Hostile intent in public crowded spaces: A field study

Peter Eachus, Alex Stedmon, Les Baillie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Hostile reconnaissance is vital to successful terrorist activity. Individuals carrying out this activity are likely to experience raised levels of stress and this will manifest itself at biological, physiological, psychological and behavioural levels, providing an opportunity for detection. A field trial was undertaken in an ecologically valid environment measuring variables considered likely to be salient during hostile intent. The parameters examined in the field trial varied in a predictable manner and suggest that stressed individuals secrete a volatile steroid based marker that could form the basis for remote detection. Thus, overall the findings of this research provide a validated model of hostile intent that can be used by other researchers to test interventions aimed at detecting or deterring hostile intent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)703-709
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Deception
  • Detection
  • Hostile reconnaissance
  • Pheromones
  • Terrorism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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