New Study Links Personality Types to Risky Driving Behavior
Researchers at UAB’s Translational Research for Injury Prevention (TRIP) Laboratory sought to find which personality types were most linked with distracted driving — you know, checking your phone and texting while driving, which is highly dangerous and should never, ever be a risk you take.
“Others in the field have hypothesized that personality traits may have some impact on distracted driving practices; but no one had taken the next step, which was to test that theory,”Despina Stavrinos, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology in UAB’s College of Arts and Sciences, said in a statement. “Before going into the study, common sense and other related research told us that there would likely be some kind of link between the traits and behaviors — we just didn’t know exactly how one would dictate the other.”
Despina and her team, led by undergraduate Morgan Parr, used McCrae and Costa’s Big Fivequestionnaire to determine the personality types of the people they were including in the study. The questionnaire analyzes where a person falls on the spectrum when it comes to five personality traits: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. The researchers examined age groups most at risk for distracted driving: teens ages 16 to 19 and older adults ages 65 to 85.