Referencing Various Page 2

Crowd Psychology

Re-reading the 2011 English riots ESRC ‘Beyond Contagion’ interim report
January 2019

Who we are
The authors of this interim report on the ESRC ‘Beyond Contagion’ project are John Drury (University of Sussex), Roger Ball (Keele University and University of Sussex), Fergus Neville (University of St Andrews),
Stephen Reicher (University of St Andrews), and Clifford Stott (Keele University). We are a group of social psychologists and a historian who have been researching crowds, riots and other forms of collective behaviour for over 30 years. Others involved in the project include Linda Bell, Mikey Biddlestone, Andrea Boardman, Sanj Choudhury, Tomas Hajek, Philipp Jabold, Thomas Johnson, Max Lovell, Cassie Lowery, Evans Ndiema, Becca Phillips, Shuqi Quan, Caoimhe Ryan, Anna Breian Tskhovrebova, Tam Vo, Clement Yeung (all Sussex, St Andrews, or Keele), and Daniel Richardson (UCL).

Dr_Clifford_Stott_Crowd_Psychology_and_Public_Order_Policing

Dr Clifford Stott

Executive summary

This report was commissioned by the HMIC in July, 2009 and authored by one of Europe’s leading scientific authorities on crowd psychology and behaviour1. Covering a wide range of relevant research from disciplines as diverse as Social Psychology, Criminology and Social History it provides an overview of the literature on scientific crowd psychology from its origins in the nineteenth Century to date. The report gives particular focus to more recent developments in scientific understanding and the implications of this for the successful management of crowd events. The central conclusions and recommendations are as follows:……..

Contemporary understanding of riots: Classical crowd psychology, ideology and the social identity approach

Clifford Stott, John Drury

Abstract

This article explores the origins and ideology of classical crowd psychology, a body of theory reflected in contemporary popularised understandings such as of the 2011 English ‘riots’. This article argues that during the nineteenth century, the crowd came to symbolise a fear of ‘mass society’ and that ‘classical’ crowd psychology was a product of these fears. Classical crowd psychology pathologised, reified and decontextualised the crowd, offering the ruling elites a perceived opportunity to control it. We contend that classical theory misrepresents crowd psychology and survives in contemporary understanding because it is ideological. We conclude by discussing how classical theory has been supplanted in academic contexts by an identity-based crowd psychology that restores the meaning to crowd action, replaces it in its social context and in so doing transforms theoretical understanding of ‘riots’ and the nature of the self.

Collective phenomena in crowds—Where pedestrian dynamics need social psychology

Anna Sieben, Jette Schumann, Armin Seyfried

Abstract

This article is on collective phenomena in pedestrian dynamics during the assembling and dispersal of gatherings. To date pedestrian dynamics have been primarily studied in the nat- ural and engineering sciences. Pedestrians are analyzed and modeled as driven particles revealing self-organizing phenomena and complex transport characteristics. However, pedestrians in crowds also behave as living beings according to stimulus-response mecha- nisms or act as human subjects on the basis of social norms, social identities or strategies. To show where pedestrian dynamics need social psychology in addition to the natural sci- ences we propose the application of three categories–phenomena, behavior and action. They permit a clear discrimination between situations in which minimal models from the nat- ural sciences are appropriate and those in which sociological and psychological concepts are needed. To demonstrate the necessity of this framework, an experiment in which a large group of people (n = 270) enters a concert hall through two different spatial barrier structures is analyzed. These two structures correspond to everyday situations such as boarding trains and access to immigration desks. Methods from the natural and social sciences are applied. Firstly, physical measurements show the influence of the spatial structure on the dynamics of the entrance procedure. Density, waiting time and speed of progress show large varia- tions. Secondly, a questionnaire study (n = 60) reveals how people perceive and evaluate these entrance situations. Markedly different expectations, social norms and strategies are associated with the two spatial structures. The results from the questionnaire study do not always conform to objective physical measures, indicating the limitations of models which are based on objective physical measures alone and which neglect subjective perspectives.

The St. Pauls’ riot: an explanation of the limits of crowd action in terms of a social identity model

S. D. REICHER

Abstract

The paper contains a detailed study of the St. Pauls’ riots of April 1980. Particular attention is paid to the limits of participation in the event and the limits of crowd action. It isargued that these limits show clear social form and cannot be explained in terms of the individualistic theories that dominate crowd psychology. Instead a model of crowd behaviour based on the social identity model isadvanced to account for the observations. It isconcluded that crowd behaviourismore sophisticated and creative than hitherto allowed and that the neglect of this jield should be remedied.

‘Hooligans’ abroad? Inter-group dynamics, social identity and participation in collective ‘disorder’ at the 1998 World Cup Finals

Clifford Stott, Paul Hutchison, John Drury

During the 1998 Football World Cup Finals in France, English supporters were, once again, involved in major incidents of collective ‘disorder’. Explanations for these incidents concentrated on the con ictual norms held by ‘hooligans’. In contrast, Scottish supporters attending the tournament displayed norms of non-violence, explained by the popular press in terms of the absence of ‘hooligans’. This study challenges this tendency to explain the presence or absence of ‘disorder’ in the context of football solely in terms of the presence or absence of ‘hooligan’ fans. Using data obtained from an ethnographic study of both Scottish and English supporters attending the tournament (N = 121), we examine the processes through which ordinarily ‘peaceful’ supporters would or would not become involved in collective con ict. In line with the Elaborated Social Identity Model (ESIM) of crowd behaviour, the analysis highlights the role of the intergroup context. Where out-group activity was understood as illegitimate in in-group terms, in-group members rede ned their identity such that violent action toward out-group members came to be understood as legitimate. By contrast, where there was no out-group hostility, in-group members de ned themselves through an explicit contrast with the ‘hooligan’ supporters of rival teams. This analysis represents an advance on previous studies of crowd behaviour by demonstrating how the ESIM can account for not only the presence, but also the absence, of collective ‘disorder’.

