Crowdadfærd i krisesituationer - at lære fra ulykker

Luna Agnete Fendinge Bindner

Studenteropgave: Speciale


This master thesis investigates how emergency situations and evacuations at cultural events are being evaluated and how the crowd’s behaviour impacts the development and outcome of the emergency situation. The master thesis is the result of an integrated study covering psychology and performance design at Roskilde University. My empirical material consists of documents concerning three crowd-related accidents at different crowd events; The Roskilde Festival accident in 2000, The Hillsborough Stadium accident in 1989 and The Love Parade accident I 2010. The documents were analysed from a narrative perspective and many similarities found across the documents concerning the main causes for the accidents. Psychological theories of crowd behaviours with particular focus on behaviour in emergency situations were used to analyse the main causes for the accidents found in the documents. The key theories used were Le Bons ‘Group Mind Theory’, ‘Place Scripts Theory’, ‘Emergent Norm Theory’, ‘Deindividuation Theory’, ‘Social Identity Theory’, ‘Self-categorisation Theroy’ and ‘Elaborated Social Identity Model’ as well as some traditional theories from Performance Design by Richard Schechner and Victor Turner. One of the main conclusions of the analysis is that there is a tendency to overlook the psychological aspects of crowd-related accidents and focus primarily on technological problems and thereby to look for technical solutions to prevent future crowd related accidents. However as explained by the ‘Swiss Cheese Model’ the technological problems are just part of a broad spectrum of causes which together make up the critical situation that lead to a crowd related fatal accident. I have found that there is a gap in the understanding of the importance of crowd behaviour in crowd-related accidents and that wrong management of a crowd can lead to problems that can turn into accidents. It is vitally important not to work against the crowd but to work with the crowd by supporting the crowd’s social identity and help the crowd to maintain a positive self-categorisation. This can be done by providing appropriate and timely information to the crowd about the situation. In addition it is important to learn how to observe and manage ‘weak cues’ that can indicate when something is going to happen. According to the theories these cues are often overseen by security staff and police because they often try to normalize the situation as long as possible. The thesis also concludes that the use of “what if”-scenarios is a good way of gaining experience and developing crowd management and safety procedures from past experiences. It is suggested that organisations should adopt a wider, more psychological approach to their evaluation of critical situations and accidents by including aspects as ‘process/procedures’, ‘goals’, ‘culture’ and ‘people’, rather than continuing to focus on the technical aspects only. Finally, this thesis suggests some ideas for future research. The thesis could be of interest to people involved in planning and managing safety at cultural crowd events, as it gives insights into causes of accidents at cultural crowd events and provides ideas to how the safety at these events can be further developed.

UddannelserPerformance-design, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) KandidatPsykologi, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato25 jan. 2016
VejledereKirsten Grønbæk Hansen & Fabian Holt