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Evidence that attitude accessibility augments the relationship between speeding attitudes and speeding behavior : a test of the MODE model in the context of driving

Elliott, Mark and Lee, Emma and Robertson, Jamie and Innes, Rhona (2015) Evidence that attitude accessibility augments the relationship between speeding attitudes and speeding behavior : a test of the MODE model in the context of driving. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 74. pp. 49-59. ISSN 0001-4575

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Abstract

According to the MODE model of attitude-to-behavior processes, attitude accessibility augments attitude-behavior correspondence, reflecting an automatic influence of attitudes on behavior. We therefore tested whether attitude accessibility moderates the attitude-behavior relationship in a context that is governed by characteristically automatic behavior, namely driving. In study 1 (correlational design), participants (N = 130) completed online questionnaire measures of the valences and accessibilities of their attitudes towards speeding. Two weeks later, online questionnaire measures of subsequent speeding behavior were obtained. Attitude valence was a significantly better predictor of behavior at high (mean + 1 SD) versus low (mean – 1 SD) levels of attitude accessibility. In study 2 (experimental design), attitude accessibility was manipulated with a repeated attitude expression task. Immediately after the manipulation, participants (N = 122) completed online questionnaire measures of attitude valence and accessibility, and two weeks later, subsequent speeding behavior. Increased attitude accessibility in the experimental (versus control) condition generated an increase in attitude-behavior correspondence. The findings are consistent with the MODE model’s proposition that attitudes can exert an automatic influence on behavior. Interventions to reduce speeding could usefully increase the accessibility of anti-speeding attitudes and reduce the accessibility of pro-speeding attitudes.