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Contract GovernanceDimensions in Law and Interdisciplinary Research$
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Stefan Grundmann, Florian Möslein, and Karl Riesenhuber

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198723202

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198723202.001.0001

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The Concept of Herd Behaviour: Its Psychological and Neural Underpinnings

The Concept of Herd Behaviour: Its Psychological and Neural Underpinnings

(p.61) 2 The Concept of Herd Behaviour: Its Psychological and Neural Underpinnings
Contract Governance

Tatsuya Kameda

Keigo Inukai

Thomas Wisdom

Wataru Toyokawa

Oxford University Press

Herding is a key concept underlying various collective phenomena in an increasingly connected world, such as the recent global financial crisis and the spread of civil uprisings in the Middle East. In most cases, such convergences of thought and behaviour across populations emerge through local interactions among agents rather than purposeful coordination by a central authority or a leading figure. This chapter discusses the psychological and neural underpinnings of herd behaviour. It reviews recent evidence regarding the proximate mechanisms of herd behaviour including emotional contagion, facial mimicry, and mirror neurons on the neuropsychological side, and norm-abiding behaviour and information cascades on the behavioural-economic side. It also considers the relations between maladaptive herding and the wisdom of crowds, and argues that these apparently contrasting macro phenomena may be produced and governed by the same machinery: our highly socially-receptive minds.

Keywords:   herding, emotional contagion, facial mimicry, mirror neurons, wisdom of crowds, group decision making, cultural market, socially-receptive minds

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