowd” with “The Golden Calf” and ask students to discuss the dangers of conformity as opposed to the dangers of not adjusting one’s practices and beliefs.
In this Linda Pastan poem, the speaker reflects on the faith placed in science in the modern world.Pair “Faith” with “Why Do People Follow the Crowd?” and ask students to compare and contrast how the two texts explain why people believe what they do. Does the speaker of “Faith” seem to have beliefs that could lead to the “dangerous consequences” mentioned in “Why Do People Follow the Crowd”? Why or why not?
The informational text "Was Einstein a Space Alien?" discusses Albert Einstein's numerous and impressive discoveries, specifically his discovery regarding the composition of light.Pair “Why Do People Follow the Crowd?” with “Was Einstein a Space Alien?” and ask students to discuss what the results would have been if Albert Einstein had conformed to the theories and beliefs of those around him. Ask students to discuss why it can be difficult to challenge authority figures or popular opinions.
"The Effect of Others" explains the scientific concept of social influence and how humans are affected by the behavior of those around them.Pair “Why do People Follow the Crowd?” with “The Effect of Others” and ask students how social influence encourages people to follow the crowd. How is Berns’s experiment an example of social influence? Can you think of another example of an experiment that could reveal the effects of social influence?
In "The Crowd," Mr. Spallner is convinced the crowd that gathers after his car accident is more than just a group of innocent onlookers.Pair “Why do People Follow the Crowd” with “The Crowd” and examine why people follow a crowd, even if it is negative or harmful. What happens in the brain when people follow others? Why do people follow a group even if the group’s motives are against their personal thoughts or harmful to others? Why is our society prone to stop, gather, and watch when a tragedy such as an accident happens?