People are still trying to figure how dictators like Hitler are able to control masses of ordinary citizens.

Neurologists are studying this puzzling phenomenon. They think that organized marching and shows of military strength (the kind of thing done regularly in North Korea, for example) are an important part of this, because activities performed in unison increase loyalty to the group. Netherlands neurologist Vasily Klucharev found that the brain releases more dopamine when we act in concert with a group.

In New Scientist, David Robson quotes researcher Scott Wiltermuth as saying, “It makes us feel as though we’re part of a larger entity, so we see the group’s welfare as being as important as our own.”

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