Purpose: This research was conducted to explore the psychological processes involved in spontaneous co-operation by survivors of mass emergencies, and the possible implications this may have for emergency responders. Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative interview study was conducted with 12 survivors and witnesses of the July 7th 2005 London bombings. Data was subjected to thematic analysis. Findings: Spontaneous co-operation amongst survivors often emerged, and this was a function of a common identity that grew out of a sense of shared fate amongst those affected. Some social influence that encouraged co-operation also occurred, and this was dependent upon whether there was a sense of shared identity between source and target of influence. Research limitations/implications: Evidence was only collected from a sub-set of one incident (7/7), thus limiting possible generalisability of the findings. Further research into comparable situations would provide a better understanding of the processes underlying mutual co-operation and support amongst emergency survivors. Practical implications: Uninjured bystanders in emergencies can act as ‘zero-responders’, and so may become a useful resource which can be utilized by the emergency services in mass emergencies. Social implications: This study adds to a growing body of evidence that contradicts populist assumptions of crowd vulnerability to mass panic or inaction in mass emergencies, and supports a model of collective resilience instead. Originality/value: This is the first paper to explore in detail the social influence processes underlying spontaneous co-operation amongst survivors of emergencies, and will be of use to emergency responders.
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||International Journal of Emergency Services|
|Publication status||Published - 18 Oct 2013|
Bibliographical noteThis article is © Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here http://eprints.brighton.ac.uk/11744/. Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
- crowd behaviour
- mass emergencies
- social identity model of collective resilience