It’s the system, not me…

An excerpt from the book Homo Imitans by Leandro Herrero: Not many people knew what was going on in the psychology department. Nothing unusual about that. An advert in the local newspaper offered volunteers a few dollars for participating in an experiment, and many people from the city of New Haven applied. The study was run by Stanley Milgram,

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From the jungle to Wall Street.

An excerpt from the book Homo Imitans by Leandro Herrero: Rituals that are effective both on the business AND the organizational level are rare. Most of the time there is a disconnect between the business functionality (poor) and the ritual and tribal functionality (very high). One of the visible effects of a sudden cost-cutting exercise in the

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Forget tribes in Polynesia.

An excerpt from the book Homo Imitans by Leandro Herrero: Forget tribes in Polynesia. Open your windows and you’ll see urban tribes, corporate tribes, religious tribes, political tribes and sports tribes. The ‘social proof’ mechanism of influence operates nicely here, sometimes even without saying a word. This mechanism ensures that ‘everybody here says, does, behaves, wears X, Y, Z, etc’.

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‘Talk therapies’ don’t work here.

An excerpt from the book Homo Imitans by Leandro Herrero: In the seventies, I was a practicing psychiatrist in Spain and I frequently observed a curious phenomenon of conformity selfregulation in groups. At that time, there were numerous groups of young people living in the countryside, sharing a communal life. As much as there may

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‘Dios los cria y ellos se juntan’

An excerpt from the book Homo Imitans by Leandro Herrero: The crowd is group contagion on a larger scale and with broader borders. Crowd behaviour has been studied from many angles and in a nutshell, two streams are apparent. People join a crowd because of a conscious or unconscious, rational or irrational affinity to something

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Why do we have an epidemic of obesity and not of anorexia?

An excerpt from the book Homo Imitans by Leandro Herrero: Like many aspects of the behavioural and social sciences, it contains a high dose of stereotyped thinking that is not always substantiated. Take public role models, for example. The question is not whether they are powerful, but what their relative power is when compared with other mechanisms of social influence…

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The champions…

An excerpt from the book Homo Imitans by Leandro Herrero: The pre-existence or the engineering of a common goal very often links people together in a way that accelerates social copying. In a recent television series in England, school students with no particular singing skills or interest in singing were invited by a charismatic young (external) teacher to create

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Monkey see, monkey do…

An excerpt from the book Homo Imitans by Leandro Herrero: Homo Imitans is at the core of evolution. We are because we copy. But Homo Imitans did not disappear when Homo Sapiens took over. Like a dinner guest reluctant to leave, Homo Imitans stuck around. Social copying explains so much about our behaviour that sometimes it makes you wonder if

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This statement is silly.

An excerpt from the book Homo Imitans by Leandro Herrero: In my adopted home country, England, you send your children either to public school or private school. Those who can afford private education will shop around. Parents usually visit nearby schools, look at the facilities, talk to headmasters, listen to their ‘spiel’ of “children are

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