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A Behavioral Economic Analysis of Demand for Texting while Driving
  • Published Date:
    March 18 2019
  • Source:
    Psychol Rec. 69(2):225-237
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-669.18 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Psychol Rec
  • Description:
    The overarching goal of the present study was to determine whether a behavioral economic framework of demand analysis is applicable to texting while driving. To this end, we developed a novel hypothetical task designed to quantify the intensity and elasticity of the demand for social interaction from texting while driving. This task involved a scenario in which participants receive a text message while driving, and they rated the likelihood of replying to a text message immediately versus waiting to reply until arriving at a destination when the amounts of a fine for texting while driving ranged from $1 to $300. To assess the construct validity of the task, the scenario presented two delays to a destination (15 min and 60 min). The demand for social interaction from texting was more intense (greater at the lowest amount of the fine) and less elastic (less sensitive to the increase in the amounts of the fine) for drivers who self-reported a higher frequency of texting while driving than for those who self-reported a lower frequency of texting while driving. Demand was also more intense and less elastic under the 60-min delay condition than under the 15-min condition. The results of this proof-of-concept study suggest that behavioral economic demand analyses are potentially useful for understanding and predicting texting while driving.
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