Not Fearless, but Self-enhanced: The Effects of Anxiety on the Willingness to Use Autonomous Cars Depend on Individual Levels of Self-enhancement

The aim of this study is to examine how positive cognitive evaluations, anxiety-related affects, and the interplay between these two factors influence the willingness to use autonomous cars. The authors argue that the negative effect of anxiety as well as the interplay of positive evaluations and anxiety within the technology adoption process are contingent on a so far neglected facet of individual motivations, which plays a major role when dealing with anxiety towards unknown, yet status-laden, objects: self-enhancement. By employing a vignette-based online survey, the authors examined how people assess different levels of autonomous cars. The authors results show that positive evaluations of benefits increase, whereas anxiety-related feelings decrease individual willingness to use autonomous cars; moreover, the positive effect of benefit evaluations diminished with increasing levels of anxiety. More importantly, self-enhancement emerged as a pivotal variable in this context: First, the negative effect of anxiety decreased with increasing levels of self-enhancement. Second, the attenuating effect of anxiety on the effects of positive evaluations was less pronounced with increasing levels of self-enhancement. Especially for people with low levels of self-enhancement motivation anxiety-related feelings (e.g., via strengthening self-efficacy beliefs) should be reduced. Moreover, self-enhancement values should be triggered when promoting autonomous cars.


  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01627202
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 27 2017 9:38AM