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Navigation in human crowds; testing the many-wrongs principle

Faria, Jolyon J and Codling, Edward A and Dyer, John RG and Trillmich, Fritz and Krause, Jens (2009) 'Navigation in human crowds; testing the many-wrongs principle.' Animal Behaviour, 78 (3). pp. 587-591. ISSN 0003-3472

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The 'many-wrongs principle' predicts that animal group cohesion can cause groups to navigate more accurately than singletons. Recent theoretical work using individual-based simulations and several empirical studies of bird flock behaviour support this principle. However, for real animal groups it remains unclear what key factors are involved and whether group cohesion alone can act to produce the effect. We tested model predictions using human participants in a large circular arena. They were tested alone and in groups of two, three, six and 10, in three trials. For each trial, individuals were instructed to stay together and approach a preset but unmarked target on the arena perimeter. The target instruction included a degree of directional uncertainty of 22.5°, 67.5° or 112.5°. Individual directional uncertainty was equal for each group member within a trial, but differed between trials. As expected, we found that groups comprising individuals with lower directional uncertainty navigated more accurately. Group navigational accuracy increased with group size but only between singletons and groups of 10 and only when individuals had a high directional uncertainty of 112.5°. This study provides evidence in human groups that group cohesion can increase navigational accuracy but that this effect is restricted to larger group sizes and when individual directional uncertainty is high. © 2009 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: collective behaviour; group; human; many-wrongs principle; navigation
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Mathematical Sciences, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2011 14:10
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 11:40

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