We are often encouraged to forge our own way in life and that the herd mentality is a bad thing and to be avoided but there may well be a very good reason for why we often find ourselves going along with the group whether it be joining in a chant at a football match or looking up just because those around us are looking up.
There is a phenomenon called social proof which is the desire to match our behaviour to that of those around us and it is borne out of a need for survival. It can be traced back to the days of the hunter-gatherers. If you were in a group out hunting and the group started to run, your instincts are best served if you start running too rather than staying put to see whether the lion approaching was really hungry. The strongest survivors were the ones who ran first and asked questions later, trusting those around them that there was a reason for the sudden movement.
In the modern era we have continued to follow the herd for survival but in a less literal sense – whether it be following fashion, racing tips or avoiding a dangerous situation. If you are curious to learn more about why we behave the way we do, check out “The Art of Thinking Clearly” by Rolf Dobelli.