‘The Battle of Westminster’: developing the social identity model of crowd behaviour in order to explain the initiation and development of collective conflict.

S. D. REICHER

page1image256

Social identification moderates the effect of crowd density on safety at the Hajj

Hani Alnabulsi, and John Drury

Crowd safety is a major concern for those attending and managing mass gatherings, such as the annual Hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca (also called Makkah). One threat to crowd safety at such events is crowd density. However, recent research also suggests that psychological membership of crowds can have positive benefits. We tested the hypothesis that the effect of density on safety might vary depending on whether there is shared social identifi- cation in the crowd. We surveyed 1,194 pilgrims at the Holy Mosque, Mecca, during the 2012 Hajj. Analysis of the data showed that the negative effect of crowd density on reported safety was moderated by social identification with the crowd. Whereas low identifiers reported reduced safety with greater crowd density, high identifiers reported increased safety with greater crowd density. Mediation analysis suggested that a reason for these moderation effects was the perception that other crowd members were supportive. Differences in reported safety across national groups (Arab countries and Iran compared with the rest) were also explicable in terms of crowd identification and perceived support. These findings support a social identity account of crowd behavior and offer a novel perspective on crowd safety management.

Learning to identify leaders in crowd

Francesco Solera, Simone Calderara, Rita Cucchiara

Abstract

Leader identification is a crucial task in social analysis, crowd management and emergency planning. In this paper, we investigate a computational model for the individuation of leaders in crowded scenes. We deal with the lack of a formal definition of leadership by learning, in a supervised fashion, a metric space based exclusively on people spa- tiotemporal information. Based on Tarde’s work on crowd psychology, individuals are modeled as nodes of a directed graph and leaders inherits their relevance thanks to other members references. We note this is analogous to the way websites are ranked by the PageRank algorithm. During ex- periments, we observed different feature weights depending on the specific type of crowd, highlighting the impossibil- ity to provide a unique interpretation of leadership. To our knowledge, this is the first attempt to study leader identifi- cation as a metric learning problem.

Keeping The Peace, Social Identity, Procedural Justice and the Policing of Football Crowds

Clifford Stott, James Hoggett, Geoff Pearson

This paper explores the relevance of the Elaborated Social Identity Model of Crowd Behaviour and Procedural Justice Theory to an understanding of both the presence and absence of collective conflict during football (soccer) crowd events. It provides an analysis of data gathered during longitudinal ethnographic study of fans of Cardiff City Football Club—a group of supporters with a notorious history of involvement in ‘hooliganism’ within the English domestic Football Leagues. The analysis suggests that the perceived legitimacy among fans of the way they were policed affected the internal dynamics, patterns of collective action and overall levels of ‘compliance’ among the fan group. On this basis, we contend that these processes mediated both a long-term decline but also the sporadic re- emergence of collective conflict during crowd events involving the fans. The paper concludes by exploring the implications of our analysis for informing policy, practice and theory, particularly with respect to the importance of policing with consent as a route to conflict reduction in domestic football.

The phenomenology of empowerment in collective action

John Drury, Christopher Cocking, Joseph Beale, Charlotte Hanson and Faye Rapley

This paper concerns the question of what it is about collective action that might give rise to subsequent empowerment and other positive feelings. While existing research points to a variety of factors which might account for such empowerment, it is suggested here that a crucial explanatory factor is participants’ realization of their social identity against the power of dominant forces, a process termed collective self- objectification (CSO; Drury & Reicher, 2005). The paper describes a phenomenological interview study which examines the relative importance of CSO in activists’ accounts of empowering (and disempowering) experiences of collective action. Before describing the theoretical derivation of CSO and its predictions, we begin by reviewing existing approaches to empowerment in collective action.

Crowds and stress

Dr John Drury

Stadium managers operate with theories of crowd behaviour – whether they realise it or not! These theories have practical implications for the management of emergencies. Some of these effects may be good, others less so. This article describes some of the latest ideas in the field of mass emergency psychology, and how they can inform best practice.

The Nature of Collective Resilience: Survivor Reactions to the 2005 London Bombings

John Drury, Chris Cocking, Steve Reicher

Accounts from over 90 survivors and 56 witnesses of the 2005 London bombings were analysed to determine the relative prevalence of mass behaviors associated with either psychosocial vulnerability (e.g. ‘selfishness’, mass panic) or collective resilience (e.g. help, unity). ‘Selfish’ behaviors were found to be rare; mutual helping was more common. There is evidence for (a) a perceived continued danger of death after the explosions; (b) a sense of unity amongst at least some survivors, arising from this perceived danger; (c) a link between this sense of unity and helping; and (d) risk-taking to help strangers. We suggest a novel explanation for this evidence of ‘collective resilience’, based on self-categorization theory, according to which common fate entails a redefinition of self (from ‘me’ to ‘us’) and hence enhanced concern for others in the crowd.

Crowds, context and identity: Dynamic categorization processes in the ‘poll tax riot’

Clifford Stott and John Drury

Reicher has recently developed the social identity model of crowd behaviour based on self-categorization theory (SCT). This model begins to tackle the thorny theoretical problems posed by the dynamic nature of crowd action (Reicher, 1996b). The present paper describes an ethnographic study of a crowd event in which there were changes in the inter-group relationships over time. It is suggested that the laboratory evidence in support of SCT is complemented by ethnographic research of this type. By exploring situations in which definitions of context and/or categories are not purposefully manipulated, we can demonstrate the explanatory power of a dynamic and interactive approach to social categorization.

Bias as a Research Strategy in Participant Observation: The Case of Intergroup Conflict

John Drury and Clifford Stott

Participant observation (PO) is one of the more fruitful methodological approaches to studying crowd behavior. This article argues that, since crowd behavior charac- teristically takes place in a context of intergroup conflict, PO may involve having to take sides to gather data. Possible sources of bias within a partisan PO framework are examined, including bias in access, in observation, and in analysis. Two exam- ples vof partisan research on crowd conflict—a demonstration riot and an antiroads occupation—show that only the first of these forms of bias is unavoidable. However, it is posited that limited access to one of the groups in conflict is more than offset by the quality and quantity of data gathered from the other group and the subsequent objectivity this affords within the data analysis.

