Herd Instinct


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

Herd Instinct

A sociological phenomenon in which everyone does what everyone else seems to be doing. In investing, the herd instinct is seen most commonly in panic sells and rallies that occur without regard for broader indicators. That is, regardless of the sustainability of a rally or the overreaction of the sell-off, the concept of a herd instinct suggests that traders will continue to follow the trend until contrary evidence becomes overwhelming (or simply until they calm down). See also: Behavioral economics, Crowd.
References in periodicals archive ?
In his final two essays published in the 1915 and 1919, Trotter elaborated the role of gregariousness in human sociality to argue that the sensitiveness to others which emerged from the herd instinct led naturally to pacifism and internationalism and that an understanding of human association and the possibility of evolutionary social change pointed to a scientific model of statecraft designed to adjust the environment in order to unleash the creative potential inherent in sensitiveness and overcome a rigid class structure.
The herd instinct was a prime factor in a number of financial disasters, most recently the 2000 to 2001 "tech wreck." Despite the comforts it may offer, running with the herd can exact a heavy financial price.
Part of it was excessive exuberance on the part of the lenders and the part of the borrowers in Asia and a lot of herd instinct on the part of U.S.
The herd instinct and the lack of overseas investment opportunities in the 1980s caused developers to create a patchwork of shoddy, half-empty suburban malls.
Herd instinct created the stock market bubble and herd instinct will cause that bubble to pop.
a selection dictated by fashion and the need to accommodate mass standards frequently prevents the most independent-minded persons from contributing to public life and gives rise to a dangerous herd instinct that blocks successful development ...
The unflattering canine term is applied to horses who, either through a retention of the herd instinct or just pure laziness, refuse to run as fast as they can.
The obviously dramatic "discovery" of the prevalence of adult ADD triggered the tremendous herd instinct of the media to report, uncritically, on the claim that it was a significant problem -- especially when left untreated -- among Americans.
Everyone is getting in!" This is pure herd instinct. Often the purchases of these uninformed investors are made with borrowed money, which serves to make the problem - and the ensuing losses - much worse.
And, like all jargon, it seems a code for insiders, a badge of belonging - so its greatest appeal is among those with the strongest herd instinct. All jargon is a product of group-think, but its function, ironically, is to exclude.
Because we fear being different, many of us act sheep-like, afflicted with the herd instinct. We abandon our better judgment and start to ape the conventional icons of behavior trumpeted by businesses, the social and entertainment media, the fashion industry, and market-savvy televangelists.
Unconsciously a herd instinct develops, and an inevitable consequence is booms and busts.