Using implementation intentions to reduce drivers' speeding behaviour

  • Sarah Brewster

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

Implementation intentions are IF-THEN plans that facilitate the performance of intended behaviours by linking critical situations in which to behave with goal-directed responses, or strategies, that ensure successful behavioural performance. This research investigated the effect of implementation intentions on drivers’ speeding behaviour. Chapter 1 discusses the negative impact of speeding on road safety, the economy, the environment and health and wellbeing. Chapter 2 explores the influence of motivation (e.g., goal intentions) and habit on speeding behaviour and concludes that a substantial proportion of drivers speed despite holding generally positive intentions to avoid speeding. Chapter 3 introduces the concept of implementation intentions and reviews research suggesting that they could be useful for reducing speeding.Chapter 4 presents study 1, in which the effect of implementation intentions on self-reported speeding was tested while addressing several limitations with the existing evidence-base. Implementation intentions were effective at reducing speeding and moderated the past-subsequent behaviour and goal intention-subsequent behaviour relationships, in line with the idea that implementation intentions can weaken habits, thereby allowing drivers to behave in accordance with their goal intentions.Chapter 5 presents study 2, in which a driving simulator was used to test the effect of implementation intentions’ on objectively measured behaviour and to test the extent to which the effects of implementation intentions generalise from the situations specified in the IF component of the plan, to unspecified situations. Behaviour-change occurred in specified situations and, also, contextually similar unspecified situations.Chapter 6 presents study 3, which focused on the THEN component of implementation intentions.The most effective type of goal-directed response for reducing speeding was explored. No effect of implementation intentions was observed. Potential reasons are discussed.Chapter 7 presents the implications for road safety and future research.
Date of Award1 Oct 2015
LanguageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SupervisorMark Elliott (Supervisor) & Stephen Kelly (Supervisor)

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