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Driving Home the Message: Using a Video Game Simulator to Steer Attitudes Away From Distracted Driving

Edward Downs
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Edward Downs: Department of Communication, University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, MN, USA

International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations (IJGCMS), 2014, vol. 6, issue 1, 50-63

Abstract: A pre-test, post-test experiment was conducted to determine if using a popular racing game on a PlayStation® 3 video game console could change a player's intent to drive distracted. Results indicated that those who were driving distracted (texting or talking) in a video game driving simulator had significantly more crashes, speed violations, and fog-line crossings than those in a non-distracted driving control group. These findings are consistent with predictions from the ACT-R cognitive architecture and threaded cognition theory. A follow-up study manipulated the original protocol by establishing a non-distracted baseline for participants' driving abilities as a comparison. Results demonstrated that this manipulation resulted in a significantly stronger change in attitude against driving distracted than in the original procedure. The implications help to inform driving safety programs on proper protocol for the use of game consoles to change attitudes toward distracted driving.

Date: 2014
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