The Effect of National Culture on Evacuation Response Behaviour: A Cross-Cultural Survey




Response behaviour, Evacuation, Culture, Self-report, Library evacuation


Are there cultural differences and similarities in the way occupants respond to evacuation notifications? Evacuation response behaviour is characterised by the way occupants react to evacuation notifications to validate what is happening around them and prepare for evacuation movement. This study presents a cross-cultural survey based on a case study of a library evacuation to specifically explore how national culture - combined with cues and affiliation - influence evacuation response behaviour. A total of 585 adults from Czech Republic, Poland, Turkey and the United Kingdom participated in the survey. The main results show that for the three scenarios explored (1) UK participants perform significantly fewer response tasks than participants from the other countries, (2) participants from all countries first look around to see what is happening, and seek additional information as one of the first three tasks they perform, (3) Czech, Turkish and UK participants are more likely to wait for a friend/colleague in a scenario without cues than with cues. These results provide insights for safety practitioners and other stakeholders on the importance of cross-cultural research for evacuation behaviour and its inclusion in policy making and emergency preparation.


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How to Cite

van der Wal, C. N., Kinkel, E., van Damme, E. R., Galea, E. R., Minkov, M., & Brazier, F. M. (2024). The Effect of National Culture on Evacuation Response Behaviour: A Cross-Cultural Survey. Collective Dynamics, 9, 1–17.



Special Issue of Pedestrian and Evacuation Dynamics 2023