The Department of Fire Safety Engineering is involved in the 2-year project (Sep 2020-Aug 2022) called "Perceived threats and 'stampedes': a relational model of collective fear responses " funded by the Economic and Social Science Research Council in the UK (total project budget ~1 Million eur). The project addresses the question of how people respond collectively to acute states of perceived emergency. This project provides the first systematic evidence on the nature and dynamics of human 'stampedes' in response to perceived hostile threats. A new model is developed, based on the social identity approach and social appraisal theory, making use of Virtual Reality experiments to investigate evacuation behaviour in presence of hostile threats.
Dr Enrico Ronchi is co-PI of the project, that is led by Prof John Drury from University of Sussex and involves world-leader crowd psychologists based in the UK.