Explaining effervescence: investigating the relationship between shared social identity and positive experience in crowds

Nick Hopkins, Stephen D. Reicher, Sammyh S. Khan, Shruti Tewari, Narayanan Srinivasan, Clifford Stevenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

We investigated the intensely positive emotional experiences arising from participation in a large-scale collective event. We predicted such experiences arise when those attending a collective event are (1) able to enact their valued collective identity and (2) experience close relations with other participants. In turn, we predicted both of these to be more likely when participants perceived crowd members to share a common collective identity. We investigated these predictions in a survey of pilgrims (N = 416) attending a month-long Hindu pilgrimage festival in north India. We found participants' perceptions of a shared identity amongst crowd members had an indirect effect on their positive experience at the event through (1) increasing participants' sense that they were able to enact their collective identity and (2) increasing the sense of intimacy with other crowd members. We discuss the implications of these data for how crowd emotion should be conceptualised.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-32
Number of pages14
JournalCognition and Emotion
Volume30
Issue number1
Early online date19 Mar 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2016

Keywords

  • Crowds
  • Effervescence
  • Shared identity
  • Positive emotion
  • Collective self-realisation

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