- News Home
6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
- 6 March 2014 1:04 pm , Vol. 343 , #6175
- About Us
ScienceShot: Don't Panic. And Don't Always Follow the Crowd
19 November 2013 7:15 pm
Suddenly, the fire alarm goes off. Everyone is rushing for a door, but the exit sign glows at the other side of the room. Do you head toward it on your own or follow the crowd? More than 500 people were faced with this and other scenarios in an online simulation. The game was created to study people’s decision-making in an evacuation. Most of the insights into how people behave during an evacuation have come from interviews with survivors of real evacuations or from computer simulations, and even a few experiments with people (pictured above). By including players, the new game makes the computer modeling more realistic. One surprising result: People tend to follow the herd, even when others seem to be heading the wrong way. (Sometimes “wisdom of the crowds” is a misnomer.) The hope is that the game, described today in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, will reveal safer ways to design buildings and evacuation procedures. Want to make it out alive? Play the game yourself.