Transforming the boundaries of collective identity: From the ‘local’ anti-road campaign to ‘global’ resistance?

John Drury, Steve Reicher, Clifford Stott

Abstract

This paper is concerned with how people involved in ‘local’ protest might come to see themselves as part of wider social groupings and even global forces of resistance. An ethnographic study of the No M11 Link Road Campaign in London examines participants’ definitions of their collective identity boundaries at different stages of involvement. Cross-sectional material from the beginning and later in the campaign shows that there was a transformation in collective identity boundaries towards a more inclusive definition of ‘community’. Analysis of participants’ accounts before and after involvement in the eviction of a tree suggests the role of conflict with the police in producing an oppositional definition of the collective identity, facilitating links to other groups in resistance to illegitimate authority. Finally, biographical material indicates the implications of transformed identity boundaries for co-action with wider social groups. It is argued that the same intra- and inter-group processes that determine how identity boundaries extend to include a broader community might account for how people come to see themselves as part of a global social movement.

Variability in the collective behaviour of England fans at Euro2004: ‘Hooliganism’, public order policing and social change

CLIFFORD STOTT, OTTO ADANG, ANDREW LIVINGSTONE AND MARTINA SCHREIBER

Abstract

This paper presents an analysis of collective behaviour among England football fans attending the European football championships in Portugal (Euro2004). Given this category’s violent reputation, a key goal was to explore the processes underlying their apparent shift away from conflict in match cities. Drawing from the elaborated social identity model of crowd behaviour (ESIM) data were obtained using semi-structured observations and interviews before, during and after the tournament. Qualitative analysis centres first on three key incidents in match cities where the potential for violence was undermined either by ‘self-policing’ among England fans, or by appropriately targeted police intervention. These are contrasted with two ‘riots’ involving England fans that occurred in Algarve during the tournament. A phenomenological analysis of England fans’ accounts suggests that the contexts created by different forms of policing helped bring to the fore different understandings of what constituted proper and possible behaviour among England fans, and that these changes in identity content underpinned shifts toward and away from collective conflict. The implications of this analysis for the ESIM, understanding public order policing, social change and social conflict are discussed.

Advances in Liaison Based Public Order Policing in England: Human Rights and Negotiating the Management of Protest

Clifford Stott, Martin Scothern and Hugo Gorringe

Abstract

This article provides further analysis of an emerging ‘liaison’ based approach to the policing of public order in England and Wales (Gorringe, H., Stott, C. and Rosie, M. (2012). ‘Dialogue Police, Decision Making, and the Management of Public Order During Protest Crowd Events.’ Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling9(2): 111–125.). Data is gathered from a range of sources including direct observation of a series of six protest events across two cities in England between May and November 2012. The research was conducted using principles of ‘participant observation’ within an ‘action research’ framework (Lewin, K. (1958). Group Decision and Social Change. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.). The qualitative analysis suggests that liaison based approaches are effective where they enhance police capacity for problem solving, conflict reduction, limit setting, and mediating during protest events. It is asserted that liaison based tactics can be undermined, however, through poor understand- ing of the approach among police commanders and inadequate sensitivity to interactions between police tactics, protest identities, ideology, and history. The implications of the data for understanding wider debates concerning iterative processes between ‘transgressive’ protest and shifts toward strategic incapacitation are discussed (Gillham, P. F. (2011). ‘Securitizing America: strategic incapacitation and the policing of protest since the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks.’

Football Hooliganism and the Practical Paradigm

Anthony King

There has been a convergence in the study of football hooliganim in the 1990s between the approaches of Clifford Stott and Steve Reicher, and Anthony King, whose work emphasizes the interactional rather than pre dispositional element to football violence. Instead of looking only to the dispositional factors within the members of the crowd, which past re- search has emphasized, both Stott and Reicher and King highlight the way in which violent outcomes are the results of mutual interactions between the crowd and other agencies, suchas police. Consequently, crowd violence cannot be read off as the automatic result of pre- meditated intention but should be seen as a complex and potentially contingent occurrence, where prior dispositions inform interactions but do not determine them.

On the role of a social identity analysis in articulating structure and collective action: the 2011 riots in Tottenham and Hackney.

Clifford Stott, John Drury and Steve Reicher

Abstract.

Theoretical perspectives that give primacy to ideological or structuraldeterminism have dominated criminological analysis of the 2011 English ‘riots’.This paper provides an alternative social psychological perspective through detailed empirical analysis of two of these riots. We utilise novel forms of data to build triangulated accounts of the nature of the events and explore the perspectives of participants. We assert these riots cannot be adequately understood merely in terms pre-existing social understandings and political realities and that identity based interactional crowd dynamics were critically important. The paper demonstrates the value of the social identity approach in providing criminological theory with a richer and deeper perspective on these complex social phenomena.

The importance of social structure and social interaction in stereotype consensus and content: Is the whole greater than the sum of its parts?

CLIFFORD STOTT AND JOHN DRURY

Abstract

This paper addresses the hypothesis derived from self-categorization theory (SCT) that the relation- ship between groups and stereotyping will be affected by the social structural conditions within which group interaction occurs. A mixed design experiment (n 1⁄4 56) measured low-status groups’ stereo- types and preferences for conflict with a high-status outgroup prior to and after within-group discussion across varying social structural conditions. Over time, participants in ‘open’ conditions consensualized around positive conceptions of the outgroup and endorsed acceptance of their own ‘low status’ position. However, in ‘closed’ conditions participants consensualized around positive conceptions of the ingroup, negative conceptions of the outgroup, and tended towards preferences for collective protest. It is argued that the data support S-CT’s contention that stereotyping and group processes are fundamentally interlinked and that neither can be properly understood in isolation from the dynamics of the surrounding intergroup context.

