London, Nov 7 : Want to get a close view for your favourite star while he's performing onstage? Well, then here's a guide that will help you sneak to the front of a concert queue without being caught - just look for friends and avoid jumping in front of die-hard fans.
A new study, led by Marie Helweg-Larsen, a social psychologist at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, examined people waiting for front-row access to U2 concerts.
And it was found that "super-fans" are the ones most irked by queue-jumpers.
Many people got angered if someone cut in front or behind, and cutters who jumped beside a friend were less likely to attract scorn.
"I think this cuts to the heart of how to understand [queuing] behaviour," New Scientist quoted Helweg-Larsen as saying.
In one of the many studies focussing on the psychology of the queue, it was found that New Yorkers were more likely to react to people who cut in front of them in a subway queue than behind.
However, Helweg-Larsen has argued that such experimental queue-jumping might not be the best way to gauge people's true feelings.
"It's uncomfortable to confront someone in a queue," she said.
Thus, in order to delve into the queuer's psyche, she along with a colleague Barbara LoMonaco, a U2 fan and anthropologist at Transylvania University in Pennsylvania, surveyed fans waiting for access to the "pit" area, smack in front of the stage. By observing the relative positions of the queuer and cutter, the scientists tried to found out whether the cutter targeted a friend or not, and the length of the time the queuer had waited.
They also tried to gauge the queuers' devotion to U2.
And they found out that the relative position of the cutter didn't seem to matter.
"You're equally screwed if you get jumped in line one ahead or five ahead or 10 ahead. You're still set back the same," said Helweg-Larsen .
To her surprise she found that people took just as much offence at people who cut behind as in front.
She said that if people were acting in pure self-interest, they would only take offence to people who cut in front.
In fact, as expected, super-fans had a tendency to get more upset by friendly line intruders than less devoted fans.
"We found that more committed fans were much more upset about a variety of situations and in general had different attitudes," she said.