Crowd behavior at mass gatherings: a literature review

Prehosp Disaster Med. Jan-Feb 2009;24(1):32-8. doi: 10.1017/s1049023x00006518.

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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Behavior Control / psychology*
  • Crowding / psychology*
  • Disaster Planning
  • Humans