Collective Psychological Empowerment as a Model of Social Change: Researching Crowds and Power

John Drury, Steve Reicher

The issue of psychological empowerment in crowd events has important implica- tions for both theory and practice. Theoretically, the issue throws light on both intergroup conflict and the nature and functions of social identity. Practically, empowerment in collective events can feed into societal change. The study of em- powerment therefore tells us something about how the forces pressing for such change might succeed or fail. The present article first outlines some limitations in the conceptualization of both identity and empowerment in previous research on crowd events, before delineating the elaborated social identity model of crowds and power. We then describe recent empirical contributions to the field. These divide into two areas of research: (1) empowerment variables and (2) the dynam- ics of such empowerment. We finally suggest how psychological empowerment and social change are connected through crowd action. We conclude with some recommendations for practice following from the research described.

The nature of resilience

Chris Zebrowski

Abstract

The advent of resilience strategies in the field of emergency planning and response has been premised on a profound re-evaluation of the referents of security governance. Together, the discovery of the ‘myth’ of panic and the natural resilience of populations has encouraged the spread of resilience strategies which aim to promote the adaptive and self-organisational capacities of populations in emergency. This article seeks to advance an alternative to this positivist explanation: that the appearance of ‘resilient populations’ is the correlate of a broader restructuring of rationalities and practices comprising liberal governance. Tracing the evolution of the figure of the ‘natural’ underpinning liberal governmentalities through the historical development of ecology and economics, this article looks to make explicit the epistemological order supportive of neoliberal governance. In doing so, this article identifies the historical conditions of possibility for ‘resilient populations’ to emerge as a referent of governance.

The mass psychology of disasters and emergency evacuations: A research report and implications for the Fire and Rescue Service

Chris Cocking & John Drury

Abstract

A three year research project into human behaviour during emergency evacuations was conducted at the University of Sussex from April 2004. Three different kinds of research were carried out: real-life role-play evacuations, virtual reality computer programs of simulated evacuations, and interview studies with survivors of various mass emergencies. Based on a review of the literature and these studies, it was concluded that, far from mass panic occurring, behaviour during emergencies is often ordered and meaningful, with social norms and conventions remaining, even during extreme danger. Co-operation rather than selfish behaviour appears to predominate, even amongst crowds of total strangers. It was argued that a common identity emerges amongst those affected during emergencies that explains this co-operation. Fire Service commanders should view the emergence of such a common identity as a source of potential help, and look at ways of encouraging this co-operative identity as a means to enhancing safe and efficient evacuations of large numbers of people from danger during emergencies.

Crowd behaviour in emergencies has previously been explained in terms of either ‘mass panic’ or strength of pre-existing social bonds. The present paper reports results from a study comparing high- versus low-identification emergency mass emergency survivors to test the interlinked claims (1) that shared identity in an emergency crowd enhances expressions of solidarity and reduces ‘panic’ behaviour and (2) that such a shared identity can arise from the shared experience of the emergency itself. Qualitative and descriptive quantitative analyses were carried out on interviews with 21 survivors of 11 emergencies. The analysis broadly supports these two claims. The study therefore points to the usefulness of a new approach to mass emergency behaviour, based on self- categorization theory (SCT).

Cooperation versus competition in a mass emergency evacuation: A new laboratory simulation and a new theoretical model

John Drury, Chris Cocking, Steve Reicher, Andy Burton, Damian Schofield, Andrew Hardwick, Danielle Graham And Paul Langston

Virtual reality technology is argued to be suitable to the simulation study of mass evacuation behavior, because of the practical and ethical constraints in researching this field. This article describes three studies in which a new virtual reality paradigm was used, in which participants had to escape from a burning underground rail station. Study 1 was carried out in an immersion laboratory and demonstrated that collective identification in the crowd was enhanced by the (shared) threat embodied in emergency itself. In Study 2, high-identification participants were more helpful and pushed less than did low-identification participants. In Study 3, identifica- tion and group size were experimentally manipulated, and similar results were obtained. These results support a hypothesis according to which (emergent) collective identity motivates solidarity with strangers. It is concluded that the virtual reality technology developed here represents a promising start, although more can be done to embed it in a traditional psychology laboratory setting.

The phenomenology of empowerment in collective action

John Drury, Christopher Cocking, Joseph Beale, Charlotte Hanson and Faye Rapley

Recent research has hypothesized that empowerment can arise from collective action through collective self-objectification (CSO), defined as action that actualizes participants’ social identity against the power of dominant groups. Activists (N 1⁄4 37) described several experiences that made them feel empowered (and disempowered). Among the various explanations they offered for these feelings, the most prominent were CSO, unity, and support (or their absence). CSO was also predictive of reports of positive emotion, although unity was the best predictor of reports of further involvement. Overall, the study suggests that actualizing one’s social identity through collective action has personal as well as political significance.

‘When the mobs are looking for witches to burn, nobody’s safe’: Talking about the reactionary crowd

John Drury

Abstract

Previous research has successfully problematized the pathologizing discourses used to discredit crowd events. However, examples of reactionary crowds can operate rhetorically as an obstacle to a liberatory account of the crowd in history. The present paper presents an analysis of newspaper accounts of a series of ‘anti-paedophile’ crowd actions which took place in Britain in the Summer of 2000. Such accounts characteristically pathologized the crowd not only through use of particular terms and concepts, but also through anecdotes which served as evidence of diminished rationality. The paper analyses the rhetorical and ideological functions of these and other constructions identified in the texts, including those offered by participants themselves. A way of talking about the (reactionary) crowd is offered which distinguishes particular crowd ideologies from collective processes per se and which therefore avoids condemning collective action in itself.

Every man for himself – or for the group?

