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Illusion of control, optimism bias and their relationship to risk-taking behaviors of Turkish drivers

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2006
Doğan, Ebru Burcu
The aim of the represent research was to investigate the relationship between illusion of control, optimism bias, locus of control, and drivers’ risk-taking behavior among Turkish drivers. A total of 307 drivers completed the Driver Behavior Questionnaire, the Driver Skills Inventory, the Optimism Bias Scale, the Multidimensional Traffic Locus of Control Scale, and Rotter’s Internality Externality Scale. In chapter one, comparison between perceived risk as driver and perceived risk as passenger demonstrated existence of illusion f control among drivers. Drivers’ risk assignments were different when imagining themselves as drivers and passenger. Illusion of control was found to be related to the total number of accidents, especially involvement in active accidents. This indicates a positive relationship between illusion of control and risk-taking behavior. In the second chapter, optimism bias was found in drivers’ risk likelihood estimations for accident involvement in the future. Drivers estimated their risk of being involved in four types of accidents as less than an average driver. Optimism bias was related to self-reported violations and strong evaluation of driving and safety skills as strong. Young and novice drivers were more realistic in their risk estimations. In the third chapter, relationship between locus of control and risk-taking was investigated. Only fate scale correlated with violations. Drivers who attribute accident causes to fate were more likely to commit violations. The limitations of the current research and implications for further research were discussed.