Why people join cults

From the outside or in hindsight, cults tend to have clearly insane ideas and sometimes okay ideas with insane requirements for being part of the cult. No matter the case, people join them and often wind up paying hefty consequences up to and including death.

Why people join cults

Cults III Since cults make liberal use of many influence techniques, I find them fascinating and study them whenever the chance arises.

Why Do People Join Cults? Why Do People Join Cults? Some people are prone to certain characteristics and thinking patterns that make them more susceptible to cults than others.

Cults, like many other groups, attempt to expand their influence for the purposes of power or money. However, to achieve these ends, destructive cults employ a potent mixture of influence techniques and deception to attain psychological control over members and new recruits.

That new identity may not be one that the person would have freely chosen under her own volition Hassan, There are over 3, destructive cults in the US, with approximately 4 million members. They fall into 4 basic types: Nazism was originally a cult, and cults can still be found lurking in the left and right wings of American politics.

Established religions and altruistic movements are focused outward--they attempt to better the lives of members and often, nonmembers.

They make altruistic contributions. Cults serve their own purposes, which are the purposes of the cult leader; their energies are focused inward rather than outward Singer, Also, religions and altruistic movements typically lack the distinguishing characteristics of overbearing authoritarian control, the use of deception in recruitment, the use of coercive influence techniques, and the replacement of one identity with another which would not have been freely chosen by the individual before joining the group Hassan, Upon hearing about cult influence techniques, some of my students reason thus: This sort of reasoning represents the logical fallacy called "affirming the consequent.

When it rains, the sidewalk gets wet. The sidewalk is wet. It must have rained.

Why Do People Join Cults?

Similarly, there are a number of other defining characteristics that make a cult a cult, aside from the influence tactics they use. For the most part, normal, average people join cults--people like you and me.

Research indicates that approximately two-thirds of cult members are psychologically healthy people that come from normal families. The remaining third are likely to have depressive symptoms, usually related to a personal loss--perhaps a death in the family, a failed romantic relationship, or career troubles.

Only 5 to 6 percent of cult members demonstrate major psychological problems prior to joining a cult Singer, Cults prefer intelligent, productive individuals who are able to contribute money and talent to "the cause," whatever it may be Hassan, This is such a persistent and reliable human bias--to assign cause to the person rather than to the environment--that it has been given the name of "the fundamental attribution error.

Why people join cults

In other words, given a powerful and engaging situation, people often react to it in a uniformly similar fashion, regardless of personality differences. This truism has been demonstrated numerous times in the laboratory Sharif, Asch, Milgram.

True to this discovery, there appears to be no reliable personality factor that predicts cult membership. However, certain situational elements make people more vulnerable to cult recruitment, and they include: These situations create the desire for quick, simple solutions.

Cults provide a myriad of "solutions," which are more importantly accompanied by structure, authority, and close social contacts--elements that people want, need, and which most of us take for granted in the course of our everyday lives.A cult is a group of people who organize around a strong authority figure.

Cults, like many other groups, attempt to expand their influence for the purposes of power or money. However, to achieve these ends, destructive cults employ a potent mixture of influence techniques and deception to attain psychological control over members and new recruits.

A more interesting question is why people remain in cults after they join them. Cults undergo a huge amount of churn, attracting lots of people who investigate and join the group, but then leave. Cult leaders violate the boundaries of the people looking to join their group in various ways.

people who join cults are not stupid While we are at it, let’s shatter another myth: people who join cults are not stupid, weird, crazy, weak-willed, or neurotic. Most cult members are of above-average intelligence, well adjusted, adaptable, and perhaps a bit idealistic.

Why people join cults

People who may join cults tend to subscribe to one or more of these mindsets: Idealists: While optimism can be a good thing, these individuals are unrealistically in awe of the possibilities for a better world and believe that there truly is good in everyone.

people who join cults are not stupid While we are at it, let’s shatter another myth: people who join cults are not stupid, weird, crazy, weak-willed, or neurotic. Most cult members are of above-average intelligence, well adjusted, adaptable, and perhaps a bit idealistic. People who may join cults tend to subscribe to one or more of these mindsets: Idealists: While optimism can be a good thing, these individuals are unrealistically in awe of the possibilities for a better world and believe that there truly is good in everyone.

10 Psychological Reasons Why People Join Cults - Listverse