The Relationship of a Risk-Taking Personality to Dangerous Driving

Topics: Sampling, Risk, Sample Pages: 9 (2267 words) Published: June 24, 2013
The Relationship of a Risk-Taking Personality to Dangerous Driving

In contemplating the term project's objective, I hoped to determine the relationship between to variables that were unique, yet not so out of the norm that it would be difficult to collect and present the data. While pondering different scenarios, I thought about my two daughters. While a passenger in the car with both daughters, my younger daughter was being teased by her older sister about how slow and obedient she was when driving. My younger daughter, the one who was driving, is normally a risk taker; willing to take chances on new things, willing to jump on a stage and sing infront of hundreds of people, willing to take a dare at random. My older daughter, the one who expressed her disapproval at her sister's law abiding ways, is adverse to risk; unwilling to take chances on new things, prefers to be away from the spot light, avoids spontaneous decisions. I realized that their attitudes about driving were in direct contrast to their risk behaviors. My younger daughter (the risk taker) is very compliant when driving; stops at all stops signs, stays at or below the speed limit, stops when a light is yellow. My older daughter, who is normally adverse to risk taking, is just the opposite in her driving habits to her younger sister.

This led me to some research and what seems to be a belief from the study's I read, that risk taking behavior is correlated to risky driving (and other behaviors). The following is a simple excerpt from Wikipedia: “Risk-taking behaviour can be defined as a volitional behaviour where the outcome if not known or uncertain and will more than likely result in a negative consequence (Pat-Horenczyk et al., 2007). Dangerous driving, drug and alcohol use, unprotected sex, delinquency, eating disorders and self-harm are just some of the many behaviours and consequences that fall under the banner of risky behaviours. While these behaviours can be applied to any able age group, adolescents are more prone than any other age group to engage in these activities (McClelland & Watson 1973).” (

Because of the contradiction, I felt this would be a unique topic and one that would be simple to evaluate. Purpose of the study: Measure the relationship of a risk-taking personality to dangerous driving by comparing a person's risk-taking score to the number of times, while driving per month, they are in the intersection when the traffic light is red.

To gauge the risk-taking personality of my population, I would need to quantify risk from my sample group. To do this I found a survey that would measure a person's propensity for risk. The survey I used was called, “Risk Attitudes Inventory” by Gene Calvert from his book Highwire Management (Jossey-Bass) pgs 41-46. The survey provided 15 questions that could be answered as an Agree/Disagree answer. From depending upon the responses, a person would be rated from 0-15, 15 being the highest (depending on how the respondent answered the question, they would either be given a point or the point would be withheld.)

The other variable would gauge the frequency of the risk-taking behavior. I would identify the frequency of risk taking behavior by the number of times the respondent engaged in a risky behavior. I would then take the two variables, plot them and see what type of linear relationship the data would provide. Because of my research, I believed my daughters were probably the exception to the rule and that my survey would show a strong linear relationship between the two variables.

Study Design: Based on SLCC students
Initially, I hoped to utilize a systematic random sampling for all age groups. However, I ran into difficulty when requesting permission to sample individuals as they entered grocery stores (Smiths and Walmart). I then determined to reduce the population to include...
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