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Beyond the theory of planned behaviour : testing the effects of a volitional intervention on drivers' compliance with speed limits

Elliott, M.A. and Armitage, C.J. (2006) Beyond the theory of planned behaviour : testing the effects of a volitional intervention on drivers' compliance with speed limits. In: 26th International Congress of Applied Psychology, 2006-07-16 - 2006-07-21.

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This study was concerned with testing the effects of a volitional intervention, based on the concept of implementation intentions (Gollwitzer, 1993), on drivers' speeding behaviour. Participants (N=300) were randomly assigned to either an experimental condition, which required them to form an implementation intention to comply with the speed limit, or a control condition. Motivation (components from the theory of planned behaviour - Ajzen, 1985) and self-reported behaviour were measured at both baseline and, one month later, at follow-up. Results showed that compliance with speed limits significantly increased in the experimental group but not in the control group. Consistent with previous research on implementation intentions, this effect could not be accounted for by an increase in motivation. Implementation intentions also broke the effects of past behaviour on future behaviour. Finally, the more that participants elaborated on the 'how' component of their implementation intention, the more likely they were to increase their compliance with speed limits. From an applied perspective, the results implied that the efficacy of road safety interventions can be improved by incorporating volitional strategies.