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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1981 Oct;41(4):703-9.

The baiting crowd in episodes of threatened suicide.


This study examines 21 cases in which crowds were present when a disturbed person threatened to jump off a building, bridge, or tower. Baiting or jeering occurred in 10 of the cases. Analysis of newspaper accounts of the episodes suggests several deindividuation factors that might contribute to the baiting phenomenon: membership in a large crowd, the cover of nighttime, and physical distance between crowd and victim (all factors associated with anonymity). The baiting phenomenon was also associated with warm temperatures and long duration of episode. These factors suggest leads for more systematic investigation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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