Estimating Choice Models to Quantify the Effect of Herding on the Decision to Evacuate: Application of a Serious Gaming Experimental Setup

Mignon Van den Berg*, Rob van Nes, Serge Hoogendoorn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
33 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Insight into factors influencing the choices people make in case of an evacuation from a natural disaster can help governments and emergency management personnel to manage people in case of such a situation. One of the aspects that influences the choices that people make in such a situation is herding. Since herding has not been quantified, this paper focuses on quantifying the effect of herding on the decision to evacuate by using an experimental setup that is based on the serious game Everscape. Around 400 people participated in 13 experiments with this setup. Choice models were estimated with the data from these experiments by including observable characteristics of herding as an attribute into the utility function. It is concluded that an important step is made in quantifying herding. It is shown that the more people someone sees leaving, the more inclined this person is to leave. Seeing people leave has more impact than seeing people stay. When people have no information from official sources, they tend to use other people as a source of information. In case of a disaster, this might result in following people who make the situation even more dangerous (for themselves and possibly for others as well). The information provided by official sources is therefore essential in managing people in the best possible way in case of a natural disaster.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-170
Number of pages10
JournalTransportation Research Record
Volume2672
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2018

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