Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Program

Psychology

Date of Award

8-2012

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Christopher S. Dula

Committee Members

Andrea D. Clements, Jon R. Webb, William T. Dalton

Abstract

Dangerous driving behaviors are influenced by multiple factors including cognitive processes such as impulse inhibition and attentiveness. Impulsiveness, inattention, and cognitive failures have been linked to other risky behaviors, but a comprehensive evaluation using multiple methods of measurement of these has never been conducted to analyze their impact on dangerous driving. The purpose of this study was to examine influences of attentional abilities, impulsiveness, and cognitive failures on reported and demonstrated dangerous driving behaviors. Seventy-five participants completed a self-report dangerous driving measure, a self-report ADHD measure, a self-report impulsiveness measure, a continuous performance task to measure behavioral impulsivity and inattention, a measure of cognitive failures, and a driving simulator task. Two hierarchical linear regressions with simultaneous entry into blocks were used to analyze contributions of impulsiveness, inattention, and cognitive failures assessments in predicting dangerous driving behavior. Results indicated these assessments accounted for a significant proportion of the variance in Dula Dangerous Driving Index (3DI) scores above and beyond the effects of age and sex, Adjusted R▓ = .20, F(6, 59) = 2.51, p < .05, but no significant individual predictors emerged. Scores on these measures were also found to account for a significant amount of the variance in risky driving as measured by the driving simulator, above and beyond the effects of age and sex, Adjusted R▓ = .15, F(6, 60) = 2.91, p < .05, and identified BIS-11 scores and ADHD-RS impulsiveness scores as significant individual predictors. It seems that despite multiple methods of assessment, it is still difficult to capture the assumed relationships between each of these factors and driving. Though each assessment measures different aspects of constructs related to dangerous driving, the lack of relationships and predictive abilities may indicate that impulsiveness, inattention, cognitive failures, and dangerous driving may be more complex and multifaceted than previously understood.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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