Max Ringelmann在20世纪初首次研究了群体的相对低效率。 他要求人们尝试尽可能地拉绳子并测量他们自己施加的压力，与团体相比。 他发现，两个人的工作效率低于两个独立工作的人。 此外，随着群体变大，每个人拉动的重量减少。 换句话说，一个整体的团队能够完成不止一个人 – 但是，在团体中，每个团体成员所吸引的体重的数量较少。 几十年后，1979年，研究人员BibbLatané，Kipling Williams和Stephen Harkins发表了一篇关于社交游荡的具有里程碑意义的研究。 他们要求男大学生尽量大声拍手或大喊。 当参与者分组时，每个人发出的噪音低于他们单独工作时产生的噪音。
Max Ringelmann first studied the relative inefficiency of the population in the early 20th century. He asked people to try to pull the rope as much as possible and measure the pressure they applied themselves, compared to the group. He found that two people are less efficient than two independent workers. In addition, as the population gets bigger, the weight that each person pulls is reduced. In other words, a whole team can do more than one person – but in a group, each group member attracts less weight. Decades later, in 1979, researchers Bibb Latané, Kipling Williams, and Stephen Harkins published a landmark study of social wandering. They asked male college students to clapping their hands or shouting loudly. When participants are grouped, each person emits less noise than they would when they were working alone.