How crowd solidarity can arise in an emergency: An interview study of disaster survivors

John Drury, Chris Cocking and Steve Reicher

Abstract

In early theorizing, mass reactions to emergencies were understood as involving individualized panic in the crowd. More recent accounts coming from sociological small group theory have emphasized sociality in crowd behaviour in emergencies – in particular the role of pre-existing social bonds and norms. But insufficient attention has been given to the possible role of psychological group formation as an explanation for the co-operative behaviour so commonly manifested amongst strangers in such crowds. This poster describes a study testing the interlinked claims (1) that co-operation rather than panic will predominate in mass responses to emergencies, and that this is the case not only because (2) everyday norms and social roles continue to exert an influence, but also because (3) the shared threat posed by the emergency itself creates a sense of solidarity amongst strangers. Results of qualitative and quantitative analysis of interviews with 21 survivors of 11 different emergency events were in line with these claims. While these findings provide support for some existing models of mass emergency behaviour, they also point to the need for a new theoretical approach to such phenomena, using self-categorization theory.

Identity and Emergency Intervention: How Social Group Membership and Inclusiveness of Group Boundaries Shapes Helping Behavior.

Mark Levine, Amy Prosser and David Evans, Stephen Reicher

Abstract

Two experiments exploring the effects of social category membership on ‘real life’ helping behavior are reported. In study one, intergroup rivalries between soccer fans are used to examine the role of identity in emergency helping. An injured stranger wearing an ingroup team shirt is more likely to be helped than when wearing a rival team shirt or an unbranded sports shirt. In study two, a more inclusive social categorization is made salient for potential helpers. Helping is extended to those who were previously identified as outgroup members, but not to those who do not display signs of group membership. Taken together, the studies show the importance of both shared identity between bystander and victim and the inclusiveness of salient identity for increasing the likelihood of emergency intervention.

Steve Reicher on Crowd Psychology

Social Science Bites

Nigel Warburton: We know that groups can be dangerous. Mob-mentality takes over, and ordinary people become capable of terrible things, right? But is the psychology of group behavior as straightforward as that? Steve Reicher has done extensive research on how people behave collectively. He has a more nuanced and more optimistic view, a view that includes the possibility that group mentality can bring out the best in us, as well as the worst.

Denis Sindic, Susan Condor

Social Identity Theory and Self-Categorization Theory Political behaviour always involves social groups, whether these take the form of concrete networks and gatherings of individuals such as pressure groups, demonstrations, governments, cadres or committees, or whether they are constituted as large-scale institutions or imagined communities (Anderson, 1991) such as polities, states, political parties, interest groups, publics, constituencies or electorates. In so far as social groups are central to politics, it follows that the psychology of groups should be relevant to our understanding of political psychology. Social Identity Theory and Self-Categorization Theory represent major theoretical attempts to clarify the social psychological processes associated with group membership and action, and should therefore be in a good position to provide a significant contribution to that understanding.

EDWARD VUL, HAROLD PASHLER

A crowd often possesses better information than do the individuals it comprises. For example, if people are asked to guess the weight of a prize- winning ox (Galton, 1907), the error of the average response is substantially smaller than the average error of individual estimates. This fact, which Galton interpreted as support for democratic governance, is responsible for the success of polling the audience in the television program “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” (Surowiecki, 2004) and for the superiority of combined over individual financial forecasts (Clemen, 1989). Researchers agree that this wisdom-of-crowds effect depends on a statistical fact: The crowd’s average will be more accurate as long as some of the error of one individual is statistically independent of the error of other individuals—as seems almost guaranteed to be the case.

Modelling subgroup behaviour in crowd dynamics DEM simulation

Harmeet Singh , Robyn Arter , Louise Dodd , Paul Langston , Edward Lester , John Drury

Abstract

This paper investigates the behaviour of subgroups in crowd dynamics by means of filming and observation. An existing crowd modelling program, CrowdDMX, based on a discrete element model (DEM) has been modified on the basis of observations made in this paper and literature. Each person is represented as three overlapping circles and motion is modelled in a Newtonian manner. It incorporates psychological forces as well as physical forces in a 2D time-stepping environment. The DEM model was modified to include realistic subgroup behaviour, representing people in the crowd desiring to stay together (families, friends, etc.). Subgroup psychological forces were incorporated. The previous model only simulated individuals moving independently, which was unrealistic in some situations as shown by the observation and filming part of the study. The revised program models subgroups realistically including the tendency to avoid subgroup division in cases of contra-flow.

Herding in humans

Ramsey M. Raafat, Nick Chater and Chris Frith

Herding is a form of convergent social behaviour that can be broadly defined as the alignment of the thoughts or behaviours of individuals in a group (herd) through local interaction and without centralized coordination. We suggest that herding has a broad application, from intellectual fashion to mob violence; and that under- standing herding is particularly pertinent in an increas- ingly interconnected world. An integrated approach to herding is proposed, describing two key issues: mech- anisms of transmission of thoughts or behaviour be- tween agents, and patterns of connections between agents. We show how bringing together the diverse, often disconnected, theoretical and methodological approaches illuminates the applicability of herding to many domains of cognition and suggest that cognitive neuroscience offers a novel approach to its study.

Pompey v Saints: a case study in crowd segregation

Steve Frosdick

In the United Kingdom, spectator violence at sports events, particularly at football (soccer) matches, is an ancient yet current policing problem. ‘Football hooliganism’ has received considerable academic scrutiny, however the main focus has been on who the hooligans are and why they behave as they do. Other salient issues, for example the policing of spectator violence, have received rather less research attention.

One aspect of such policing involves the physical segregation of rival sets of supporters. This paper is an empirical case study of the crowd segregation arrangements adopted for the 2003–2004 Derby1 matches between Southampton and Portsmouth football clubs. This case study outlines the concept of segregation and describes the two stadiums. It then gives a participant observer account of the segregation arrangements and incidents at the matches. Finally, the paper suggests six more general conclusions based upon the case study. Segregation remains necessary and is best achieved by management rather than physical measures. The proximity of the visiting fans coach (bus) arrival point is important, and it is easier to manage the staggered arrival of small groups of fans. What happens outside the ground has a direct effect on what happens inside and experienced stewards are more effective at ‘policing’ fans than the public police service.

