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Anying Chen, Zhongliang Huang, Manchun Liang, & Guofeng Su. (2020). Empirical Study of Individual Evacuation Decision-making in Fire Accidents: Evacuate Intention and Herding Effect. In Amanda Hughes, Fiona McNeill, & Christopher W. Zobel (Eds.), ISCRAM 2020 Conference Proceedings – 17th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (pp. 200–209). Blacksburg, VA (USA): Virginia Tech.
Abstract: People's decision of evacuating or not could greatly influence the final losses in fire accidents. In order to study people's response under emergent occasions, a fire accident evacuation drill experiment was conducted in an office building without advance notice. 113 Participants' response and their decision-making process were collected by questionnaire survey right after the experiment. In this study, we mainly focused on two aspects of people's response, including participants' evacuate intention and their herding tendency during evacuate decision-making. It is found that the classical Expected Utility Theory (EUT) has certain limitation in explaining individual's evacuation intention, but the relationship between the expected utility and the evacuation intention could be represented with a modified model based on EUT. Furthermore, the herding tendency is found to be different for the two groups of people who intend to evacuate and not to evacuate. People who firstly intend not to evacuate are more easily to form herding behavior and change their minds to evacuate. Based on these findings, models of individual evacuation intention and herding tendency for two groups of people are put forward. Simulation is conducted to investigate the effect of these two changes in people's evacuation decision-making process, and results show that they both increase the final evacuation rate, reflecting the majority's risk aversion characteristics.