obtain these rights if she would gain them anyway by letting others take such risks? In the case of an episode of mass hysteria, scholars have been interested in the psychological differences between those who were caught up in the panic and those who were not.
Other sociological aspects of collective behavior have often been neglected as well, especially as they relate to opinion expression. Few studies have explored such issues as the relationship of group organization to opinion expression.
One potentially fruitful area of research is what Thomas Scheff says is the most crucial human motive, the "maintenance of social bonds." 93 Scheff suggests that secure social bonds are the force that holds a society together. An intact social bond balances the needs of the individual with the needs of the group. Scheff suggests that social scientists need to study the social bond if they are ever to understand human behavior. In Scheff's view, much of human behavior is motivated by the maintenance of the social bond. A number of ideas related to public opinion are clearly relevant to this approach, including social desirability effects in interviewers, Noelle- Neumann's idea of "fear of isolation," the "false consensus," and "pluralistic ignorance" phenomena (see Chapter 6), and many other concepts described in this book. We encourage students of public opinion to explore the potential of sociological theory in understanding public opinion processes.