Crowd disasters: a socio-technical systems perspective

Rose Challenger and Chris W. Clegg

Abstract

We present a socio-technical systems framework and underlying principles to help understand a sample of crowd-related disasters. Our approach is founded on the premise that disasters result from complex systems failures, wherein a series of interdependent factors combine in such a way as to cause problems. We explore the explanatory power of our approach by analysing three incidents; Hillsborough football stadium disaster (1989), King’s Cross underground fire (1987), and Bradford City stadium fire (1985). We find a common set of fundamental, interrelated issues and consistent violations of our socio-technical design principles. We conclude by discussing how our framework, principles and socio-technical thinking more generally, may contribute to theory and practice.

King Mob: Perceptions, Prescriptions and Presumptions About the Policing of England’s Riots

Hugo Gorringe and Michael Rosie

Abstract

As journalists and academics, politicians and other commentators struggled to make sense of the social unrest across England, they reached for theoretical understandings of the crowd that have long since been discredited. The powerful imagery of the madding crowd has always been a popular trope with journalists, but what concerned us was the way in which even sociological commentators echoed such ideas. This paper, therefore, draws on our past research, informal interviews with senior police officers and media accounts to offer an analysis of the riots, how they were policed, and contemporary understandings of crowd behaviour. In so doing we question whether current understandings of collective behaviour, deriving from socio-political expressions of anger or protest, are equipped to make sense of the English riots. Similarly, we ask whether police public order tactics need to change. We conclude that the residual attachment to myths of the madding crowd continues to hamper the search for flexible, graded and legitimate means of managing social unrest.

Talking about Hillsborough: ‘panic’ as discourse in survivors’ accounts of the 1989 football stadium disaster

Cocking, Chris and Drury, John

Abstract

Not included in this link

Following the 9-11 attacks in the United States in 2001, the concept of ‘resilience’
increased in prominence among policy makers and organizations concerned with national security. In the same period the United Kingdom has not only faced the global terrorist threat, but also a fuel crisis, an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, serious flooding, and fears of pandemic flu. These events were seen as sufficiently damaging to the national infrastructure to warrant greater coordination in emergency planning and response. Hence among the provisions of the 2004 Civil Contingencies Act is the requirement for the emergency services, local authorities, and National Health Service bodies jointly to assess the risk of particular emergencies occurring, and to produce plans for local ‘resilience’ —that is, adaptive response and recovery from such emergencies.

Multitudes Gather: An Overview and Analysis of the Evolution of Research Concerning Crowd Behavior

Jacklyn Gulley

Abstract

Crowds o entimes behave in ways that are considered abnormal. is study sought to understand why crowds behave so di erently from individuals acting alone. is was accomplished by tracing the evolution of research

regarding crowd behavior from its beginnings within the nations of France and Italy in the late 19th century all the way to contemporary time. Crowds were de ned as psychological occurrences and categorized according to the research of Roger Brown and Neil Smelser. In order to explain theory regarding crowd behavior, this study focused on the research conducted by Le Bon, Festigener, Pepitone, Newcomb, Zimbardo, Diener, Prentice-Dunn, and Rogers. e research of all of these individuals together evolved from its focus on the existence of a collective mind within crowds into the classic de-individuation theory and later into the contemporary de-individuation theory. Crowd behavior is seen as being caused by a complex web of variables driven by the environment and situation of the time. Research regarding crowd behavior is continually evolving.

Group Affect: Its Influence on Individual and Group Outcomes

Sigal G. Barsade and Donald E. Gibson

Abstract

We review and synthesize the research literature examining group affect and its consequences, focusing on groups who interact together to accomplish a task. We use a definition of group affect that incorporates the mutual influence of a group’s affective context and affective composition (the amalgamation of group members’ state and trait affect). Our focus is on the influence of group affect on individual members’ behaviors and attitudes and on group-level outcomes. We call for more research in this area, including the study of more specific discrete group emotions and a broadening of the types of groups studied in this research area.

Psychological disaster myths in the perception and management of mass emergencies
John Drury, David Novelli, Clifford Stott

Abstract

Disaster myths are said to be widespread and consequential. However, there has been little research on whether those involved in public safety and emergency response believe them. A survey examined how far police officers, civilian safety professionals, sports event stewards and comparison samples from the public believe the myths “mass panic,” “civil disorder,” and “helplessness.” Respondents endorsed the first two myths. However, they rejected the myth of helplessness and endorsed the view that emergency crowds display resilience. Despite these contradictions in stated beliefs, there was also evidence of ideological coherence: each model of mass emer- gency behavior (maladaptive vs. resilient) was linked to a model of crowd manage- ment (coercive and paternalistic vs. mass-democratic). The practical implications of these findings are discussed.

The Experience of Collective Participation: Shared Identity, Relatedness, and Emotionality

Fergus Neville and Steve Reicher

Abstract

This paper presents three studies that explore the experience of participating in crowd events. Analysis of semi-structured interviews with football supporters and student demonstrators are used to illustrate the role that shared identity plays in transforming within-crowd social relations (relatedness), and the positive impact this has upon emotionality of collective experience. Questionnaire data collected at a music festival is then used to confirm these claims. The paper argues for a conceptual distinction between shared identity and self-categorisation, and against the contention in classic crowd psychology that a loss of identity is at the root of collective emotion. The paper concludes by suggesting avenues for future research, including the potential role for collective experience in encouraging future co-action

Advances in Liaison Based Public Order Policing in England: Human Rights and Negotiating the Management of Protest?

