Psychological Aspects of Human Dynamics in Underground Evacuation: Field Experiments

  • Robert Zinke
  • Gesine Hofinger
  • Laura Künzer
Conference paper


The relevance of individual and social human factors in evacuation generally has been accepted, but only few studies aim at determining their specific influence on evacuation behavior. Data come from accident analysis, laboratory experiments, and field studies. A series of studies including passenger counts, passenger interviews and field experiments is reported. Data show that many passengers would need help in an evacuation, that passengers lack knowledge about evacuation signs and behavior, and that they expect their own behavior to be non-compliant with some evacuation orders. Field experiments show instances of helping participants with simulated impairments, and of altruistic as well as egoistic behavior. Results concerning group behavior include staying together and even building “human lumps”.


Field experiments Human factors Passenger evacuation Social behavior Subway station Underground transportation 



This research was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (program “Research for civil protection”, project: OrGaMIRPLUS, project number: 13N11525). The studies were conducted in cooperation with Prof. Andreas Pflitsch from Ruhr-University Bochum and his students.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Intercultural Business CommunicationFriedrich-Schiller-Universität JenaJenaGermany

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