Collective mental state

Mental state is generally a literary or legal term, and is mostly used in psychiatry or psychology to refer to the condition of someone's mind. An assessment of a mental state includes a description of thought processes, memory, mood, cognitive state, and energy level. When a mental state is shared by a large proportion of the members of a group or society, it can be called a collective mental state. Gustave Le Bon proposed that mental states are passed by contagion, while Sigmund Freud wrote of war fever in his work Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego (1922), a perfect example of the collective mental state. Franz Borkenau wrote of collective madness, while many writers have discussed collective depression. Psychosis can be passed from one individual to another as induced psychosis or folie à deux, but rarely involves more than two people. When the mental state involves a large population, it is more appropriate to use plain English rather than psychiatric or psychological terminology.

Instances of collective mental state [ edit ]

Collective mental states can occur whenever there are a large group of people. They can represent any and all emotions, and the intensity of the emotions can be increased due to the number of people. A positive example of a collective mental state would be at a rave or music festival. People come together through music and may feel content or relaxed, even though they may be surrounded by strangers in a loud, stimulating environment.[1] On the other hand, in a dangerous situation, people can experience high levels of fear and anxiety if they are in a group of people that is panicking. An example of this is when a large group try to get out of a building and the individuals at the front are crushed against the doors by the weight of the people behind them.

A type of angry collective state is often referred to as mob mentality. The members of the group feed off of each other's anger and the collective mental state can become very aggressive, as part of the experience is a reduced sense of responsibility for each individual.

See also [ edit ]

References [ edit ]

  1. ^ "The Religious Experience of the Rave - Theatre Arts - UIowa Wiki". Retrieved 2019-08-03.
  • Borkenau, Franz, 1981. End and Beginning, On the Generations of Cultures and the Origins of the West. (ed. and intro. by Richard Lowenthal). New York, Columbia University Press.
  • Freud, Sigmund, 1955. Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Group Psychology and Other Works. In Standard Edition, XVIII (1920–1922). London: Hogarth.
  • Le Bon, Gustave, 1960. (First Published 1895). The Mind of the Crowd. New York: Viking.
  • Puri, B.K., Laking, P.J. and Teasaden, I.H., 1996. Textbook of Psychiatry. Edinburgh, London, New York, Philadelphia, Sydney, St Louis, Toronto: Churchill Livingstone.
  • Scarfuto, Christine M., 2009. The Religious Experience of the Rave

What is this?