the drawing power of crowds

Milgram, Bickerman and Berkowitz (1969) found that if one person stood in a Manhattan street gazing at a sixth floor window, 20% of pedestrians looked up; if five people stood gazing 80% of people looked up

Argyle, M., & Cook, M. (1976). Gaze and Mutual Gaze. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Milgram, Bickerman & Berkowitz (1969). Note on the drawing power of crowds of different size. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 13

4 replies on “the drawing power of crowds”

Is this a surprise? If 20% are affected by one person looking up, somewhere around 5 time 20% might reasonably be expected to respond to 5 people looking up. Throw in a bit of diminishing marginal wotsit and 80% seems an entirely sensible number. Ain’t psychology research great?

PS Can you make it so I can edit my comments so when I make a mistake like “time” instead of “times”, I can fix it?

PPS I don’t want to be seen to be criticising your excellent website, so please feel free to delete this comment and correct my original one for me…

PPPS Kat says now I really look like a twit (that has too much spare time) (her grammatical error, not mine)


I think this is one of those pieces of psychology research that is a) fun because someone actually did it b) easy to say it was obvious after the fact. When you start making predictions about what research will show (and then i can go and test if you are right or not) then you will deserve more attention.

[in the psychological-pundit sense, of course. You have my full attention otherwise 😉 ]

Editing comments you have posted would be tricky. Best to just use the ‘preview’ option before posting. For what it’s worth i didn’t notice the error until you pointed it out.

Thirdly, and finally, i find it charming that you and kat can even manage to bicker on-line, on my weblog. Makes me feel very at home!

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