The aims of this study were twofold: (a) to develop an attitude questionnaire and an unobstrusive behavior measure technique which were both sensitive and administratively useful in repeated assessment of attitudes and behaviors related to seatbelt use; (b) to develop and test the effectiveness of different persuasive communications on seatbelt attitudes and behavior. The primary emphasis was on the attempt to obtain increased use of seatbelts as determined by direct observation of behavior. After baseline measures were obtained, subjects (drivers who had seatbelts available, but were not using them as determined by direct observation) were randomly assigned to one of the following five groups: (1) no persuasive letter control group that received both a pre-test and post-test attitude questionnaire; (2) pre-test control group that received no pre-test questionnaire, but did receive a persuasive letter and post-test questionnaire; (3) persuasive letter group that received the pre-test and post-test questionnaires; (4) persuasive letter group that was requested to sign a committtment pledge and received the post-test and pre-test questionnaires; and (5) persuasive letter group that was offered a financial incentive of $10.00 if a committment pledge to wear seatbelts was signed. Attitude measures were obtained 14 days before and 14 days after the persuasive communication. Observations of behavior occurred 21 days, 14 days, and 1 day before and 1 day, 3 days, 7 days, and 14 days, after the persuasive communication. A change was demonstrated in seatbelt behavior for drivers in experimental Groups (2-5) combined as compared to the control Group (1). Also, drivers in Group (5) evidenced greater seatbelt use than drivers in Groups (2-4) combined. Even though the behavior changes found were statistifcally significant, because they were sporadic and small, they were not administratively significant at the present time. The behavior changes evidenced do, however, offer encouragement to investigators concerned about the possibilities for developing more effective persuasive communications in the future. Since there was a low rate of return for the pre-test and post-test questionnaires combined, no meaningful conclusions about attitude changes could be stated. However, seatbelt behavior was found to be significantly and positively related to the intention to wear seatbelts even though use was not related to drivers' feelings about whether they "should" wear seatbelts. /Author/

  • Corporate Authors:

    National Safety Council

    425 North Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL  United States  60611
  • Authors:
    • Butyhski, W
  • Publication Date: 1973-10

Media Info

  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 173 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00096377
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Safety Council Safety Research Info Serv
  • Report/Paper Numbers: PhD Thesis
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 30 1975 12:00AM