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A Behavioral Economic Analysis of Demand for Texting while Driving

Authors
  • Hayashi, Yusuke1
  • Friedel, Jonathan E.2
  • Foreman, Anne M.2
  • Wirth, Oliver2
  • 1 Pennsylvania State University, Division of Social Sciences and Education, Hazleton, PA, 18202, USA , Hazleton (United States)
  • 2 National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Health Effects Laboratory Division, 1095 Willowdale Rd, Morgantown, WV, 26505, USA , Morgantown (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Psychological Record
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Publication Date
Mar 18, 2019
Volume
69
Issue
2
Pages
225–237
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s40732-019-00341-w
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

The overarching goal of the present study was to determine whether a behavioral economic framework of demand analysis is applicable to texting while driving. To this end, we developed a novel hypothetical task in which participants receive a text message while driving, and they rated the likelihood of replying to a text message immediately versus waiting to reply until arriving at a destination when the fine for texting while driving ranged from $1 to $300. The scenario presented two delays to a destination (15 min and 60 min). For drivers who self-reported a higher frequency of texting while driving the demand for social interaction from texting was more intense and less elastic. Demand was also more intense and less elastic under the 60-min delay condition. The results of this proof-of-concept study suggest that behavioral economic demand analyses are potentially useful for understanding and predicting texting while driving.

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