Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Explaining effervescence: investigating the relationship between shared social identity and positive experience in crowds


We investigated the intensely positive emotional experiences arising from participation in a large-scale collective event. We predicted such experiences arise when those attending a collective event are (1) able to enact their valued collective identity and (2) experience close relations with other participants. In turn, we predicted both of these to be more likely when participants perceived crowd members to share a common collective identity. We investigated these predictions in a survey of pilgrims (N = 416) attending a month-long Hindu pilgrimage festival in north India. We found participants' perceptions of a shared identity amongst crowd members had an indirect effect on their positive experience at the event through (1) increasing participants' sense that they were able to enact their collective identity and (2) increasing the sense of intimacy with other crowd members. We discuss the implications of these data for how crowd emotion should be conceptualised.

Acceptance Date Feb 1, 2015
Publication Date Mar 19, 2015
Journal Cognition and Emotion
Print ISSN 0269-9931
Publisher Routledge
Pages 20-32
Keywords crowds, effervescence, shared identity, positive emotion, collective self-realization
Publisher URL


Explaining effervescence - Tables.doc (134 Kb)

Explaining effervescence - Text.doc (134 Kb)

Downloadable Citations