The Herd Changes Course and Runs Away From SUV’s

Robert Frank:

THE herd instinct is as powerful in humans as in other animal species.

Anyone who doubts it should rent “What Do You Say to a Naked Lady?”, the 1970 film by Allen Funt, the creator of “Candid Camera.” The money scene portrays a man responding to a help-wanted ad. He is directed to a waiting room occupied by men who appear to be other job seekers but are actually Mr. Funt’s confederates. At no apparent signal, these men stand and begin to disrobe. The hapless job seeker’s dismay is evident. Yet, after a few moments, he, too, stands and disrobes. At scene’s end, the men are standing naked, apparently waiting for whatever comes next.

Clearly, the herd instinct can lead us astray. For the most part, however, the impulse to emulate others serves us well. After all, without drawing on the wisdom and experience of others, it would be almost impossible to cope with the stream of complex decisions we confront.

Frank believes that the SUV craze started when Robert Altman’s “The Player” was released in 1992 (Great Movie). “The film’s lead character, the studio executive Griffin Mill (played by Tim Robbins), could have bought any vehicle he pleased. His choice? A Range Rover with a fax machine in the dashboard.”

Check out Tesla – an electric car startup.