What does a crowd of 2 million people look like?

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Are you curious about what is happening in Egypt?

http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/

What kind of percpetual experieces would an individual have in a crowd this size?
How would expectations of what is going on influence a person's perception?

10 Comments


Brave people, not gonna give up, they gonna win even though Mubarak orders his military to move the crowd of thousands or even million people who strike for freedom and their rights new Egyptians will come with the same power and will follow to defend freedom. The people will win!!

A crowd this size would bring about many perceptual experiences. Although it's a peaceful protest, if it got out of hand, everyone would be feeding off each other and the outcome would most likely be very bad. These people are probably paying attention to what everyone else is doing and that greatly effects what they do themselves. They're perceiving a historical moment and I'm sure realizng that will make the protest last longer and possibly have more people join it.

I think one perceptual experience you would have in a large crowd is a lot of occurences in your peripheral vision. We use our peripherial vision to detect and localize stimuli "out of the corner or our eye". In a large crowd you may be focused on someone giving a speech, or a certain part of the demonstration but your periphery will pick up on the things going on around you. With such a large demonstration I think this would happen a lot. Expectations would also influence how they perceive the demonstration activities. Later, when they are asked about what occured and what they saw it may be slightly distorted from the reality of the situation due to all the visual stimulus that was occuring.

I agree with kluesnek about being in a large crowd of people and using ones peripheral vision. When your in a crowd of people such as the 2 million Egyptians on protest your going to have to use your peripheral because they are technically all outraged by the same thing and are going to follow one another in protest, therefore if they start chanting something the rest will follow and it will make the message more clear.

Having been born in Iowa I have never seen a crowd that large, but I imagine it would be deafeningly loud from all the shouting people around you. I would also imagine that it would be a very stressful experience, because when I watched the live feed on Al Jazeera there was a lot of stones and debris being thrown and injuring other protesters.
I feel that the expectations of each individual in the crowd matter greatly. If a person has decided to go out and peacefully protest than that will be the goal, If a person goes out seeking to cause chaos than each self fulfilling prophecy will happen.

I have a somewhat unique view of this, though I too was born in Iowa, I had the opportunity to visit our nations capital during a protest that involved a few hundred thousand people. Though even with that experience, I can't imagine what millions would be like. The experience was really overwhelming, it was almost like all of my senses were on high alert, visually taking it all in, while at the same time experiencing the smells and heat of being packed in with so many people, the sounds of that many people seemed to have raised my threshold, I didn't hear many people distinctly, more of an overall din of noise. And that was a peaceful gathering, with the turn of events in Chiro, i think the experience would be magnified one hundred fold.

I've actually had the pleasure of being in a crowd of that size. I was able to attend President Obama's inauguration where the estimate of the people present ranges between 2-3 million. The first 10-15 minutes were very overwhelming perceptually. I tried to take in everything around me. However, after that my mind seemed to pretty much block every one else out. I focused on what I needed to do and didn't even really see every one around me. During this time my mind seemed to lump everyone together as a solid object that I needed to move around.

I think it would be a little chaotic being in a crowd like that. I do agree that if you focused in on one thing that was important to you then you could drown everything else out. I think your mind would be very stimulated through the whole protest because there is so much going on to process. It doesn't seem like its going to end very soon. I thought it was interesting to get another medias opinion on the united states and how we are processing the protest.

I have always found prosopagnosia very interesting and in fact my first topical blog for this class was related to this disorder. Needless to say I was excited when the topic was included in this chapter. Prosopagnosia is an impairment in ability to recognize faces . Obviously prosopagnosia can cause social problems and distress. People with prosopagnosia rely heavily on cues other than face such as hair, dress, mannerisms, etc but often struggle recognizing people because these techniques prove less effective. In more severe cases individuals may even have difficulty recognizing their own reflection!
The two main types of the disorder are classified by the type of onset. Developmental prosopagnosia happens when the onset occurs before the full development of facial recognition. This class of prosopagnosia is usually either genetic in nature or related to some type of early brain trauma. However, most cases of prosopagnosia are of the acquired prosopagnosia variety. People with aquired prosopagnosia are individuals that had normal face recognition abilities at one time but acquired prosopognosia symptoms due to some other disorder. Causes of acquired prosopagnisa are stroke, head trama as well as disease. Interestingly some researchers believe that more cases of acquired prosopagnosia have been studied because having normal vision at some point in time makes it easier for these individuals to realize that something is actually wrong. The University of Harvard and University of London have a test to compare your facial memory to others. I took the test and I would be interested in what you guys think of it (not sure what I think I scored borderline low). I also found it interesting that one of the most famous portrait artists, Chuck Close actually has this disorder. This man uses the process of drawing these portraits of faces in order to try to commit them to memory. I attached a link to an interview with him on the Colbert Report. Also if you have time I also stumbled upon an interesting disorder that researchers say is analogous with prosopagnosia called phonopagnosia in which individuals cannot recognize voices without visual stimuli (i.e. over the phone).
http://www.thelmagazine.com/TheMeasure/archives/2010/08/13/chuck-close-tells-stephen-colbert-all-about-prosopagnosia
http://www.faceblind.org/research/index.html
http://www.faceblind.org/research/index.html
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20014826-10391704.html

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