London, Feb 15 (UNI) Ever wondered why do people blindly follow others in a crowd.
Researchers say it is because human beings, just like sheep and ants can be easily led.
Scientists at the University of Leeds, UK conducted a series of experiments and found people in crowds blindly follow one or two people who seem to know where they are going, a tendency commonly seen in ants and sheep.
''We've all been in situations where we get swept along by the crowd but what's interesting about this research is that our participants ended up making a consensus decision despite the fact that they weren't allowed to talk or gesture to one another,'' said lead researchre Jens Krause.
''In most cases the participants didn't realise they were being led by others.'' In the experiments, volunteers were told to walk randomly around a large hall without talking to each other. A selected few were then given more detailed instructions.
The results showed that it takes a minority of just 5 per cent of what they called ''informed individuals'' to influence the direction of a crowd of a minimum of 200 people. The remaining crowd of 95 per cent follow without realising it.
The research follows another study by Dr Simon Reader of Utrecht University that showed that most of the people are happy to play follow-my-leader, even if they are trailing after someone who does not really know where they are going, the Daily Telegraph reported.
UNI XC ARB PM1417