How Do Fatalistic Beliefs Affect the Attitudes and Pedestrian Behaviours of Road Users in Different Countries? A Cross-Cultural Study

This paper reports on an exploratory investigation of the influence of five different fatalistic belief constructs (divine control, luck, helplessness, internality, and general fatalism) on three classes of self-reported pedestrian behaviors (memory and attention errors, rule violations, and aggressive behaviors) and on respondents’ general attitudes to road safety, and how relationships between constructs differ across countries. A survey of over 3400 respondents across Bangladesh, China, Kenya, Thailand, the UK, and Vietnam revealed a similar pattern for most of the relationships assessed, in most countries; those who reported higher fatalistic beliefs or more external attributions of causality also reported performing riskier pedestrian behaviors and holding more dangerous attitudes to road safety. The strengths of relationships between constructs did, however, differ by country, behavior type, and aspect of fatalism. One particularly notable country difference was that in Bangladesh and, to a lesser extent, in Kenya, a stronger belief in divine influence over one’s life was associated with safer attitudes and behaviors, whereas where significant relationships existed in the other countries the opposite was true. In some cases, the effect of fatalistic beliefs on self-reported behaviors was mediated through attitudes, in other cases the effect was direct. Results are discussed in terms of the need to consider the effect of locus of control and attributions of causality on attitudes and behaviors, and the need to understand the differences between countries therein.


  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01735924
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 8 2020 8:52AM