What Is Mob in Social Psychology?


Vincent White

Social psychology is the study of how individuals perceive, influence, and relate to others. One important concept in social psychology is the idea of a “mob.” A mob refers to a group of people who come together for a common purpose or goal.

What Is a Mob?

A mob is typically characterized by a lack of organization or structure. Unlike a formal organization, such as a corporation or government entity, mobs do not have clear leadership or hierarchy. Instead, they are often driven by emotional impulses and can be highly unpredictable.

How Do Mobs Form?

Mobs can form for many different reasons. One common trigger is the perception of an injustice or threat. For example, if people believe that their community is being mistreated by law enforcement, they may come together in protest.

Another factor that can contribute to mob formation is anonymity. When individuals feel that their actions will not be traced back to them, they may be more likely to engage in aggressive or destructive behavior.

Finally, social identity can also play a role in mob formation. When individuals identify strongly with a particular group (such as a sports team), they may feel compelled to defend that group against perceived threats.

Examples of Mobs

Historically, mobs have played important roles in many significant events. For example, the Boston Tea Party was carried out by a group of colonists who were angry about British taxation policies. The French Revolution was sparked in part by the actions of mobs who were dissatisfied with the monarchy.

More recently, mobs have formed around political events and protests. For example, during the 2016 U.S. presidential election cycle, supporters of both major candidates engaged in heated confrontations at rallies and events.

The Dangers of Mobs

While some mobs are relatively benign (such as those that form at sporting events), others can be highly dangerous. When emotions run high and individuals feel anonymous, they may engage in violent or destructive behaviors.

Additionally, mobs can be difficult to control once they have formed. Police and other authorities may struggle to disperse a mob and prevent harm to individuals or property.


Mobs are an important concept in social psychology. While they can form for many different reasons, they are typically characterized by a lack of organization and a reliance on emotional impulses. While some mobs are relatively harmless, others can be highly dangerous and difficult to control.