UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


British queuing and the rule of six

21 February 2017

British queuing habits are governed by ‘the rule of six’, according to a new study by a Professor at UCL PALS. The report found that that we are prepared to wait for six minutes before giving up and are reluctant to join a queue of more than six people.

Further, the study also found that the spacing between those in a line is also significant – gaps of less than six inches can cause anxiety or stress.

Queue jumping is seen as the biggest etiquette faux pas, causing a huge sense of injustice to others in the line.

The study’s findings were based on academic literature on bank, supermarket and cash point queues and was commissioned by Privilege Home Insurance.

Adrian Furnham Academic Profile