Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Titanic vs. Lusitania: How People Behave In A Disaster
From Time Magazine:
It's hard to remember your manners when you think you're about to die. The human species may have developed an elaborate social and behavioral code, but we drop it fast when we're scared enough — as any stampeding mob reveals.
That primal push-pull is at work during wars, natural disasters and any other time our hides are on the line. It was perhaps never more poignantly played out than during the two greatest maritime disasters in history: the sinking of the Titanic and the Lusitania. A team of behavioral economists from Switzerland and Australia have published a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that takes an imaginative new look at who survived and who perished aboard the two ships, and what the demographics of death say about how well social norms hold up in a crisis.
Read more ....