Reiterating ad nauseum here but to start: if the Dyatlov group were responsible for their own demise, it was accidental. I DON'T think anyone set out that night with the intent to kill anyone else. However, infighting and a physical brawl between some members for me, for sure is a possibility. This could have led to incapacitation, which led to death by exposure. If they hadn't been in the environment they were in....they probably would have survived.
That being said....if they were responsible for their deaths, without any external factors, we must look to basic human psychology and what could motivate someone to break social norms (i.e. the Simplest Possible Credible Psychological Explanation). The same is the motivation for killing another human being and here gypsy is correct: they can all be boiled down to 3 motivations:
3) pursuit of power or control
We have at least 2 and 3 brewing in this situation, as robbery (greed) is not likely.
Of course, we have to remember that individuals are so complex, this may be oversimplification, but I feel like this thread has an Occam's Razor feel to it - the simplest, most basic explanation is often the most correct.
So we take into consideration the fact that tensions are high. How could they not be, they have been out in the frigid wilderness on their own for 4 days (?), cold, dirty, irritable....the trail they are on along the river is impossible to follow - there is evidence in diaries of squabbling - we can see a division between personalities. Perhaps add in alcohol and the fact that "needs" other than shelter and food (which are scant), are not being met (possible human motivation #2), competition for control over a tenuous situation (#3) and I would say you have a recipe for a fight.
Marchesk - no I don't think this explanation is a contributor to ALL of their deaths, especially the Rav 4, but it could at least be the explanation as to why they were there in the first place. I don't think they all left the tent at the same time. And perhaps that's why, the "cooler heads" were not around to stop the fight?
Interesting side note - I do wonder who those "cooler heads" would have been?
The biggest question here (and a point you have brought up before which sticks me every time is) why did they not return to the tent in as short a time as they could have?? (If they could have)???
I would also consider that huge bruise on Zina's side as a possible contributing factor to her death maybe??
I like your analysis. I think it is worth exploring the psychology of the group. Natural alliances. What cliques are there?
Will post again soon.
I agree the psychological review of the group could give us more understanding of what may have happened. One of the interesting aspects (for me) of the case is the internal divide of the group. It happened eventually due to still unknown reasons. Even from the photos it seems that Tibo and Semyon were more extroverted and more easy-going with the girls... I wonder how an official group leader Igor would react to a new person with more experience and (possibly) more popularity...or would it trigger a little of envy and jealousy? It may seem like an unimportant thing, but in stressed situations the emotions tend to overcome the rationality (there might be exception of course - very calm people, psychopaths, trained soldiers...) Maybe the dispersion of the corpses somehow reflects the relationships inside the group. Also, I would assume that a reaction of 22 y.o. student to a life-threatening situation would be different to a war veteran (Semyon).
Any further thoughts?
I think you raise some good points. I don't profess to be an expert on psychology, but I have some experience of group dynamics, teams and emotional intelligence. I also have some experience of the psychological factors that affect risk perception and some of these are relevant to group dynamics.
Anyway, My first impression is that Semyon and Thibo are similar too. Don't know why, but I make the same conclusion and they are found together in the same group (rav 4).
So what are the different character types present:
Natural Leaders, alphas? Vs appointed leader
Extroverts and big Egos
Introverts and those happy to sit back and be led by others
Experience vs inexperience
Rule keepers and rule breakers
I am sure there are more types. Please feel free to add. Like I said I'm not an expert so feel free to pile in.
Within a group there will be natural leaders. Dyatlov may have been one of these, but also he is young and less experienced, and if he has affections for Zina this will affect his natural behaviour and possibly his judgement. There is evidence of this in Zina's diary where she says he his rude and she doesn't recognise him. This isn't good. Is he keeping his mind on the job or is he distracted and trying to impress? People in this frame of mind are more likely to take greater risks.
Semyon is older. He is also a leader, but with more experience and less testosterone. He will likely have a cool head, but he may find it difficult to take orders from Dyatlov. So I think there would be a natural rift there. Semyon also seems like someone who has confidence and likes to have fun. Which is why I think he is a natural fit with Thibo who appears to have a similar affinity for fun and joking. I don't think Thibo stands out as wanting to lead the group though.
Rustem seems quieter and more introvert, but seems confident. I think he is happy to follow and go along with rest, but will join in the fun up to a point. He seems a bit more serious.
Kolevatov, seems quiet and confident, but resourceful. He doesn't seem the type to join in too much fun. I think he seems quite a serious person.
Yuris K - he is young and intelligent, but smaller and in my mind could easily be targeted as the victim of the group. In other words an easy target for jokes, larks and pranks.
Luda is quiet, composed and from what I have read quick tongued. She also tires easily and from the diaries I get the impression this angers some members of the group as she does not help with all the tasks.
Zina, like Luda is quiet and composed.
I think given that the two girls are among 7 males and it's 1959, they would probably take on a more sensible and quiter role within the group. Probably more peace keepers, using Clacon's words.
Yuris D is a big fellow, but probably quiet and calm and I suspect he has a strong sense of purpose. He is unlikely the sort to be intimidated by others and may even take on the role of protector. He may have decided to take Yuris K under his wing.
So I have just basically brain dumped my thoughts there and immediately there is an interesting pattern:
Semyon is older, wiser and calming. The two girls will be sensible and peace keepers. Kolevatove is quiet, confident and less of a joker ( I.e more sensible). There is a natural group there I think. Rustem could probably fit into this group too. Thibo isn't such a natural fit, but may be closer to Semyon so would tag along with him.
There is also a potential group with Dyatlov and Zina given their potential relationship?
Those in opposition:
Dyatlov vs Semyon and Kolevatov
So I think the group were far from harmonious. It might only take one step too far to cause a fracture and a fight.
In the evening Otorten, there is an entry about an Armenian Quiz. Can 9 hikers survive with two blankets or words to that effect. What if that was a reference to some prank they were playing? Maybe they kicked Yuris K out if the tent without any decent clothing. Intended as a joke for a short time, but when they go to let him back in he has gone. The jokes have gone too far. Something has snapped. He walks down the slope and intends to light a fire. When they the others realise he is nowhere to be found the race off down the slop searching for him. They know he is going to be in trouble if he doesn't return to the tent quickly. The reaming group argue and fight. Then finding their senses they split up to look for him. Then the rav 4 have the accident, and the rest is history.
Still difficult to explain the shoes though?
Happy to listen to other thoughts.