How do humans behave when under threat of attack or disaster? How does the social context affect individual behavior? Anthony Mawson provides an illuminating examination of individual and collective behavior under conditions of stress and danger, in response to both natural and manmade threats and disasters. Opening with a question about the interpretation of "mass panic" in combat , the book gradually unfolds into a multidisciplinary analysis of the psychobiological basis of social relationships and the neural organization of motivation and emotion. Mawson provides a comprehensive review and synthesis of the mass panic and disaster literature and offers a social attachment model, that recognizes the fundamentally gregarious nature of human beings and the primacy of attachments. He argues that the typical response to threat and danger is neither fight nor flight, nor social breakdown, but increased affiliation and camaraderie. This book is unique in addressing the behavioral and social aspects of threat and disaster. It will appeal to social scientists across a range of disciplines, to public administrators, and to disaster and public health professionals.
Contents: Preface; Introduction; Current theories of panic. Part I Theories of Affiliative Behavior: Theories of affiliation; the theory of Walters and Parke; Protection from predators: Bowlby's theory. Part II Toward a Theory of Social Attachment: Arousal and stimulation-seeking: overview; Cognitive maps and susceptibility to influence; Affiliation as stimulation-seeking: a theory of attachment formation; Stimulation-seeking and group dynamics. Part III Panic: Panic as stimulation-seeking; Aggression; The social context of panic; Panic flight as affiliative behaviour; Review of current theories of panic; Havens of safety; Panic as stimulation-avoidance. Part IV: Further Considerations: Two systems of arousal; Towards a neurophysiological theory of emotional behaviour; Summary and conclusions; Understanding mass panic and other collective responses to disaster: update; Appendix: stimulation-seeking and the organization of behavior; Bibliography; Index.