Wellington, New Zealand. Scientists completed a five year study Wednesday comparing the herd characteristics of sheep to that of humans with the results pointing towards humans as the more gullible species.
The study cited several key characteristics that both humans and sheep displayed in a herd or large group setting. The research included a herd of 2,350 sheep and 1,500 human participants who were tracked through their Facebook pages and scheduled intermittent interviews.
Don Quiote is the head researcher for a prestigious research group funded by a large advertising firm. He says, “It’s not as simple as putting a group of humans in a fence and see how they act compared to the sheep. You have to examine the data beneath the trends in human society that we often overlook and then compare that to known sheep behavior.”
He pointed to popular music trends. “Most of the music that is popular with humans, regardless of genre, has to do with finding a mate and reproduction.” He said reproduction also consumes a large majority of the sheep population’s attention. Humans, however, often display even more desperation than sheep when they can’t find a mate. That desperation can lead to very bad, irrational behavior. “When this happens,” Quiote said, “You can see an instance where humans start acting dumber than sheep especially when a large group of humans desperate for attention gather in gaggles.” Gaggles are groups of 50 or more humans.
Quiote gave another comparison explaining the popularity of celebrities and their influence over fashion and lifestyle choices. “Sheep tend to follow a perceived leader and will follow any other sheep that seems to think it knows where it’s going. They’ll follow just about anything anywhere.” He said that humans tend to behave the same way, rallying behind other people who seem to be going confidently somewhere despite not even knowing where that perceived leader is headed. Quiote claims that follower instinct is especially strong when the leader is able to dangle shiny, reflective things, tasty treats, or warm emotional feelings in front of the other humans. Once enough people follow the leader the rest of population feels uncomfortable not showing their support despite not knowing why they are going in that direction. When asked for an example of this in our society today, Quiote answered, “Ugg boots, Apple products, smart watches, and Lady Gaga are the chief examples.”
The comprehensive research also showed that sheep are happy even when imprisoned as long as they are well fed and taken care of. The study suggests that humans operate on the same basis saying that humans will trade the responsibility of making their own decisions for a soft bed and a well stocked fridge. “This is a common ploy that politicians have been using to fleece their constituents for decades. People, like sheep, will grow easier to control if you give them free stuff.”
The researchers hope to build a model with the data they have accumulated which will help them predict trends and control markets. It’s long been known that big ticket retailers will dangle cheap TVs in front of consumers to get a gaggle of people in their store but Quiote hopes that the results of this study will help advertisers take advantage of peoples weaknesses even more effectively. “If our data is correct we will be able to fill nearly any store selling useless merchandise with people bleating and pushing to get the latest nonsensical gadget.” He adds that, “This research comes at a critical time since it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to get people out of their government sponsored housing and away from their subsidized, well stocked pantries and into stores.”