RISK-TAKING IN SKILLED TASK PERFORMANCE

The objective of the study was to predict relative accident rates as a function of a two-factor risk-taking model (need for achievement and locus of control). At the same time, the effect of situation-specificity was tested. The subjects were performing the skilled task of Alpine (down-hill) skiing. There were 67 control and 50 injury subjects in all. The 67 controls took a series of three tests: Atkinson's need for Achievement (n Ach), Rotter's Locus of Control (LC) and an experimental instrument called the Situation-Specific Test (SST). The median score on each test was used as the cutting score. Those scoring above the median were scored high, those below were scored as low. Based on the underlying theory it was predicted that the accident/injury group would score high on the LC and SST and would have extreme scores (very high or very low) on n Ach. An interaction between n Ach and LC or SST was predicted. The results indicated that for real-world situations, situation-specific tests are more discriminating than are standardized, non-specific tests. No statistically significant effect for either standard test or the interaction was found. A statistically significant effect was found for SST. The results suggest methodological approaches that may shed light on risk-taking assessment with accident prediction potential in other areas. A successful instrument for discriminating potential accident victims from the population at large was demonstrated. The opportunities for application in other areas of skilled task performance such as industrial jobs and automobile driving are currently being investigated. /Author/

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Proceedings of the 18th Annual Meeting, October 1974.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Human Factors Society

    Johns Hopkins University Press
    Baltimore, MD  United States  21218
  • Authors:
    • Shealy, J E
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 1974-10

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 78-84
  • Serial:
    • Volume: 18

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00127169
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Safety Council Safety Research Info Serv
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 14 1976 12:00AM