The Influence of Emotional State on Risk Perception in Pedestrians: A Psychophysiological Approach

Traffic accidents involving pedestrians represent one of the most relevant causes of death and injury around the world. Several studies have underlined the role of risk perception as a clear predictor of risky behavior in pedestrians. However, risk perception is an ability susceptible to be altered as a consequence of some circumstances and psychological issues, such as emotional states. The present research aimed to study the influence of two emotions (happiness and sadness) on risk perception in pedestrians. To carry said research out, 53 participants took part in the experiment. They had previously been randomly assigned to one of the three experimental conditions (happiness group, sadness group and control group), by watching a video clip to generate the implied emotion. After this, all of them watched a sequence of 8 video clips involving pedestrian situations, four of which involved a risky situation while the other four involved a non-risky situation. Risk perception was measured by both self-report and psychophysiological arousal. The results showed that the control group got significantly more physiological activation in high risky situations than the other two groups, both in Skin Conductance Level and Skin Conductance Response. Besides, the control group was the only one who got a significant higher activation in high risk situations than in no risky situations, both in SCL and in SCR. These results suggest that pedestrians walking under a relevant emotional state could have their risk perception ability negatively affected, with potential consequences on suffering road accidents.


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  • Accession Number: 01746195
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 10 2020 3:06PM