Why Babble of Tongues


Why babble of tongues? you may ask (if not feel free to have a look at another section).

The name comes from my favourite (mis)quote from a social psychology lecture during my undergraduate degree and sums up what I think PR actually is, what it isn’t and how it relates to human behaviour, online communications and media relations.

“The Crowd Mind is nothing more than the babble of tongues.”

I have always attributed the quote to Floyd Allport (1933) however I can’t find the direct reference any more. You can find more about his work here.

His work was a reaction to the crowd mind theorists that had gone before. Where they saw people acting together it was in terms of enveloping group, the individual was left out. He asserted that: “there is no psychology of groups which is not essentially and entirely a psychology of individuals”. With this I have to agree, although he also said “The individual in the crowd behaves just as he would behave alone only more so”. This I am not so certain about.

Based on my studies of social psychology and the people that developed theories in this field (often in direct opposition to his hyper-individualistic approach) I built up some of my own ideas and theories about how communication results in collective action and forms group opinion and how PR, new media and journalism are part of this process.

But as it is this quote that started me thinking and it sounds rather nice I have decided to stick with it.

I will be going into detail about my thoughts through this blog as time goes by. I don’t claim to be authority on this subject manner just an interested student with my own ideas.

If you would like find out more I am happy to recommend some books.