Bi-dimensional attitudes, attitude accessibility and speeding behaviour

McCartan, Rebecca and Elliott, Mark A. (2018) Bi-dimensional attitudes, attitude accessibility and speeding behaviour. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, 58. pp. 581-593. ISSN 1369-8478

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    Abstract

    Positive and negative attitude dimensions (i.e., bi-dimensional attitudes) asymmetrically predict behaviour, with the positive dimension being the better predictor than the negative dimension. These findings have been demonstrated using self-reported behaviour measures. In this study, we aimed to test the bi-dimensional attitude-behaviour relationship using objectively measured speeding behaviour derived from a driving simulator and test if the asymmetrical prediction of behaviour from the positive and negative attitude dimensions could be explained by attitude accessibility (how available an attitude is in memory and therefore how readily it is able to guide behaviour). One hundred and six drivers completed online measures of the positive and negative dimensions of their attitudes towards exceeding the speed limit. Response latency measures of the accessibilities of both dimensions were also taken. A driving simulator was used to measure speeding behaviour. Both attitude dimensions independently predicted speeding, with the positive dimension being the stronger predictor. The positive attitude dimension was also more accessible than was the negative dimension. The difference in the accessibilities of the positive and negative attitude dimensions significantly mediated the difference in their predictive validities. The results demonstrate that the positive attitude dimension is the principle predictor of speeding and a reason for this is that it is more accessible in memory than is the negative attitude dimension. Road safety interventions (e.g., education) that aim to reduce speeding and associated traffic crashes might usefully decrease the valence or accessibility of the positive attitude dimension. There would also appear to be scope to reduce speeding by increasing the valence or accessibility of the negative attitude dimension. were also taken. A driving simulator was used to measure speeding behaviour. Both attitude dimensions independently predicted speeding, with the positive dimension being the stronger predictor. The positive attitude dimension was also more accessible than was the negative dimension. The difference in the accessibilities of the positive and negative attitude dimensions significantly mediated the difference in their predictive validities. The results demonstrate that the positive attitude dimension is the principle predictor of speeding and a reason for this is that it is more accessible in memory than is the negative attitude dimension. Road safety interventions (e.g., education) that aim to reduce speeding and associated traffic crashes might usefully decrease the valence or accessibility of the positive attitude dimension. There would also appear to be scope to reduce speeding by increasing the valence or accessibility of the negative attitude dimension.