Human crowding and personal control: An integration of the research

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Abstract

Empirical and theoretical discussions have suggested that crowding is experienced when situational density forces the blocking of goals, the interruption of behaviors, or cognitive overload to occur. However, no psychological principles have been employed to unify these explanations. The present article attempts to link the literature on human crowding with the experimental research on personal control. J. R. Averill's (1973) distinctions among behavioral, cognitive, and decisional control are discussed in the context of human crowding. A conceptual model is offered that suggests that crowding is an attributional label applied to a setting when situational density results in a loss or lack of personal control. (3 p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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