All posts by Joseph

Research Example #5

Wiedermann, Wolfgang, Jürg Niggli, and Ulrich Frick. “The Lemming-Effect: Harm Perception of Psychotropic Substances among Music Festival Visitors.” Health, Risk & Society 16, no. 4 (May 2014): 323–38. doi:10.1080/13698575.2014.930817.


This article focuses on the public’s perception of how harmful psychotropic substances are among music festival goers. The researchers surveyed a sample of 367 attendees of the Open-Air St. Gallen music festival in Switzerland in 2009. The study specifically focused on the perceived harm of heroin, cocaine, cannabis, alcohol, and tobacco by using a split-ballot experiment to find out the impact cognitive accessibility of high drug consumption norms on perceived drug-related harm has in a social context that encourages drug use. Many harm minimization approaches focus on the harm that can be done with substance use, while others focus on a zero-tolerance based approach that assumes that the harm is inherent in the substance itself, in an aim to reduce the consumption of substances at these types of events.  Researchers found evidence that suggests that people shape their patterns of substance consumption and other health-related behaviors at these events around how said behavior is perceived by their peers. This is another great example of a study that has already been conducted regarding certain topics I discuss in my project. I believe that feedback of social norms strongly affects behavior, specifically for these types of events because of the very positive and communal attitudes this culture greatly supports.


Research Example #4

Ballou, Brian, Norman H. Godwin, and Van Tilbury. “Riverfest: Managing Risk and Measuring Performance at Little Rock’s Annual Music and Arts Festival.” Issues in Accounting Education 15, no. 3 (08, 2000): 483-512.


This is a case that focuses on the operations of Arkansas’ largest annual arts and music festival, Riverfest. It is centered around Merle Flowers, a CPA whom executive director or Riverfest Van Tilbury has hired to conduct the assessment process. After providing a brief introduction and background of Riverfest, the case dives deep into the current operations of Riverfest, discussing all the main components that go into putting on an event of this size in great detail. This case was designed to give students an opportunity to assume the role of Merle Flowers, in this case, to try and identify business process risks, evaluate and consider possible improvments to the control of those risks, and develop a way to measure the elements of Riverfest’s operations that may possibly improve or help monitor the organization’s performance. I think that this is a great source to use for my paper because it gives me real world examples and questions that one may face when doing research in this subject. It even gives me potential solutions to the questions asked, which can help me have a better understanding of what exactly to be looking for when I discuss my research project. That way, when forming potential survey or interview questions, I will be able to word them in a way that may influence the best possible answer out of potential respondents.

Research Example #3

Brown, Steve and Alison Hutton. “Developments in the Real-Time Evaluation of Audience Behaviour at Planned Events.” International Journal of Event and Festival Management 4, no. 1 (2013): 43-55. doi:


This article focuses on the role that having psychological understanding of your audience has on the design and layout of a music festival. At the time this article was written, it examines current research being conducted in Sweden, Austria, and Australia looking for trends that may appear between them. This paper found strong evidence for the fact that real time data collection of audiences provides insights into the effective design and management, mainly risk management, of planned mass-gathering events. It makes arguments for an increase in research and analysis, in real time, of audience behavior in large events like music festivals in order to develop a better understanding of the effects that the event design has on the crowd as a whole. I think this is a great source for my project because of its scholarly status and direct relevance to my topic. It provides great detailed examples of the different design layouts of music festivals all over the globe and how it specifically affected the experience of the entire music festival for the audience. The results of the research conducted hits almost every point I make in my project, which gives me an incredible example of what my project may look like.

Research Example #1

Holbrook, E. (2011). BEHIND THE MUSIC. Risk Management, 58(5), 19-22. Retrieved from

This article focuses on how music festival owners manage the many risks revolving around music festivals such as Electric Daisy Carnival and Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. After an introduction about what happened on “Rock and Roll’s Worst Day” in Northern California in 1969, the article begins with quotes from Ben Stern, who is the vice president of California-based Hefrernan Insurance Brokers and insures the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC). The number one priority of festival organizers is keeping the crowd safe and when these festivals are notorious for illicit drug use and underage drinking, Stern says, “When you’re dealing with someone under the circumstances, you have to do so very carefully.” The article continues on to discuss other massive, multi-day festivals such as Coachella and Burning Man, where risks have been escalated due to overcapacity events due to sneaking in with bolt cutters or counterfeit tickets or massive bonfires. Music festivals, or really any large-scale event, involve a massive amount of people with an equally massive amount of risks. This article directly relates to my topic, discussing risk management of the exact festivals I had in mind when I came up with this topic. How risk managers handle all the different possible variables will determine the true success of the festival.

