If 'We' not 'I'...Then what? From Anglo-Saxon to global world views of human behaviour

Mark Earls
Herd Consulting, United Kingdom

INTRODUCTION

Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are” Bertolt Brecht

This paper is intended to bolster the excellence of our community by tracing the practical applications for market research users and practitioners of a new (but growing) school of thinking about mass-behaviour dubbed “Herd” theory.

“Herd” theory sees human beings as first, foremost and finally social animals – not just as a successful social primate, but as the ultimate Super Social Ape (Earls, 2007). Thus all human behaviour (including the consumer behaviour that marketing research variously seeks to understand, describe and predict) is understood as social behaviour, in the sense that it is either behaviour that is shaped by the influence of the perceived social context and/or it is behaviour that takes place in a real or imagined social context (as Freud points out, we can never escape “The Other”).