Clifford Stott, Martin Scothern and Hugo Gorringe

Abstract

This article provides further analysis of an emerging ‘liaison’ based approach to the policing of public order in England and Wales (Gorringe, H., Stott, C. and Rosie, M. (2012). ‘Dialogue Police, Decision Making, and the Management of Public Order During Protest Crowd Events.’ Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling9(2): 111–125.). Data is gathered from a range of sources including direct observation of a series of six protest events across two cities in England between May and November 2012. The research was conducted using principles of ‘participant observation’ within an ‘action research’ framework (Lewin, K. (1958). Group Decision and Social Change. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.). The qualitative analysis suggests that liaison based approaches are effective where they enhance police capacity for problem solving, conflict reduction, limit setting, and mediating during protest events. It is asserted that liaison based tactics can be undermined, however, through poor understand- ing of the approach among police commanders and inadequate sensitivity to interactions between police tactics, protest identities, ideology, and history. The implications of the data for understanding wider debates concerning iterative processes between ‘transgressive’ protest and shifts toward strategic incapacitation are discussed (Gillham, P. F. (2011). ‘Securitizing America: strategic incapacitation and the policing of protest since the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks.’ Sociology Compass 5(7): 636–652.).

Representing the Riots: The (mis)use of statistics to sustain ideological explanation

Roger Ball and John Drury

Introduction

In this article, we critically analyse the use of figures that were employed implicitly, or sometimes explicitly, to support two kinds of quasi-psychological accounts of the UK riots2 of August 2011. The first kind of account suggested that that, overwhelmingly or typically, the rioters were a specific category of individual distinguished from others by their lack of civilization. For example, there were claims about the family upbringing of those involved, their alleged membership of a distinct cultural ‘underclass’, their gang membership, and their criminal characters. The second kind of account focused on the psychological effects of being in a (rioting) crowd. It suggested that the crowd leads people to lose their senses and lose control of their behaviour, and therefore to commit acts of mindless and indiscriminate violence.

Crowdedness Mediates the Effect of Social Identification on Positive Emotion in a Crowd: A Survey of Two Crowd Events

David Novelli, John Drury, Stephen Reicher, Clifford Stott

Abstract

Exposure to crowding is said to be aversive, yet people also seek out and enjoy crowded situations. We surveyed participants at two crowd events to test the prediction of self-categorization theory that variable emotional responses to crowding are a function of social identification with the crowd. In data collected from participants who attended a crowded outdoor music event (n = 48), identification with the crowd predicted feeling less crowded; and there was an indirect effect of identification with the crowd on positive emotion through feeling less crowded. Identification with the crowd also moderated the relation between feeling less crowded and positive emotion. In data collected at a demonstration march (n = 112), identification with the crowd predicted central (most dense) location in the crowd; and there was an indirect effect of identification with the crowd on positive emotion through central location in the crowd. Positive emotion in the crowd also increased over the duration of the crowd event. These findings are in line with the predictions of self-categorization theory. They are inconsistent with approaches that suggest that crowding is inherently aversive; and they cannot easily be explained through the concept of ‘personal space’.

Reflective and Impulsive Determinants of Social Behavior

Fritz Strack and Roland Deutsch

This article describes a 2-systems model that explains social behavior as a joint function of reflective and impulsive processes. In particular, it is assumed that social behavior is controlled by 2 interacting systems that follow different operating principles. The reflective system generates behavioral decisions that are based on knowledge about facts and values, whereas the impulsive system elicits behavior through associative links and motivational orientations. The proposed model describes how the 2 systems interact at various stages of processing, and how their outputs may determine behavior in a synergistic or antagonistic fashion. It extends previous models by integrating motivational components that allow more precise predictions of behavior. The implications of this reflective-impulsive model are applied to various phenomena from social psychology and beyond. Extending previous dual-process accounts, this model is not limited to specific domains of mental functioning and attempts to integrate cognitive, motivational, and behavioral mechanisms.

John Drury,  David Novelli and Clifford Stott

Abstract

There is considerable evidence that psychological membership of crowds can protect people in dangerous events, though 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 which 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. Key message: Crowd safety in a ‘dangerous’ event can be enhanced by the social relational transformations, such as increased trust and expectations of support, that flow from shared social identity.

From Mindless Masses to Small Groups: Conceptualizing Collective Behavior in Crowd Modeling

Anne Templeton, John Drury, Andrew Philippides
Abstract
Computer simulations are increasingly used to monitor and predict behavior at large crowd events, such as mass gatherings, festivals and evacuations. We critically examine the crowd modeling literature and call for future simulations of crowd behavior to be based more closely on findings from current social psychological research. A systematic review was conducted on the crowd modeling literature (N = 140 articles) to identify the assumptions about crowd behavior that modelers use in their simulations. Articles were coded according to the way in which crowd structure was modeled. It was found that 2 broad types are used: mass approaches and small group approaches. However, neither the mass nor the small group approaches can accurately simulate the large collective behavior that has been found in extensive empirical research on crowd events. We argue that to model crowd behavior realistically, simulations must use methods which allow crowd members to identify with each other, as suggested by self-categorization theory.

TACKLING FOOTBALL HOOLIGANISM A Quantitative Study of Public Order, Policing and Crowd Psychology

Clifford Stott,Andrew Livingstone,Otto Adang,Martina Schreiber

Abstract

This paper contributes to the science of crowd dynamics and psychology by examining the social psychological processes related to the relative absence of “hooliganism” at the Finals of the 2004 Union Européenne de Football Association (UEFA) Football (Soccer) Championships in Portugal. Quantitative data from a structured observational study is integrated with data from a questionnaire survey of a group associated ubiquitously with ‘hooliganism’–namely England fans. This analysis provides support for the contention that the absence of ‘disorder’ can be attributed in large part to the non-paramilitary policing style adopted in cities hosting tournament matches. Evidence is presented which suggests that this style of policing supported forms of non-violent collective psychology that, in turn, served to psychologically marginalise violent groups from the wider community of fans. The study highlights the mutually constructive relationships that can be created between psychological theory, research, policing policy and practice, particularly in relation to the successful management of ‘public order’. The paper concludes by exploring some of the wider implications of this research for theory, policy, the management of crowds, social conflict, and human rights more generally. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

Social identification moderates the effect of crowd density on safety at the Hajj

Hani Alnabulsi and John Drury

Crowd safety is a major concern for those attending and managing mass gatherings, such as the annual Hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca (also called Makkah). One threat to crowd safety at such events is crowd density. However, recent research also suggests that psychological membership of crowds can have positive benefits. We tested the hypothesis that the effect of density on safety might vary depending on whether there is shared social identifi- cation in the crowd. We surveyed 1,194 pilgrims at the Holy Mosque, Mecca, during the 2012 Hajj. Analysis of the data showed that the negative effect of crowd density on reported safety was moderated by social identification with the crowd. Whereas low identifiers reported reduced safety with greater crowd density, high identifiers reported increased safety with greater crowd density. Mediation analysis suggested that a reason for these moderation effects was the perception that other crowd members were supportive. Differences in reported safety across national groups (Arab countries and Iran compared with the rest) were also explicable in terms of crowd identification and perceived support. These findings support a social identity account of crowd behavior and offer a novel perspective on crowd safety management.

