Navigation Links
Follow the leader: How those in charge make themselves known
Date:4/1/2010

Do you find yourself leading groups, or are you naturally more comfortable following others? Research published today shows that if you want to be a leader you're better off at the edges of a crowd, and not in the middle of the action.

In a series of experiments on crowd behaviour, a research team from the Faculty of Biological Sciences at the University of Leeds also found that successful leaders display more decisive behaviour, spending less time following others and acting more quickly than others in the group.

Lead researcher Jolyon Faria, who conducted the study as part of his PhD, said: "It was interesting to find that the most effective leaders remained on the edges of the group and attempted to lead from the front. You'd think leaders in the centre of the group should interact more often with others and therefore be more effective but here this wasn't the case."

Understanding how individuals behave in groups is important in predicting how the whole group behaves en masse, and has implications for the management of our physical environment.

Faria said: "For instance, a better understanding of human crowd behaviour can help us design buildings more effectively for evacuation scenarios. It can also inform strategies for moving large numbers of people, useful for events where large crowds need to be moved as quickly and efficiently as possible by a relatively small number of event staff."

The research team, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), asked groups of eight students to walk around continuously in a specified area and remain as a group without speaking or gesturing to one another.

One person was asked to move towards a target, whilst remaining a member of the group, without letting the others know that he or she was leading them to a target. In a second set of experiments, the students were told to follow "the leader", but not told who the leader was.

In the second set of experiments, it was found that those leaders who remained on the edge of the group were able to move their group towards a target much more quickly than the leaders that chose to remain in the centre.

"We wanted to find out how people decided who to follow" said Faria. "We found that people were able to identify their leader by what position the leader takes, which goes some way to explain how animals in groups such as birds and fish - can be led by only a small minority, even when leaders don't signal their identity.

"Our findings have illustrated a general principle behind group behaviour. These can also be applied to animal groups, something which could help in the management of the natural environment, as well as in the management of the urban environment."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jo Kelly
jokelly@campuspr.co.uk
44-113-258-9880
University of Leeds
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Increasingly threatened loggerheads follow their own paths in travel, eating
2. New study finds way to stop excessive bone growth following trauma or surgery
3. IPY follow-up requires year-round research on Arctic and global warming
4. Study finds women slightly more likely to die than men in the 30 days following a heart attack
5. Following the dietary guidelines may slow heart disease in women
6. Female mammals follow their noses to the right mates
7. Following the leader can be a drag, according to students research on flapping flags
8. Bee swarms follow high-speed streaker bees to find a new nest
9. Researchers block damage to fetal brain following maternal alcohol consumption
10. Following traumatic brain injury, balanced nutrition saves lives
11. When following the leader can lead into the jaws of death
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/28/2016)... 2016 "The biometric system ... The biometric system market is in the growth ... near future. The biometric system market is expected to ... a CAGR of 16.79% between 2016 and 2022. Government ... technology in smartphones, rising use of biometric technology in ...
(Date:11/22/2016)... According to the new market research report "Biometric System Market ... Multi-Factor), Component (Hardware and Software), Function (Contact and Non-contact), Application, and Region ... to grow from USD 10.74 Billion in 2015 to reach USD 32.73 ... Continue Reading ... ...
(Date:11/21/2016)... Nov. 21, 2016   Neurotechnology , a ... technologies, today announced that the MegaMatcher On Card ... submitted for the NIST Minutiae Interoperability Exchange ... the mandatory steps of the evaluation protocol. ... continuing test of fingerprint templates used to establish ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/7/2016)... , Dec. 7, 2016  Biocom, the association for ... the statement below following passage of 21 st Century ... on November 30 by a 392-26 vote and in the ... may be attributed to Joe Panetta , president & ... that will give hope to millions of patients around the ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ANN ARBOR, Mich. , Dec. 7, ... developing breakthrough immune modulatory medicines, announced today the initiation ... lead therapeutic candidate, LYC-30937- E nteric C oated, ... skin disease that is estimated to affect as many ... , with approximately 1.5 - 3 million cases ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... , ... December 07, 2016 ... ... opening applications to an early access program for SmartBiome -- a novel ... with the simultaneous specific enrichment and detection of hundreds of different genes. ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... ... December 06, 2016 , ... The Osteoarthritis Research ... Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to consider OA as a serious disease. As an ... the growing population of OA patients, many of whom may experience progressive disability ...
Breaking Biology Technology: