Feeling Safe in the Dark: Examining the Effect of Entrapment, Lighting Levels, and Gender on Feelings of Safety and Lighting Policy Acceptability

  • Boomsma C
  • Steg L
  • 65


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 16


    Citations of this article.


This research examined to what extent physical factors, notably lighting and entrapment (blocked escape), and individual factors, notably gender, affect feelings of safety and the acceptability of reduced lighting levels. The authors reasoned that acceptability of reduced street lighting depends on perceived safety, which in turn depends on entrapment, lighting, and gender. Virtual representations of a residential street were used, systematically manipulating entrapment and lighting levels. As expected, people felt less safe in lower lighting and higher entrapment settings, and these settings were evaluated as less acceptable. Although women perceived a situation as less safe compared with men, the authors found no gender differences in acceptability, which extends previous research. Importantly, as hypothesized, perceived safety mediated the effect of lighting on acceptability levels, suggesting that people can accept lower lighting levels when social safety is not threatened.

Author-supplied keywords

  • acceptability
  • entrapment
  • lighting policies
  • perceived social safety
  • virtual environments

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free