For many years, fire safety engineers worked under a simple assumption: When a fire alarm rings, people will evacuate immediately. How quickly people manage to vacate a building, they believed, depends mainly on physical abilities, the location of the nearest exit and the behavior of the fire.
But work by psychologists and other behavioral scientists has found that this idea fails to consider the often-surprising behavior of people during emergencies. In fact, research shows that as much as two-thirds of the time it takes occupants to exit a building after an alarm sounds is start-up time--time spent milling about, looking for more information.
Read the rest of the article "Fighting fire with psychology," at http://www.apa.org/monitor/sep04/fighting.aspx. Summarize what you've learned.
This article highlighted the human psychology that negates common mythology in regard to fire evacuations. Common myth posits that when fire alarms are raised, people immediately evacuate the building running for safety and that it takes relatively little time for people to do so. This article debunks this myth and provides peer reviewed research from researchers in the field of psychology that indicates people usually take a holistic approach during fire alarm ...
The expert examines fighting fire with psychology. An article summary is provided.