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Human exit route choice in virtual crowd evacuations

Bode, NWF and Codling, EA (2013) 'Human exit route choice in virtual crowd evacuations.' Animal Behaviour, 86 (2). 347 - 358. ISSN 0003-3472

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The collective behaviour of human crowds emerges from the local interactions of individuals. To understand human crowds we therefore need to identify the behavioural rules individual pedestrians follow. This is crucial for the control of emergency evacuations from confined spaces, for example. At a microscopic level we seek to predict the next step of pedestrians based on their local environment. However, we also have to consider 'tactical-level' individual behaviour that is not an immediate response to the local environment, such as the choice between different routes to exit a building. We used an interactive virtual environment to study human exit route decisions in simulated evacuations. Participants had to escape from a building and had to choose between different exit routes in the presence of evacuating simulated agents. We found no inherent preference for familiar routes, but under a stress-inducing treatment, subjects were more likely to display behaviour in their route choice that was detrimental to their evacuation time. Most strikingly, subjects were less likely to avoid a congested exit by changing their original decision to move towards it under this treatment. Age and gender had clear effects on reaction times in the virtual environment. © 2013 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Mathematical Sciences, Department of
Depositing User: Edward Codling
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2013 10:23
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2019 19:15

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