Crab mentality

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Crab mentality, sometimes referred to as crabs in the bucket, is a way of thinking best described by the phrase, "if I can't have it, neither can you."[1] The metaphor refers to a bucket or pot of crabs. Individually, the crabs could easily escape from the pot, but instead they grab at each other in a useless "king of the hill" competition which prevents any from escaping and ensures their collective demise.[2][3][4] The analogy in human behavior is claimed to be that members of a group will attempt to negate or diminish the importance of any member who achieves success beyond the others, out of envy, spite, conspiracy, or competitive feelings, to halt their progress.[5][6][7][8][9]

See also


  1. L. Douglas Wilder (October 1, 2015). Son of Virginia: A Life in America's Political Arena. Lyons Press. p. 185. ISBN 978-1-4930-1952-6. 
  2. Sudipta Sarangi (April 1, 2013). "Capturing Indian 'Crab' Behaviour". The Hindu. Retrieved December 1, 2015. 
  3. Massie Santos Ballon (May 14, 2010). "Crab Mentality". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on September 25, 2013. 
  4. Jesus G. Dureza (May 3, 2012). "The Naughty PNoy". Sun.Star. Archived from the original on August 23, 2013. 
  5. Manuel B. Dy (March 3, 1994). Values in Philippine Culture and Education. Council for Research in Values and Philosophy. p. 40. ISBN 978-1-56518-041-3. 
  6. Herbert A. Leibowitz (December 31, 1994). Parnassus: Twenty Years of Poetry in Review. University of Michigan Press. p. 262. ISBN 0-472-06577-7. 
  7. Caroline Sweetman (January 1, 1997). Men and Masculinity. Oxfam. p. 49. ISBN 978-0-85598-377-2. 
  8. Jeannette Marie Mageo (August 31, 1998). Theorizing Self in Samoa: Emotions, Genders, and Sexualities. University of Michigan Press. p. 14. ISBN 0-472-08518-2. 
  9. Albert Shanker (June 19, 1994). "Where We Stand: The Crab Bucket Syndrome". The New York Times. Retrieved December 1, 2015.