Don't Panic: The Psychology of Emergency Egress and Ingress

By Jerome M. Chertkoff; Russell H. Kushigian | Go to book overview

Chapter 2
Theories of Emergency Egress and Ingress

In order to explain why people behaved as they did at the Front Street Theatre, we need a theory of pedestrian traffic flow in an emergency. A theory is a set of assumptions that interprets some phenomenon. A good theory not only explains the occurrence of a particular phenomenon, but also if it does not always happen, the probability that it will. In this chapter, we will examine the most prominent theories about emergency egress and ingress.


PANIC THEORIES

All of the theories that we classify as panic theories view panic as a likely result when a crowd tries to exit under conditions of high threat. Panic is usually defined as involving two elements, high emotional excitement and irrational, nonadaptive flight. The theories in this section offer explanations for the occurrence of panic, and since panic does not always ensue, they explain what factors make the occurrence of panic more or less likely.


Le Bon

Initial attempts to explain the behavior of people exiting or entering a structure under time pressure because of some real or perceived danger can be found in early theories of crowd psychology. The most widely cited theory is that of Gustave Le Bon, as propounded in his 1895 book The Crowd.

For Le Bon, a crowd is not just any gathering of people. A "psychological crowd," to use his term, exists only when the sentiments and ideas of the people all take the same direction. When a psychological crowd occurs, the usual conscious personalities of the people are replaced by their unconscious personalities. What did Le Bon mean by the term "unconscious personality"? The unconscious personality is composed of the common characteristics of all members of a race as passed on via heredity.

The predominance of the unconscious personality in a psychological crowd is due to three causes: (1) large numbers of people possessing feelings of invincibility due

-7-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Don't Panic: The Psychology of Emergency Egress and Ingress
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 145

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.