The Relevance of Crowding Experiments to Urban Studies

  • Mark Baldassare
  • Claude S. Fischer


The experimental study of human crowding is one of the behavioral sciences’ fastest-growing areas of research. We come to this forum with two major interests. As social psychologists who have engaged in experimental work on crowding, we are concerned with the conduct and evaluation of these laboratory studies. As urban sociologists, we have noted with dismay the poverty of theory in this young research tradition. As our contribution, we hope to offer a constructive critique drawn largely from the vantage point of over 50 years of urban theory and research. Our main focus will concern the following question: What do the experimental studies of crowding have to do with the understanding of the social-psychological nature of urban life? Our proposition is that thus far experimentalists have ignored the central issues in urbanism and have given inadequate answers to this question.


Personal Space Urban Study Urban Life City Life SOCIal Pathology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Baldassare
    • 1
  • Claude S. Fischer
    • 2
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.University of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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