Managing to avert disaster: explaining collective resilience at an outdoor music event

Drury, John, Novelli, David and Stott, Clifford (2015) Managing to avert disaster: explaining collective resilience at an outdoor music event. European Journal of Social Psychology, 45 (4). pp. 533-547. ISSN 0046-2772

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There is considerable evidence that psychological membership of crowds can protect people in dangerous events, although the underlying social–psychological processes have not been fully investigated. There is also evidence that those responsible for managing crowd safety view crowds as a source of psychological danger, views that may themselves impact upon crowd safety; yet, there has been little examination of how such ‘disaster myths’ operate in practice. In a study of an outdoor music event characterized as a near disaster, analysis of questionnaire survey data (N = 48) showed that social identification with the crowd predicted feeling safe directly as well as indirectly through expectations of help and trust in others in the crowd to deal with an emergency. In a second study of the same event, qualitative analysis of interviews (N = 20) and of contemporaneous archive materials showed that, in contrast to previous findings, crowd safety professionals' references to ‘mass panic’ were highly nuanced. Despite an emphasis by some safety professionals on crowd ‘disorder’, crowd participants and some of the professionals also claimed that self-organization in the crowd prevented disaster.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
Depositing User: Lene Hyltoft
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2015 08:19
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2017 07:04

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