Cognitive abilities associated with changing risk perceptions of distracted driving
Links to Fileshttp://library.towson.edu/digital/collection/etd/id/60494
MetadataShow full item record
Shevlin, Blair, R. K.
Type of Workapplication/pdf
vii, 96 pages
DepartmentTowson University. Department of Psychology
Distracted driving is a major threat to traffic safety, especially among young drivers. One way to discourage this behavior is to target young drivers’ perceptions of the risks associated with distracted driving behaviors. However, risk related information is too-often presented using unintuitive content in difficult-to-comprehend formats, which negatively impacts those with low levels of cognitive ability. The objective of this study was to examine the impact of utilizing visual aids as a means of improving young drivers’ comprehension of statistical information related to texting while driving. This study also evaluated how different informational content and format could alter young drivers’ perceptions, attitudes, and intentions towards the decision to text while driving. This study found that the visual aids that were used were generally ineffective in improving viewers’ comprehension of the material; though, in some contexts improved comprehension among those with high levels of cognitive abilities. Furthermore, providing risk-related information in any format was not an effective means of altering perceptions, attitudes, or intentions. However, a mediating relationship of past behavior on the influence of attitudes on intentions was discovered, in which more positive attitudes predicted intentions to abstain from distracted driving – except where individuals had extensive prior exposure to the behavior.