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  • Because we will always seek order in chaos
  • Because we will always seek order in chaos
    Peter Lee, Creative Commons (2010) ©

Get in line! The science of queueing

Whether you’re at the station in Dagenham or on Main Street in DisneyWorld, queueing is woven into the very fabric of how many cultures create order in a crowd. David Andrews, author of Why does the other line always move faster?, explains why we queue and the psychological effect it has on us.

Location Global

“Boredom can take on a feverish quality,” says author David Andrews, remembering the time he spent in the US Military. “You’d have to stand in line and look at the back of the next person's head, and there’s nothing to distract you.” And while many of us may not empathise directly with this experience, the boredom attached to standing in line is one most will know well. Studies show that the average Brit spends a year, two weeks and one day of their life in shop queues, while a year and three months is spend stuck in traffic. ...



  • Seniors in Brazil are free to skip queues Seniors in Brazil are free to skip queues

    Waltz to the front of a line in a shop in the UK, and you'll receive plenty of dirty looks for committing such a social gaffe. But in Brazil, it’s the law – for seniors, at least. Businesses are required to give special attention to older customers and allow them to buck the line anywhere, anytime.

  • Article image What’s the future of the theme park?

    After a bumpy ride through the recession, the theme park industry has picked up speed. With competition from the home as the centre of the personal entertainment world, theme parks are innovating their way into a multi-sensory shared experience that’s unique to the parks themselves.

  • Article image Density: broadcasting busyness in real time

    Despise crowded bars? Fed up of queues at coffee shops? Whatever the gripe, the congestion of cities is a worldwide problem that affects the way we live. Enter Density – an app and device that measures the real-time population of bars, cafés and gyms to broadcast busyness in real time.

  • Jumping to the front of the queue Jumping to the front of the queue

    The Shout app gives New Yorkers access to sought-after event tickets and restaurant bookings without the hassle of waiting. People can buy and sell reservations for a fee agreed by both parties. They can even swap spots whilst waiting in line, communicating via the app.