Witness groupthink and hivemind in action:
Rider Jessica Shockeness said that she heard three loud booms during a delay as her 2 train pulled into the station. She said after she got off she heard another commuter say “I think it was gunshots” and people started running out of the station.
Shockeness said she didn’t think the noises she heard were gunshots, but she decided to run too.
“I see people running, I’m gonna run,” she said.
If the Crowd does something, and you do not, you will be blamed if something bad happens to you. And at the same time there is zero loss of public status for simply imitating the rest…
This explains the insanity of human herding behavior. It is not so much that people are led into delusions, but that they are afraid to not follow them if others do in advance. It takes one steer to start a stampede, and all of the steers to end it.
We always use the example of shouting FIRE! in a crowded theater, but few realize that liberalism is essentially the same on the level of morality. It creates moral panics that people are afraid not to conform to.