Far from the maddening crowd

We collect together archive links for four psychologists changing the way we think about collective action.

Inspired by a tweet from the writer and documentary maker Jon Ronson, praising the work of psychologists Stephen Reicher, Alexander Haslam and Clifford Stott, we thought we would collect together their contributions to The Psychologist – adding in John Drury for good measure (three's company, four's a crowd?).

All have achieved significant impact over the years, using rigorous psychological research alongside public engagement work in order to shift perceptions of crowd behaviour. Dispelling notions of 'panic' and the 'mindless' crowd, they advocate for a more nuanced view of collective action. Many of their other contributions consider the impact of others on our behaviour.

Stephen Reicher with Alexander Haslam

Tyranny revisited – the results of the BBC Prison Experiment. See also the official site for the study.

Questioning the banality of evil

The road to Christchurch: A tale of two leaderships [with Jay Van Bavel]. "[New Zealand Prime Minister] Jacinda Ardern has not only been a skilled entrepreneur of identity (building and mobilising a sense of ‘us’) but also an impresario of identity (translating collective norms and values into material lived realities)."

Time to change the story on the Stanford Prison Experiment; followed by a joint statement with the Stanford Prison Experiment researchers

Dialoguing across divisions: a special issue from 2005 [html is a mess… download the PDF]

Leicester's lesson in leadership

Camps, conflict and collectivism: introducing a special collection on Sherif's 'Robber's Cave'

The shock of the old: another special collection, on Milgram's obedience studies; includes their interview with Professor of History Richard Overy

A 'migrant' is not a migrant by any other name

Writing for impact

From 2009 to 2015, Steve and Alex contributed an occasional column to The Psychologist, 'The Real World'. They are collected on their BBC Prison Study website.

Stephen Reicher

Why (almost) everything you know about Milgram is wrong

The impact of the norms and values of the groups to which we belong on the success of populist leaders 

The rules of unruliness – an appearance at Latitude Festival

A 'Big Picture', from Kumbh Mela

The social psychology of the Tour de France

Protest: Stories of resistance

Back to the ballot box

The rhetoric of 'taking back control' in the EU referendum

The migration crisis: psychological perspectives

Reviewing 'The Eichmann Show'

Acting as an observer in a Turkish court, along with further notes from court

One nagging thing he doesn't understand about himself

Steve also inspired this episode of Archive on 4, on post-war psychology and its Jewish roots

Alexander Haslam

The new psychology of health: a special collection on the 'social cure'

Free from the shackles: an interview

On Robin Dunbar's keynote, and vice versa

In The Psychologist Guide to Leadership, and The Psychologist Guide to Retirement

The 'glass cliff' with Michelle Ryan

A 'disobedient objects' exhibition

On writing style

John Drury

Impact: From riots to crowd safety

Clifford Stott

'Hooliganism' at Euro 2016


From coercion to consent


A comment special following the 2011 UK riots [download the PDF]

Here, Reicher and Drury call for a collective mindset in response to the coronavirus.

This news item, following a crush at the annual Hajj pilgrimage, collects comments from Reicher, Stott and Drury.

This one, on riots in Ferguson, Missouri, talks to Reicher and Stott.


A big thank you to all four for giving so much to The Psychologist, and to psychology, over the years!

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