CROWDING EFFECTS 1)4)
It has been quite frequently observed that crowding in animal populations tends to modify the behavior of the individual participants and to create collective behaviors. In some cases these are merely gregarious, but in others they seem to lead to incipient sociality.
This phenomenon has been documented in the well known amoeba dictyostelium discoideum, in sponges, in schools of marine invertebrates and of fishes, in various species of locusts, in starlings, in naked mole-rats, etc…
Crowding seems to modify the reciprocal perception in the individuals in the crowd, through physical, biochemical, optical and other effects that appear to become effective only with closer proximity.
Crowding effects in human masses, at the physiological as well as the psychological level are also well established. It may even be observed in the behavior of drivers-vehicles systems on an overcrowded road.
Under different forms, this phenomenon seems to be present at the microphysical and the chemical levels. Its basic mechanism could be usefully researched as a genuine systemic-cybernetic model: a cross-feedback process related to high density.
Precursors in the study of crowding effects in human masses have been the French sociologist G.LE BON (1895, U.S. translation 1960) and the italian S. SIGHELE (1892). Crowding effects in general have been extensively researched by J. CALHOUN (1962), J.J. CHRISTIAN (1959), J. FREEDMAN (1975) and others.
The french sociologist R. BOUDON describes the effects of crowding as "perverse", which means that individual functions are somehow impaired when they become massively competitive. This kind of effects leads either to global blocking or to higher level sociogenesis.
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented
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Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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