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Mob Psychology

  1. Martin S. Greenberg

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0553

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Greenberg, M. S. 2010. Mob Psychology. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. University of Pittsburgh

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Crowds are defined as “co-acting, shoulder-to-shoulder, anonymous, casual, temporary, and unorganized collectivities” (Brown, 1954, p. 840). According to Floyd Allport (1924), “A crowd is a collection of individuals who are all attending and reacting to some common object, their reactions being of a simple prepotent sort and accompanied by strong emotional responses” (p. 292). Crowds can be subdivided according to whether they are active or passive, the former being a mob and the latter an audience. Mobs are further classified according to the dominant behavior of participants, whether aggressive, escapist, acquisitive, or expressive.


  • crowds;
  • riots;
  • collective behavior;
  • deindividuation;
  • social identity