Research Example #2

Ronchi, E. ; Uriz F. Nieto ; Criel, X. ; Reilly, P. “Modelling large-scale evacuation of music festivals.”  Case Studies in Fire Safety, May 2016, vol.5, pp. 11-19

This article goes into detail about a case study that was looking at the use of multi-agent continuous evacuation modelling for representing large-scale evacuation scenarios at music festivals. Using the model Pathfinder, the researchers came up with three different scenarios to be simulated to explore the predictive capabilities of evacuation models during certain incidents. The scenarios varied in severity beginning with the evacuation of a few stages (~ 15,000 of 65,000 people), while continuing to grow in severity and the number of people needing to be evacuated. Variables such as physical abilities of people in the festival were acknowledged by using an approximate unimpeded walking speed distribution split up into two categories, “standard occupants” and people with locomotion impairments. The case study discussed in this article shows how multi-agent evacuation modelling tools are able to either explicitly or implicitly represent the behavioral factors that affect people’s decision making at a music festival if there were to be a complex evacuation scenario. Even though the impact of different initiators can be simulated in these models, they still have limited capabilities in explicitly representing complex behavioral variables present in a massive group of people. This relates directly to my topic so I think it will help me a lot with my research.



Journal Exercise #2

Elizabeth Nichols and Jennifer Hunter Childs “Respondent Debriefings Conducted by Experts: A Technique for Questionnaire Evaluation”. Field Methods (formerly Cultural Anthropology Methods) vol. 21. no. 2. May 2009

This article focuses on the evaluation of the quality of survey data by using expert respondent debriefings. The aim of the study was to gain insight into how to better script survey questions. The subject used in this case study was the US Census Bureau and their accuracy when conducting the US Census, by comparing the “true” residence status of respondents with the residence status received obtained on the questionnaire alone. In this case study, experts on the subject observed 169 interviews and conducted qualitative respondent debriefings on select cases in a field test of a census coverage survey in an attempt to learn about response strategies, data sources, and definitions. The researcher then assesses whether the answers met the intent of the question. Once the case study was completed, the results showed that for the 473 people for whom survey data was available, the questionnaire only failed five times in a way that would have drastically affected coverage estimates. So this technique helped pinpoint specific problems that were present in the questionnaire as well as reassuring and confirming that the questionnaire was adequate in its ability to obtain wanted results. I believe this relates to my topic because I too planned on creating a survey/questionnaire regarding the design and layout of music festivals and the information presented in this article can help me create adequate questions that will produce the results I am looking for.

Journal Exercise #1

Paul S. Goodman and Rangaraj Ramanujam “The Relationship Between Change Across Multiple Organizational Domains and the Incidence of Latent Errors”. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. Pp. 410-431
This article discusses the relationship between change across multiple organizational domains and the incidence of latent errors. Latent errors can be defined as deviations from rules and standard operating procedures that can potentially result in adverse outcomes of organizational significance. In this article, the authors went into detail explaining a study they conducted using data from internal audit reports and interviews with managers in 80 business units in a large financial institution. They had three hypotheses regarding the relationship between organizational change and latent errors, which they constructed their study around. They laid out a detailed explanation for the procedure of their study and the results that came from it. They found that after a change was in place and institutionalized, the consequences of change would affect attentional resources. The positivity or negativity also of the change affected the amount of errors that would occur after the change. If there was a positive change, there would be more attentional resources and fewer errors and if there was a negative change, there would be a drain of attentional resources and also an increase in errors. I find this to be relevant to my topic because like this study, I will be looking at changes in layout or design of music festivals and the corresponding affects those changes may have on festival goers and employees working for the festival.