Instruction-prompted objective behaviors as proxy for subjective measures in a driving simulator


Interactions with other road users and interpretations of traffic situations are important aspects of driving safety. Self-reports are often used to study drivers' perceptions and attitudes but self-reports can be inaccurate and biased because of socially desirable responding. Driving simulators offer objective measures of driver behaviors but have limited ability to elicit natural behaviors. To address this issue, we tested a driving simulator-based approach that combined realistic driving scenarios including potentially frustrating forward obstacles and delays in travel time with two different types of instructions. Participants' vehicle control behaviors and subjective perception of traffic delays were compared. Results demonstrated that behaviors collected following instructions to drive safely did not have significant associations with participants’ perceptions of the traffic delays while participants following instructions to drive quickly demonstrated behaviors that were predictive of their subjective perceptions of the traffic delays. The findings suggest that vehicle control behaviors can be used as a proxy for subjective perceptions of traffic delays. We conclude that driving simulator methodology combining instructions, realistic traffic scenarios, and adaptive analytical methods is appropriate for studying drivers’ behaviors and interactions with other road users and can minimize the need to rely on subjective self-reports.

Lee, Y.-C. & LaVoie, N. (2018). Instruction-prompted objective behaviors as proxy for subjective measures in a driving simulator. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour Volume 55, May 2018, Pages 58-66.


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