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Evidence that behavior in crowds follows a two-step process -- ScienceDaily

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A computer scientist at Aston University used artificial intelligence (AI) to show that we’re not as personal as we think.

In the late 1960s, renowned psychologist Stanley Milgram demonstrated that when people see a crowd facing in one direction, they are more likely to follow their gaze.

Now, Dr. Ulysses Bernardette of the Computer Science Research Group at Aston University, working with experts from Belgium and Germany, has found evidence that our behavior in crowds follows a two-step process. .

Their results are published in Evidence for a Two-Stage Model of Social Group Influence. eye science People are more likely to go through a two-step process, first mimicking crowds and then thinking independently.

The researchers believe their findings will advance our understanding of how humans make decisions based on the actions of others.

To test this idea, academics created an immersive virtual reality (VR) experiment set on simulated city streets.

Each of the 160 participants was individually observed watching a movie within a virtual reality environment created for the experiment.

While they were watching the film, 10 computer-generated “spectators” within a VR-simulated street were manipulated by AI to attempt to influence the gaze direction of individual participants.

During the experiment, three different sounds, such as explosions, were played from the left or right of the virtual street. At the same time, a large number of “spectators” were pointing in a certain direction, but not necessarily in the direction of the virtual blast or other he two sounds.

Academics have calculated direct and indirect measures of eye-tracking.

A direct measure was the proportion of trials in which participants followed the crowd’s gaze.

Indirect measures considered participants’ reaction speed depending on whether they were instructed to look in the same or opposite direction as the audience.

Experimental results support the understanding that crowd effects are best explained by a two-step model.

Dr. Bernadette said:

“One of the ways groups influence individuals is by manipulating eye gaze.

“This influence is not only felt in the form of social norms, but also influences immediate behavior and is at the heart of group behaviors such as riots and mass panics.

“Our model not only agrees with evidence obtained using brain imaging, but also confirms that gaze tracking is a manifestation of the complex interplay between basic attentional processes and advanced social processes. This is consistent with recent evidence that

The researchers believe their experiment will pave the way for increased use of VR and AI in behavioral sciences.

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Materials provided Aston University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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