Sigmund On Groups

March 12, 2013 |  by

More from Freud’s Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego. Bringing together the latest from Le Bon, William McDougall and others, Freud’s work is a review-of-sorts on the state of crowd psychology at the time (1922).

Among the highlights:

  • Groups aren’t always irrational and unruly, as Le Bon proclaimed. According to McDougall in The Group Mind, groups can exhibit a stable structure if they 1) develop a degree of longer-term organization, 2) conceptualize the function of the group to individual members, 3) begin to relate to other groups, 4) establish traditions and 5) establish specific roles for members.
  • A comparison of the pull of groups to a “suggestive influence.”
  • Freud claims that individuals in a group allow themselves to be influenced by others in the group because they “feel the need of being in harmony with them.”
  • Musings on the role and interplay of leaders within a group.


Group Psychology and an Analysis of the Ego, Sigmund Freud


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