Research Papers

The Interaction of Cinematic Depictions of Risky Driving and Person Factors on Imitation in Simulated Driving

Version 1
Date added June 26, 2017
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Category 2017 CARSP XXVII Toronto
Tags Research and Evaluation, Session 3A
Author/Auteur Deanna Singhal
Stream/Volet Research and Evaluation

Slidedeck Presentation Only (no paper submitted)



Cinematic depictions of dangerous or aggressive driving, and glorifications of such risk-taking, have become increasingly popular. Research has suggested that young, male drivers, with higher levels of sensation seeking and trait aggressiveness, may have greater exposure to aggressive driving media (e.g., video games, motion pictures, etc). These drivers may possess more scripts for aggressive driving and, therefore, are more likely to imitate motion picture depictions of aggressive/risky driving. This research aims to investigate the influence of a variety of person factors, in conjunction with the viewing of video clips from movies depicting aggressive and risky driving, on the modelling of this behaviour during a simulated driving task. Movie material, varying in levels of arousal and amount of aggressive or risky driving portrayed, is expected to produce varying levels of modelling behaviour of risky driving. Employing an experimental design, movie exposure to either neutral, arousing, or aggressive and risky driving content is presented to university students. Immediately following exposure, participants drive through a test course on a driving simulator. Measures, such as speed and number of overtaking or passing actions, are recorded for analysis. Person factors of age, sex, driving history, sensation seeking, trait aggressiveness, and previous aggressive driving media exposure are assessed. Data is currently being analyzed and exposure to movie content, depicting acts of aggressive or risky driving, is expected to demonstrate higher levels of risky driving in a simulated driving task, compared to exposure to neutral or arousing (non-driving) movie content. This effect is expected to be greater in males and those exhibiting higher trait aggression, sensation seeking, driving anger, and driving vengeance. Those with a history of more self-reported infractions and collisions, as well as self-reported viewing of aggressive driving movies and video game playing, may also demonstrate a greater amount of simulated risky driving. The use of an experimental approach in this study allows for cause and effect inferences to be made about the influence of viewing aggressive or risky driving content prior to driving. It can also provide information about how this influence may be different in some individuals, depending on certain characteristics, such as sex, trait aggression, and driving history. This research can play an important role in how we strategize about decreasing the amount of aggressive or risky driving on the roads. Given that the movie industry will likely continue to use such depictions of driving in their movies, it is important for us to understand who may be most susceptible to the influence of this content. This can be useful in designing enforcement initiatives and for determining target audiences for any campaigns designed to attenuate the modelling effects of such media.

Deanna Singhal