The psychology of crowd behaviour in emergency evacuations: Results from two interview studies and implications for the Fire & Rescue Services

Cocking, Chris, Drury, John and Reicher, Steve (2009) The psychology of crowd behaviour in emergency evacuations: Results from two interview studies and implications for the Fire & Rescue Services. Irish Journal of Psychology, 30 (1-2). pp. 64-73. ISSN 0303-3910

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Abstract

Existing psychological models of crowd behaviour were applied to examine emergency egress behaviour, and how this could facilitate the safe management of mass evacuations. Two interview-based studies of survivors experiences of different emergencies were conducted. It was found that far from mass panic occurring, being in an emergency can create a common identity amongst those affected. A consequence of this is that people are cooperative and altruistic towards others - even when amongst strangers, and/or in life-threatening situations. The analysis has direct implications for how the Fire and Rescue Services manage mass evacuations. In line with earlier critiques, the concept of mass panic is considered to be a myth unsupported by existing evidence. Crowds in emergencies can be trusted to behave in more social ways than previously expected by some involved in emergency planning.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: http://www.psihq.ie/IJP%20Vol%2030%20No%201-4.pdf
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: John Drury
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:37
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2012 10:28
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/13598
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