PRESENTATION: Working With Group Psychology in Emergencies
In this presentation, University of Sussex’s John Drury explains how an understanding of principles of group psychology, based on the social identity approach, can contribute to safer events.
He will briefly describe the research evidence that shows that, for most groups and crowds, the more that people become psychologically a part of the crowd the more orderly their behaviour and the more social support there is within the group.
It is those (physical) crowds where shared identification is low where selfishness and hence disorder is more likely.
The implication of this research evidence is that safety managers and personnel need to work with, and facilitate, shared identities in emergencies, not work against those shared identities. This means prioritising their relationship with the crowd through communication strategies.