Why people join cults

Everywhere a person turns someone is either promoting a cultic philosophy, a faddish product, or inspirational guru to entice the populace to follow their outlook on life. Have you ever wondered why the cults are so successful, though, in doing what they do? Cult, here, is defined as a group of at least two or more people who are polarized around a religious or philosophical idea that attempts either to mimic biblical Christianity or run counter to it.

Why people join cults

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. 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 Why people join cults 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. 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.

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.

According to psychologist and cult expert Margaret Thaler Singer, cults flourish during periods of social and political turbulence and "during breakdowns in the structure and rules of the prevailing society. Here in America, cults flourished during the rule of the s counterculture.

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Civil unrest, the drug culture, the sexual revolution, and the weakening of the family left people looking for answers and assurance--which cults enthusiastically provided. How do cults recruit an keep members, and then get them to behave in irrational and sometimes immoral ways? Adherence, advertise, advertising, advocacy, analysis, arizona state university, asu, art of persuasion, arguing, argument, argumentation, attitude, attitude change, belief, bias, brad sagarin, brainwashing, campaign, communicate, communication, conversion.

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Research, rhetoric, rhetorical, rhoads, rhodes, rhods, rodes, rhoads, robert cialdini, chaldini, sales, sampling, science of persuasion, science of influence, sell, selling, small group research, social influence, social psychology, social action campaign, speaker, speech, spin, statistics, strategy, survey, technique, trial, university of southern california, usc, workshop, working psychology, work.Once an individual joins a cult and conforms to the cult leader’s dictums on how to think and how to live, psychologists describe a process of snapping, or a sudden shift in personality.

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.

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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.

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. This article explains the mystery of cults and why people join them.

Defining Cults. It is hard to pin down one solid definition of a cult. There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, cults started off having a much less negative connotation than it has to today. They were simply religious sects defined by the deities they worshipped.

Broadly speaking, a cult is a group or movement with a shared commitment to a usually extreme ideology that’s typically embodied in a charismatic leader. But what exactly differentiates cults from other groups – and why do people join them?

Janja Lalich describes how cults recruit and manipulate their members.

10 Psychological Reasons Why People Join Cults - Listverse