The Titanic and those Damn “Yanks”
Well as if there is not enough useless stuff to spend money on some one had to doe research on why more “Brits” died on the Titanic than “Yanks.” The conclusion was total claptrap. It was because the “pushy and (implied) cowardly) “Yanks” push their way by the Brits “being British” which the author of the study believes that captain John Smith yelled out “Be British” to the English and remarkably they all heard apparently not only on both sides of the ship 92 feet 6 inches with ball, dinning, and bar rooms in between but also its 882 foot 9 inch long deck (3 foot ball fields), over the general noise, talking and screaming of over 1,000 people, UM, YEAH, RIGHT.
By the way “being British is supposed to mean something like one is to step aside and let the people who turn to their animal instincts to survive do so . . . Um, YEAH RIGHT #2
Below is my take and reply on newsvine and then the link to the article and the article (because I want to keep this gem).
I cannot wait until the next publication of David Savage and Bruno Frey so that I can give it the proper attention that it deserves an immediate place in the circular file. They must have been under some kind of “publish or parish” situation and let me be the first to state that they accomplished both very admirably. No doubt that there was a roll reversal and they had to pay the publicist to bring this study to print.
I resent the fact that this article implies cowardice when have had many volunteers in their military when England need more bodies.
I have not read the other comments yet but this article tells us nothing. The study might but the article conspicuously leaves out critical data.
One does not have to be pushy to have a better survival rate. The Brits are proud and probably did not pay attention to any of the preplanned escape plans in an emergency because “Even GOD could not sink the Titanic! Perhaps the “Yanks” were not so trusting of British engineering and this offered them an advantage. There are a myriad of other factors like this that could have given the Yanks the edge for example e were and always have been a party people so while the “proper Brits” were fast asleep when the alarm was sounded they not only did not believe it but they had to get “properly attired” before leaving their room where others could see them thus making them late and last on line.
I worry about people who claim to be experts and do studies like this, because so many will take the statements as gospel because they published an article or a book. The problem is we do not know if they know how to investigate or interpret what they found out properly. In reality they may only know how obtain numbers which does not mean that they know how to crunch them properly. With no common sense they will not have the ability to consider all or most of the factors like the fact that this article conspicuously fails to mention that there were more Brits than Yanks on the ship so that alone increases the number of Brits that were going to die and fewer Yanks. Again common sense.
So the bottom line is that it is impossible to determine from this article if they Yanks were pushy (which is a leap) or if the Brits were less prepared, in bed, and not dressed properly, more numerous and the many other factors that were not mentioned in this article.
Pushy Yanks saved themselves on Titanic
Brits politely queued up for lifeboats while Americans pushed to be first
By Rossella Lorenzi
updated 11:56 a.m. ET, Mon., Jan. 26, 2009
British passengers on board the sinking Titanic died while politely queuing to get their place on a lifeboat, while Americans pushed their way on, according to new analysis of passenger data.
The Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic on April 14, 1912, and sank off the Newfoundland Coast within hours. Most did not survive the disaster — 1,517 perished while only 706 survived.
David Savage, a behavioral economist at Queensland University of Technology, Australia, and Bruno Frey, of the University of Zurich, Switzerland, spent more than a year studying survival rates from one of the worst maritime disasters in history.
The aim was to determine whether people reverted to a “survival of the fittest” mentality when it was a matter of life and death.
“The Titanic was built in Great Britain, operated by British subjects, and manned by a British crew. It is to be expected that national ties were activated during the disaster and that the crew would give preference to British subjects, easily identified by their language,” the researchers said.
Savage and Frey realized that assumption was off after investigating passenger data.
They found that British passengers, who queued for a place in one of only 20 lifeboats provided for the 2,223 on board, had 10 percent lower chance of survival than any other nationality.
In contrast, Americans, who reportedly elbowed their way to the front of lines, had a 12 percent higher probability of survival than British subjects.
“Be British, boys, be British!” the captain, Edward John Smith, shouted out, according to witnesses.
“Being British” meant to forget mass panic behavior — everyone looking after themselves — and rather follow the social norm of “women and children first.”
This social norm was indeed followed on the Titanic, proving that altruism does make a difference in life and death situations.
“Being female rather than male increased the probability of survival between 23.7 and 53.9 percentage points,” the researchers wrote in the journal, CESifo Working Paper.
Similarly, children aged 15 and below were 30 percent more likely to survive than passengers aged 51 or more.
“Comparing the survival probability among women, we observe that having a child and being in the reproductive age has strong and robust impact on the survival probability. Having a child also increases the probability of surviving when considering also males,” the researchers concluded.
Manners and altruism, aside, social class appeared to have an even stronger influence on who survived the disaster. Ideally, being a female with a child in first class would have produced the best chances for survival.
Passengers of the first and second class were advantaged: they likely had better access to information about the imminent danger, not to mention that they were closer to the boat deck.
Being a crew member also guaranteed a higher probability of survival, according to the researchers, who noted that crew members were able to access the lifeboats much more easily.
“This by no means indicates that the crew engaged in any behavior that would be deemed inappropriate. The testimony of the survivors does nothing but praise the crew, but this does not stop or limit them from having an informational advantage over the passengers,” Savage told Discovery News.