How can Psychology inform disaster research?

Sarita J Robinson

Abstract

This paper will set out our current understanding of how psychology can help us to understand and influence preparation for, and responses to disaster. Using four primary research studies, this paper will outline how psychology can inform our knowledge of all stages of a disaster (preparedness, immediate response and long-term consequences). The first study used a questionnaire design to examine factors that influence evacuation behaviours. The second and third studies explored physiological and psychological responses to simulated disaster training. The fourth study explored the consequences of trauma exposure focusing specifically on predictors of post-traumatic stress disorder and post-traumatic growth. The results show that psychology can play a role in our understanding of human behaviour during a disaster. Specifically, study one shows how psychology can inform disaster preparation by identifying barriers to evacuation. The second and third studies show how psychology can help us to explore and predict human behaviour during a disaster. Finally, the fourth study highlights how psychology can help us to understand the longer-term impact of exposure to traumatic events. Overall, the results of these studies show that psychological knowledge can predict and positively influence human behaviour in response to disasters.

Social groups in crowd

Jarosław Wąs, Krzysztof Kułakowski

Abstract

Not included in this link.

GE Xiao-xia, Dong WEI, JIN Hong-yu

Abstract

The paper presents the psych-physiological laws of evacuation crowd in subway. Passengers who take part in Evacuation drill that was hold in the Taiyang Palace Subway in Beijing were survyed by questionnaire. The basic data was acquired. Then, psychological responses, behavior characteristic in the pre-evacuation and evacuation phase were researched, and the key effect factors were put out. The results show that slight tension was the main state of main state of mind. the first observation of the surrounding circumstances and then start the evacuation behavioral response was a major way. 92.9% of the total crowd began to evacuate in the 60 s. Herding behavior and Familiarity-following was less, and the age, gender, and experience was the key factors that affect evacuation results.

Assessing the Psychosocial Elements of Crowds at Mass Gatherings

Alison Hutton, RN, PhD; Kathryn Zeitz, RN, PhD; Steve Brown, PhD; Paul Arbon, RN, PhD

Abstract

The environmental aspects of mass gatherings that can affect the health and safety of the crowd have been well described. Although it has been recognized that the nature of the crowd will directly impact the health and safety of the crowd, the majority of research focuses on crowd behavior in a negative context such as violence or conflict. Within the mass gathering literature, there is no agreement on what crowd behavior, crowd mood and crowd type actually mean. At the same time, these elements have a number of applications, including event management and mass gathering medicine. These questions are worthy of exploration. This paper will report on a pilot project undertaken to evaluate how effective current crowd assessment tools are in understanding the psychosocial domain of a mass gathering event. The pilot project highlighted the need for a more consistent descriptive data set that focuses on crowd behavior. The descriptive data collected in this study provide a beginning insight into the science of understanding crowds at a mass gathering event. This pilot has commenced a process of quantifying the psychosocial nature of an event. To maximize the value of this work, future research is required to understand the interplay among the three domains of mass gatherings (physical, environmental and psychological), along with the effects of each element within the domains on safety and health outcomes for participants at mass gatherings.

An integrated approach to crowd psychology and public order policing

Stephen Reicher
School of Psychology, University of St. Andrews
Clifford Stott
Department of Psychology, University of Liverpool
Patrick Cronin
Division of Psychology, University of Abertay Dundee
Otto Adang
Police Academy of the Netherlands
Abstract
This paper uses recent developments in crowd psychology as the basis for developing new guidelines for public order policing. Argues that the classical view of all crowd members as being inherently irrational and suggestible, and therefore potentially violent, is both wrong and potentially dangerous. It can lead to policing strategies that respond to the violence of some in the crowd by clamping down on all members, and therefore lead all members to perceive the police as hostile and illegitimate. In such conditions, even those who were initially opposed to violence may come to side with more conflictual crowd members and hence contribute to an escalation in the level and scope of collective conflict. This paper argues that police officers need to concentrate on understanding the collective identities, priorities and intentions of different groups in the crowd and give the same priority to facilitating the lawful intentions of some groups as to controlling the unlawful intentions of others.

Walking together: behavioural signatures of psychological crowds

Anne Templeton, John Drury and Andrew Philippides

Research in crowd psychology has demonstrated key differences between the behaviour of physical crowds where members are in the same place at the same time, and the collective behaviour of psychological crowds where the entire crowd perceive themselves to be part of the same group through a shared social identity. As yet, no research has investigated the behavioural effects that a shared social identity has on crowd movement at a pedestrian level. To investigate the direction and extent to which social identity influences the movement of crowds, 280 trajectories were tracked as participants walked in one of two conditions: (1) a psychological crowd primed to share a social identity; (2) a naturally occurring physical crowd. Behaviour was compared both within and between the conditions. In comparison to the physical crowd, members of the psychological crowd (i) walked slower, (ii) walked further, and (iii) maintained closer proximity. In addition, pedestrians who had to manoeuvre around the psychological crowd behaved differently to pedestrians who had to manoeuvre past the naturally occurring crowd. We conclude that the behavioural differences between physical and psychological crowds must be taken into account when considering crowd behaviour in event safety management and computer models of crowds.