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Walking in Social Groups: Role of Intra-Group Interactions

Sobhana, KP and Verma, A (2023) Walking in Social Groups: Role of Intra-Group Interactions. In: Adaptive Behavior .

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1177/10597123231182201


Interestingly, the interactions between members of a social group and across people of different social groups often happen through mutual understanding and reciprocate behaviour by means of gestures or eye contact. A controlled laboratory experiment is used to test the effect of interactions between members of a social group and across social groups on the walk dynamics of people. This study tries to discover the trade-off made by people between the need to communicate/interact between group members and the need to avoid collision with opposing pedestrians in a bidirectional flow. Thirty adults participated in a series of controlled experiments. The individuals and group characteristics were compared to study the effect of social groups. Spatial patterns/group formations, average walking speeds, and deviation from the desired direction of motion were assessed. The analysis shows that time to cross the platform is the least when triads adopt the river and inverted V group formations. In contrast, V and line-abreast group formations require slightly more time and are better suited to promote interactions between the group members. Irrespective of the initial formation adopted by participants, there is a higher tendency for the groups to shift to river formation or inverted V formations. This may be a result of the higher group speeds observed in the Inverted V and river formations, which accelerates their progress in the direction of motion. The understanding of walking dynamics of social groups from this study can enable better planning of pedestrian facilities and crowded events.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Adaptive Behavior
Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to the SAGE Publications Ltd.
Keywords: bidirectional flow; controlled experiment; group formations; pedestrians; social groups.
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Civil Engineering
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2023 05:21
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2023 05:21
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/82530

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