Social influences on pedestrian behavior: comparison of street-crossing decisions in singles and dyads

[Speaker] Cavallo, Viola E:1
[Co-author] Dang, Nguyen-thong:1, Thomson, James:2, Gorrini, Andrea:3, Piwowarczyk, Alicja:1, Bandini, Stefania:3
1:Ifsttar (France), 2:University of Strathclyde Glasgow (United Kingdom), 3:University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy)

It is well known that an individual's perception and behavior can be modulated by others. The present experiment used a virtual environment to investigate the influence of another person on pedestrian street-crossing behavior. In the first session, 80 participants crossed an experimental street alone and, according to their behavior, were assigned to a "cautious" or "risky" behavior group. In the second session, half the cautious pedestrians crossed the street singly and the other half in the presence of a risky confederate. Similarly, half the risky pedestrians crossed singly and the other half in the presence of a cautious confederate. The findings showed that cautious pedestrians crossed significantly more often and risky pedestrians less often in the confederate's presence. The results show that pedestrians' decision making is influenced not only by their own skill and experience but by the behavior of others who happen to be crossing at the same time.
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