Call it herd mentality, the hive mind, groupthink, mob rule or whatever--the truth is quite bitter. Large groups of people or subordinated individuals can be manipulated into doing things that they would never do were they not being pressured.
"Experiment Demonstrates the Deadly Power of Social Compliance"
In his 1974 book, Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View, Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram discusses in detail the findings of his now famous experiment. Milgram demonstrated just how easy it is to convince an ordinary person to commit torture and murder under the instruction of an authority figure.
Intrigued by the role of Nazi military personnel in concentration camps during WWII, Milgram wanted to know how much coercion people needed in order to willingly inflict harm on another person.