Does crowd presence really arouse people?


There is a puritan saying, “A good house is a full house”. Welcome to the next article to understand, if individuals (or we) are really aroused by others presence? In the last article we see that social facilitation happens and we respond to others. Out of my personal experience I could recall of being there for a friend while he took an arrears during a semester examination. I although had finished the examination few days earlier but decided to stay with him to complete his only a paper. I walked with him till the examination room. I told him that I wouldn’t move, till he receive the paper and nods his head confirming that he could clear the examination. This was an example to mention that during stress, companion can be comforting. But this was just complete opposite during normal semester time when he had to make a class presentation. He often perspire more, and showed the indicators of stress by sweat trickling from his brow. This extreme pressure he was found to be choking. Otherwise he wasn’t being with a known group.

In order to understand this affect of crowd in a movie hall, I went to see a English movie thrice in the same hall during the same week. I chose a seat that had crowd around me. I realized that some percentage of crowd was unable to follow the British accent. At some scene I intentionally laughed, and found that neighboring members were also induced to laugh.

There was another experience of handling three sections of a computer science students on a training module. Section 1 had 65% attendance and the class didn’t seem lively because of the empty chairs and grouping the students (friends were separated). Section 2 had 90% attendance, I noticed students felt warm and lively (some friends were made to sit together). And section 2 had 100% attendance and the students felt warm and lively (friends were made to sit together). This experimentation showed me that crowding can enhance arousal with people being seated with liked people and results could be easy behavior that facilitates the dominant behavior.

These example and others tells us crowd can intensify positive or negative reactions. But the question is, why does presence of others arouse us? Let’s look into this in our next article. Till then, Good day!

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