All features (understanding behaviour)

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Sports arena crowd

Managing the Olympic crowds

Understanding how crowds behave is crucial for safety and security at big events. The Crowd Behaviour Network, part of an ESRC-funded research project, provides timely insights into crowd management in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Call centre

The art of fundraising

Despite much focus on how people donate to charitable causes, there has been much less research on fundraisers and how their personal skills affect the performance. The research project 'The Formation of Fundraisers: the role of personal skills in asking for money' will interview fundraisers and volunteers who have raised significant sums to explore what makes a successful 'asker'.


Fear makes us co-operate

It may not be altruism, but fear that encourages co-operation, findings show. We are inclined to work together because we are worried about the consequences of selfishly taking advantage of other people.

Filling petrol

No panic for petrol

The queuing and bulk-buying of petrol is not 'panic buying' but logical, given people's reasonable beliefs about others' behaviour and mistrust of the authorities, argues Dr John Drury, researching crowd psychology in emergencies.

Sun and turbines

Eavesdropping on the climate change debate

A study of climate change as a social issue shows how the debate affects the views and attitudes of individuals and groups, and highlights how climate change is perceived differently across countries.

Business district

Crisis-proofing the banking system

Are lessons learnt, and can we avoid another global financial crisis in the future? The National Institute of Economic and Social Research/ESRC conference 'Never Again?' has examined whether there has been progress towards a safer banking system.

Burger and fries

'Fat tax' ineffective in countering obesity

Taxing unhealthy foods in a bid to persuade people to eat a better diet would be an ineffective way of tackling obesity. A study of inequalities in diet and health concludes that a so-called 'fat tax' would hit the poor hardest while failing to produce any significant health benefits.


The tweets of relaxation

In an ESRC CASE studentship, psychologist Eleanor Ratcliffe at the University of Surrey is exploring how listening to natural sounds such as birdsong can improve mood and attention after stress or fatigue.

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