Does Black Friday Mayhem = Mental Illness?

America’s addiction to cheap crap from China reached new depths during this year’s Black Friday shopping frenzy:

  • A young boy was trampled at Walmart
  • A California woman pepper sprayed her fellow shoppers
  • Someone’s Grandpa was beaten bloody by police
  • Shoppers rioted over $2 waffle makers
  • Multiple Walmart shoppers were tasered by police

And newscasts all across the country keep asking the question: Why?

Why do relatively normal people devolve into snarling pack animals while Black Friday bargain hunting?

According to the Contagion Theory, crowds exert a hypnotic influence over their members. Shielded by their anonymity, large numbers of people abandon personal responsibility and surrender to the contagious emotions of the crowd. A crowd thus assumes a life of its own, stirring up emotions, and driving people toward irrational, even violent action.

Sounds crazy to me.

Douglas Robb

Doug Robb is a personal trainer, a fitness blogger and author, a competitive athlete, and a student of nutrition and exercise science. He's also the co-founder of the Hive Health Media. Since 2008, Doug has expanded his impact by bringing his real-world experience online via the health & fitness blog – Health Habits.

One thought on “Does Black Friday Mayhem = Mental Illness?

  • November 28, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    I hear you about the cheap crap from China. It sounds crazy to me too. It’s much safer to shop online.


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