Predicting collective behaviour at the Hajj: place, space, and the process of cooperation

Alnabulsi, Hani, Drury, John and Templeton, Anne (2018) Predicting collective behaviour at the Hajj: place, space, and the process of cooperation. Philosophical Transactions B: Biological Sciences, 373 (1753). pp. 1-12. ISSN 0962-8436

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Around 2 million pilgrims attend the annual Hajj to Mecca and the holy places, which are subject to dense crowding. Both architecture and psychology can be part of disaster risk reduction in relation to crowding, since both can affect the nature of collective behaviour – particularly cooperation – among pilgrims. To date, collective behaviour at the Hajj has not been systematically investigated from a psychological perspective. We examined determinants of cooperation in the Grand Mosque and plaza during the pilgrimage. A questionnaire survey of 1194 pilgrims found that the Mosque was perceived by pilgrims as one of the most crowded ritual locations. Being in the plaza (compared to the Mosque) predicted the extent of cooperation, though crowd density did not. Shared social identity with the crowd explained more of the variance than both location and density. We examined some of the process underlying cooperation. The link between shared social identity and giving support to others was stronger in the plaza than in the Mosque, and suggests the role of place and space in modulating processes of cooperation in crowds. These findings have implications for disaster risk reduction and for applications such as computer simulations of crowds in pilgrimage locations.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Crowds, social identity, Hajj, pilgrimage, Mecca, cooperation
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Ellena Adams
Date Deposited: 18 May 2018 14:14
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 13:47

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