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Wearing a Bicycle Helmet Can Increase Risk Taking and Sensation Seeking in Adults.

Gamble, T. and Walker, I., 2016. Wearing a Bicycle Helmet Can Increase Risk Taking and Sensation Seeking in Adults. Psychological Science, 27 (2), 289 - 294.

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Gamble & Walker 2016.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.


DOI: 10.1177/0956797615620784


Humans adapt their risk-taking behavior on the basis of perceptions of safety; this risk-compensation phenomenon is typified by people taking increased risks when using protective equipment. Existing studies have looked at people who know they are using safety equipment and have specifically focused on changes in behaviors for which that equipment might reduce risk. Here, we demonstrated that risk taking increases in people who are not explicitly aware they are wearing protective equipment; furthermore, this happens for behaviors that could not be made safer by that equipment. In a controlled study in which a helmet, compared with a baseball cap, was used as the head mount for an eye tracker, participants scored significantly higher on laboratory measures of both risk taking and sensation seeking. This happened despite there being no risk for the helmet to ameliorate and despite it being introduced purely as an eye tracker. The results suggest that unconscious activation of safety-related concepts primes globally increased risk propensity.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:behavior change ; bicycling ; open data ; protective equipment ; risk taking ; sensation seeking ; social priming ; Adult ; Bicycling ; Female ; Head Protective Devices ; Health Behavior ; Humans ; Male ; Middle Aged ; Risk-Taking ; Young Adult
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:34511
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:07 Sep 2020 15:47
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:23


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