People in the audience didn't make an independent choice about how good the talk was and then clap an appropriate number of times," Mr Mann said
"Instead, they responded very predictably to the social pressure around them, which we believe they felt through the volume of clapping in the room." As more people started clapping, each individual who hadn't started felt more pressure to join in, the statistics showed.
"Likewise, once people began to stop clapping there was increasing pressure for everyone to stop."
Mr Mann said the results showed that group behaviour was reflected in patterns, and this knowledge had a range of uses.
In season influenza has a pattern, is there also a mass pattern in our thinking?
Do we have a herd mentality? Can politicians and ad men exploit us and predict patterns in society for control and financial gain?
The answer is most probably yes!