Participants (N = 1000) were given vignettes of an imagined community emergency evacuation scenario to examine how well-being was impacted by the shared social identification with emergency services and the level of information about the emergency provided by the emergency services to the community members. Using a 2 (high versus low shared social identification with the emergency services) x 2 (high versus low information from the emergency services) design, results showed a significant effect of shared social identification and information level on well-being. Pairwise comparisons showed that participants reported less anxiety, fear, and stress when they had a higher shared social identification with the emergency services and received more informative action-oriented guidance of how to prepare for an evacuation, in comparison to those participants who had low shared social identification with the emergency services and received less guidance. The results demonstrate how the possible negative well-being effects of emergency evacuations can be mitigated by both perceiving the emergency services as ingroup members and providing informative action-oriented guidance to the community.
The findings of shared social identification and information level fed into a technical report of recommendations for increasing safety as mass events, distributed to the UK Government Department of Digital, Culture Media (DCMS), and Sport, UK Sport and the Sports Grounds Safety Authority. It also led to a successful grant application (£87,000) to DCMS to trial communication interventions in pilot sporting events in the coming months (contracts currently being finalised). I was also accepted to present the findings at the European Association of Social Psychology 2020 (postponed to 2021).