HOW TO OBTAIN THE RIGHT OF WAY: AN EXPERIMENTAL ANALYSIS OF BEHAVIOR AT INTERSECTIONS

Conflicts of interest over who shall assume the right of way at unmarked intersections may be viewed as a subset of a more general class of conflicts whose resolution is shaped by various strategies of deterrence. In order to examine the effects of five variables upon the determination of right of way, a simulated driving situation was developed in the laboratory, involving the presentation of a series of slide photographs of two vehicles, A and B, approaching an unmarked intersection. Male and female Ss were asked to act either as the driver of one of the two vehicles (A) or as the observer of both vehicles; in addition, the size of the second vehicle (B), the sex of its driver, as well as driver B's maintenance or avoidance of eye contact with A were varied. Ss predicted, with greater confidence, that Vehicle B would cross the intersection first (that driver A would be deterred from seizing the right of way) when B was the same size as A, rather than a vehicle either larger or smaller; when driver B was female, rather than male; and when driver B avoided, rather than maintained, eye contact with A. In addition to these three main effects, a number of interactions emerged between the eye contact variable and one or more of the other four. Several of these findings were interpreted as lending support to Schelling's description of the strategic efficacy of "binding oneself" to a course of action.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Ammons (CH) and Ammons (RR)

    P.O. Box 1441
    Missoula, MT  United States  59801
  • Authors:
    • Rubin, J Z
    • Steinberg, B D
    • Gerrein, J R
  • Publication Date: 1974-12

Media Info

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00133485
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Highway Safety Research Institute
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 5 1976 12:00AM