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ISSN: 2161-0487

Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy
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Commentary

‘Beatlemania’ and Mass Hysteria – Still a Much Neglected Research Phenomenon

Antony JW Taylor*

School of Psychology, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

*Corresponding Author:
Antony JW Taylor
Emeritus Professor, School of Psychology
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Tel:
044636031
E-mail:
[email protected]

Received date: May 02, 2017; Accepted date: May 24, 2017; Published date: May 31, 2017

Citation: Taylor AJW (2017) ‘Beatlemania’ and Mass Hysteria –Still a Much Neglected Research Phenomenon. J Psychol Psychother 7:303. doi:10.4172/2161-0487.1000303

Copyright: ©2017 Taylor AJW. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

The 1964 study of crowd behavior and audience arousal was re-visited in 2014, following an inquiry from a journalist in London about the interviews the author had conducted 50 years earlier with John Lennon during the Beatles’ visit to New Zealand. The earlier project is touched upon by request, in the hope, still, of inspiring psychologists to follow suit by studying audience reactions to the music of similar vibrant musical groups.

Apart from tape-recoded interviews with Lennon, the original study involved direct observation of crowd behavior and psychometric testing of target groups. It led to the elimination of clinical hysteria and delinquent proclivities as key elements causing the extraordinary social rumpus that ensued. Instead, adolescents at the immature stage of personality development were found primarily to be those who behaved fanatically and broke conventions.

The study attracted widespread attention at the time, with the editors of two leading journals declaring solemnly that more studies of the kind should be conducted. However, no other researcher seems to have heeded their call. Hence regrettably the one mentioned here remains the first and only data-based study of mass-audience arousal on record.

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