This paper describes the procedures and results of two experimental studies dealing with the differential effects of particular design alternatives of safety communications. In the first study, an attempt was made to establish the comparative effects upon cognitive and attitude change toward drinking and driving of two versions of a short television message. The consequences of driving while impaired were presented in an explicit manner, through the inclusion of a crash scene, is one of the messages, while these consequences were left entirely implicit in the alternative version. In all other respects the messages were identical. The results indicated greater attitude change following the explicit version when attitudes were measured immediately after exposure, but the implicit version produced greater change when measured two weeks later. The results were explained mainly in terms of incubation and boomerang (back-fire) effects and related to the congruity model of attitude change. A directly observable driver behavior was the dependent variable in the second study. Billboard posters were used in an effort to increase the use of dipped headlights in highway driving during daylight hours, especially when visibility conditions are not optimal. The message on the billboards, therefore, read: "On the highway turn your headlights on even during the day." This statement was preceded by either one of two motivating appeals: "Do as the professionals do," or "Avoid injury and death," in an effort to assess the differential appeals upon compliance with the advocated behavior. Roadside observations were made in daylight hours before, during the 4 weeks of the communications, and afterwards, at sites just outside the city limits. The results were related to the presence of the posters, the type of appeal used and to weather conditions. Some implications for the use of posters in safety campaigns are discussed. (A)

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Presented at the first International Conference on Driver Behaviour, Zurich, Switzerland, 8-12 October, 1973.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Queen's University, Ontario

    Department of Mechanical Engineering
    Kingston, Ontario  Canada  K7L 3N6
  • Authors:
    • Wilde, G J
    • BROWN, I D
    • Cake, L U
  • Publication Date: 1973-10

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 25 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00132071
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Safety Council Safety Research Info Serv
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 29 1977 12:00AM