Thank you, Keith, for your prompt response and for your including the list of expert crowd…
Kathie Yount
11

Hi Kathie, you are very welcome. Yes, prof Stott is producing great work.

I have considered how positive psychology could possibly inform how we understand why a crowd chanting a person who is experiencing despair as was likely the case with Dylan on the day he was contemplating suicide. Specifically how he may have felt before he fell. Positive psychology might help broaden your understanding of the effects of bating on the individual. Possibly why it ‘wouldn’t have helped’ as you say. This might give you an avenue of pursuit for further explaining the process of bating and why it is wrong. There is an expanding volume of research into ‘affect’. It may help establish why Dylan might not have jumped to his death if the crowd had not taunted him in his most desperate hour. Here is a paper which outlines negative affect in more detail than I will go into here http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23282147.

Affect is understood in psychology as the experience of feeling or emotion as a process where an individual interacts with stimuli. This triggers a reaction but precedes the formation of a more complex emotion. So, in my view, Dylan was experiencing high negative affect (emotion) from his situation and then again from the crowd. The bating act increased the amount of negative affect. In some way, it is possible to relate the impact of the process of negative affect through a crowd’s behaviour upon the individual. Possibly through several domains including crowd, social and positive psychology. Also, cognitive psychology to underpin claims of a cognitive process.

Like you say, it is difficult to prove that suicide baiting crowds cause people to kill themselves. But if this act did sway the individual, then surely Dylan did not simply kill himself. There is an element of murder or possibly manslaughter to it.

It is so nice that you are grateful to have met me and read my work. I will consider your aims when researching and writing in future and where possible write more about crowd behaviour as I do find it fascinating. Other areas of interest to me are the phenomenological explorations of the individual and notions of self. My friends and family are all touched by your story and Dylan’s sad story. By how you have contacted me and by your mission. We all hope you find answers you are looking for. I often re-tell the details of this event to other psychology students and those who may be interested. Another social psychology phenomena I find fascinating include the Kitty Genovese murder. How, it was not the crowd mentality which led to every onlooker not calling the police, but the social and cultural setting of the time.