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Crowd Behavior at Mass Gatherings: A Literature Review

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 June 2012

Kathryn M. Zeitz*
Affiliation:
Chief Nursing Officer, St. John Ambulance, South Australia, Australia
Heather M. Tan
Affiliation:
PhD Candidate, Discipline of General Practice, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
M Grief
Affiliation:
PhD Candidate, Discipline of General Practice, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
PC Couns
Affiliation:
PhD Candidate, Discipline of General Practice, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Christopher J. Zeitz
Affiliation:
State Medical Officer, St. John Ambulance, South Australia, Australia
*
18A Farrell StreetGlenelg SouthSouth Australia, 5045Australia E-mail: kmzeitz@bigpond.com.au

Abstract

Gaining an understanding of crowd behavior is important in supporting timely and appropriate crowd management principles in the planning and provision of emergency services at mass gatherings. This paper provides a review of the current understanding of the psychological factors of a crowd within the psychosocial domain as they apply to mass-gathering settings.

It can be concluded from this review that there is a large theory-practice gap in relation to crowd psychology and the mass-gathering setting. The literature has highlighted two important elements of crowd behavior—there must be a “seed” and people must engage. Understanding these behaviors may provide opportunities to change crowd behavior outcomes.

Type
Comprehensive Review
Copyright
Copyright © World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine 2009

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