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The effects of lighting and disorder on the perception of social safety of waiting passengers at a railway station platform

Vos, Laura (2013) The effects of lighting and disorder on the perception of social safety of waiting passengers at a railway station platform.

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Abstract:The importance of feelings of social safety in public transportation is studied frequently (e.g. Van Hagen, 2011; Van ‘t Hof, 2008). Factors in the environment are found to influence the perception of social safety (Johansson, Rósen & Küller, 2011; Van ‘t Hof, 2008). Johansson, Rósen & Küller (2011) showed that lighting in an environment can enhance feelings of social safety. Disorder in the environment on the other hand, is found to have a negative influence on feelings of social safety (Duineveld, 2010). In addition, disorder in an environment attracts more disorder and petty criminal behavior (Keizer, Lindenberg & Steg, 2008). This in turn again negatively influences the feelings of social safety in the environment. Research from Molenaar (2010) however, showed that enhancing the visibility of disorder by lighting diminishes the perception of disorder. This indicates a complex interaction between lighting, disorder, and feelings of social safety. In this study this relationship is researched. The variables ‘type of passenger’, ‘perceived control’, ‘overview’, and ‘perceived crowding’ are taken into account in this study, because findings in the literature suggest that these variables can influence feelings of social safety. In this study 150 participants watched a slideshow of a railway station platform where the factors lighting, disorder and type of passenger were varied. Next, the variables social safety, overview, control, and perceived crowding were measured. A 2 (lighting condition: dark platform versus light platform) x2 (type of passenger: must passenger versus lust passenger) x2 (type of disorder: order versus disorder) between subjects MANOVA was performed. The results of the multivariate analysis of variance were not significant. The results of the univariate analyses of variance indicated a positive relation between perceived lighting and feelings of social safety which is mediated by overview. Participants in the light condition felt more safe in the disorder condition than in the order condition. Must passengers in the combined dark and disorder condition reported lower feelings of social safety than other passengers. Social safety and overview were found to positively influence approach behaviour. Perceived control and the perception of disorder were found to positively influence the evaluation of the platform. However, because of the lack of significant findings in the multivariate analysis of variance, there is a possibility that the findings of the univariate analyses of variance are the result of chance.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/63549
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