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The influence of the revised reinforcement sensitivity theory on risk perception and intentions to speed in young male and female drivers

Authors
  • Logan, Emily
  • Kaye, Sherrie-Anne
  • Lewis, Ioni M.
Publication Date
Sep 03, 2019
Source
Queensland University of Technology ePrints Archive
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

This study applied the revised-Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory (r-RST) to assess the influence of individual differences in young male and female drivers’ risk perceptions and intentions to exceed the posted speed limit in a 60km/hr zone. Relevant to the current study was the Behavioural Activation System (BAS; sensitive to reward), with a specific focus on the BAS processes: Reward Interest, Goal-Drive Persistence, Reward Reactivity and Impulsivity, and the Fight-Flight-Freeze System (FFFS; sensitive to punishment). It was hypothesised that young male and female drivers with stronger BAS traits would report lower risk perceptions towards speeding behaviour than those with weaker BAS traits and this risk perception would predict greater intentions to exceed the posted speed limit in 60km/hr zones. It was further hypothesised that young male and female drivers with stronger FFFS traits would report higher risk perceptions towards speeding behaviour than those with weaker FFFS traits and this risk perception would predict lower intentions to exceed the posted speed limit in 60km/h zones. Participants were 367 young licensed Australian drivers aged between 17 and 25 years. The results of a mediation analyses showed that females with stronger Impulsivity had low perceptions of risk and higher intentions to speed than participants with weaker Impulsivity. Further, males with stronger Goal-Drive Persistence and reported higher perceptions of risk and lower intentions to speed than participants with weaker Goal-Drive Persistence. Contrary to expectations, the BAS processes of Reward Interest and Reward Reactivity, and the FFFS were not significant. The findings contribute to the theoretical understanding of how the r-RST traits, specifically Goal-Drive Persistence and Impulsivity may influence speeding behaviour as well as the understanding of the unique influence of the four underlying BAS processes.

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