Threat appeals reduce impulsive decision making associated with texting while driving: A behavioral economic approach

Yusuke Hayashi, Anne M. Foreman, Jonathan E. Friedel, Oliver Wirth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The primary purpose of the present study was to examine the effectiveness of threat appeals in influencing impulsive decision making associated with texting while driving. The participants in the treatment group were exposed to a threatening message about the danger of texting while driving, whereas those in the control group were exposed to a nonthreatening message. Following the exposure to either message, the participants completed a delay-discounting task that assessed the degree of impulsive decision making in a hypothetical texting-while-driving scenario. A comparison between the groups revealed that the threat appeals reduced the degree of impulsive decision making associated with texting while driving. In addition, the threat appeals led to greater anticipated regret from texting while driving, less favorable attitudes toward texting while driving, and decreased intentions to text while driving in the future in the treatment group. These results suggest that video-based threat appeals are promising intervention strategies for the public health challenge of texting while driving. Implications from the behavioral economic perspective are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0213453
JournalPloS one
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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