There are quite a few reasons I can think of off the top of my head.
Most people follow the crowd because they feel it is safe, even if at least relatively. They see it as a way of "hedging their bets", so to speak. I mean when you do the same things your friends and colleagues are doing and then shit goes south, no one can blame you, right? And even if they do blame you, at least you're not the ONLY one to blame.
There is safety in numbers, so people say. And for the most part this is true.
People also follow the crowd because they derive a certain sense of certainty and surety from it--.i.e if ALL these people are doing this thing it must be right, right? right? rigggggght? Maybe, I'd say it's not entirely true and not entirely false.
2. Lack of Self-Confidence
It takes major cojones to stand apart from the crowd. Apart from the vilification and suspicions of insanity, you start to doubt yourself at some point.
Like I said, it's the "collective intelligence of the crowd" versus your own. I had a similar experience in school when everyone got the same answer on a test and I got a different one. Immediately I began to get anxious, sweating all over. What did they do that I didn't; what they I do that they didnt? Could I really be smarter than all these people? or am I just the dumb outcast?
So it takes massive balls--and a little bit of ego and stubbornness--to decide that Yes, I will stand alone. I will do my own thing regardless if i'm wrong or not.
Also, I ended up changing my answer to that of the class, and it turns out they were wrong and I was right. Which is why sticking to your guns is the best thing to do atimes, because that way you'd know that at least the mistake was yours. The regret that comes with knowing you made another persons mistake knows no bound.
3. Sense of Belonging
Another reason some people fall in the path of the crowd is to give themselves the illusion that they "belong"; that they're in the know. In tune with a certain craze or a certain vogue.
Again this is also related with mostly lack of self confidence. To remedy this lack we make sure we're always in tune with the crowd, so that when our friends ask, do you know this music? or have you bought this phone? You can reply with confidence that yes, yes, of course you do.
a. Natural Conditioning
Another reason related to this might be that we are human beings conditioned in our genes to relate with our fellow humans; to socialize. To facilitate this socialization, then, and to make sure it plays out in the friendliest and most conducive way possible we allign our thoughts and reasoning with that of others, as a sort of defense mechanism against the dissonance and agony that comes from not following the same path as the rest of the people.
b. Artificial Conditioning
It is no secret that major corporations want us to think this way. They do everything they can to exploit this too, and day after day we get conditioned by them to do the same "cool" things our friends are doing.
The T.V the internet the radio billboards are all there every morning drumming it in your mind to "buy milk it does the body good," like my brother, full-measure says. Apple wants you to see your friend with a cool mac and buy it too. And so unable to resist this constant drumming of ideas, we follow the crowd at last.
I'd like to conclude by saying that following the crowd is not a terrible things all of the times. Some times there's really wisdom shared by a lot that ee don't have ourselves. It all depends on our ability to be able to make the right decision identifying the difference between bith cases. Cheers.
So many people are scared of standing alone. Even if they know that the crowd is wrong and they are right, the fear of being the only one with a different opinion is one of the reasons why so many of them follow the crowd.
Some other people follow the crowd because it's easier and more comfortable to be in the crowd than to stand alone. No one would concentrate on you or talk I'll about you when you're in the crowd. The crowd serves as a good cover for most people's fear, insecurities and inadequacies.
The truth is that, being in the crowd means letting go of your uniqueness and perception and taking on the general perception of the crowd regardless of whether it's right or wrong. You'll achieve more being yourself than being in the crowd. Be proud of who you are and don't be scared to stand alone when you know that you're right
Thank you for a brilliant question, the reason why people follow the crowd is because of the lack of self belief that being unique is queer or strange. We live in a society where people are stigmatized and bullied because of the choices they make or because they try to be very different. When majority of people seems to be making the same choice and taking the same action, it's perceived that it's definitely the right decision or right path.
But the truth is that the majority can be wrong and people do not know this they have a perceptions that a path being taken by a few people is definitely not the right path and that's why people prefer to follow the crowd because of the mentality behind the fact that majority is right while minority is wrong
It an essence people allow other people take decisions for them instead of following their heart and being separate and unique for fear of being judged or for fear of being looked at differently.
A great question. There could be various reasons as to why people follow the crowd. Following is what I think on people following the crowd.