Feeling Crowding (11-26-18)

Wang and Ackerman studied factors that influence how crowded people feel in a space.  They determined that  “People sometimes perceive social environments as unpleasantly crowded. Previous work has linked these experiences to incidental factors such as being hungry or hot and to the relevance of the social environment for an individual’s current goals. Here. . . . Eight studies test whether infectious disease threats, which are associated with crowded conditions, increase such reactions. Across studies, pathogen threat made dense social environments seem more crowded and generated more negative affect [feelings] toward these environments. These perceptions and negative feelings were more influenced by pathogen threat relative to other threats of physical danger.”

Iris Wang and Joshua Ackerman.  2019. “The Infectiousness of Crowds: Crowding Experiences are Amplified by Pathogen Threats.”  Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, vol. 45, no. 1, pp. 120-132, https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167218780735