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Normative influences across cultures: Conceptual differences & potential confounders

Normative influences across cultures: Conceptual differences & potential confounders among drivers in Australia & China Judy Fleiter Barry Watson, Alexia Lennon, Mark King & Kan Shi. 1st International Conference on Human Factors in Transportation

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Normative influences across cultures: Conceptual differences & potential confounders

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  1. Normative influences across cultures: Conceptual differences & potential confounders among drivers in Australia & China Judy Fleiter Barry Watson, Alexia Lennon, Mark King & Kan Shi 1st International Conference on Human Factors in Transportation 21-25 July 2012 | San Francisco CRICOS No. 00213J

  2. Overview • Speeding in Australia and China • Normative influences on speeding • The concept of culture • Results of qualitative and quantitative studies • Potential cultural considerations (confounders) in road safety research

  3. Speeding in Australia Years of rigorous enforcement & public education campaigns Yet still implicated in ~25% fatal crashes 1 of the ‘Fatal 4’ Australian Transport Council, 2011

  4. Speeding in China • Rapid motorisation in recent years • Traffic-related mortality increased 81% in 20 years to 2006 (Wang et al, 2008) • Statistics vary (see Li et al, 2012) • Total annual fatality estimates range from 67,000 – 100,000+ • Speed implicated in 50-90% fatal crashes • Road safety research in infancy

  5. Normative influences (1) • Friends • Peer influence • Graduated driver licensing restrictions • Family • Role models • Parental supervision during Learner phase • Other road users • Platoon • Keeping up with speed of others

  6. Normative influences (2) • Personal norms • Group norms • Subjective norms • Moral norms….

  7. Normative influences (3) • Commonly examined only in one cultural context • Usually in highly motorised countries • What do we know about this issue in rapidly motorising countries, such as China?

  8. Culture in Road Safety Context (1) • Culture as interaction between specific groups of road users (eg age, ethnicity, education) Differential impact of broader societal influences (eg traffic laws) on specific groups, focussing on group interaction

  9. Culture in Road Safety Context (2) • Study culture with ‘cross-cultural’ studies: Same behaviour/group is studied in 2 or more culturally-bound contexts Characteristics that are specific to people because of geographic location, common natural history Encompasses broader societal influences and person-based factors

  10. Challenges across Cultures • Methodological: • May be fundamental differences in economic, institutional, social, cultural factors • Theoretical: • Understanding behaviour across groups • How best to operationalise theoretical components developed in 1 context to maintain essence of original meaning?

  11. Chinese Road Safety Research • Limited to date • Role of ‘self’ different in Chinese society? • Xie & Parker, 2002 • Culturally specific issues relevant in China, but not Britain: • Sense of social hierarchy • Challenge to legitimate authority • Value of interpersonal networks

  12. Method *Normative influence & self-identity examined in both countries *Part of a larger project examining social learning and reinforcement factors on speeding behaviour

  13. Self-identity Is it important to be known as someone who drives above the speed limit?

  14. Self-identity • Australia • Project image of responsible & safe driver (ie obey limits), even if not • China • Of no real consequence • Not worthy of discussion because speeding is so common

  15. Question... If you received a speeding ticket, who would you be embarrassed to tell?

  16. Embarrassed? • Australia • Embarrassment Dichotomy • ‘Hide the ticket’ vs. ‘No big deal’ • China • No embarrassment • Just ‘bad luck’ if caught • Happy to warn others of enforcement sites

  17. Community Norms (1) When interviewed, drivers in both countries reported: *Speeding is commonplace *Majority of people speed *Perceptions of community acceptance/tolerance of speeding

  18. Community Norms (2) Australia: “ I just assumed that everybody speeds. Most on the road are keeping up with me and I’m sometimes trying to keep up with them. ” 49 year old male

  19. Community Norms (3) China: Asked a specific question (based on Perkins & Wechsler, 2006) Imagine that someone visits you from another country. They have never been here before. What would you tell them about driving speeds in Beijing?

  20. Community Norms (4) China: Expecting similar results to those found in Australia because speeding had already been described as widespread and ‘no big deal’ by Chinese participants.

  21. 30 yr old male: “Speaker 1: I would tell them that there is no speeding in Beijing. It’s the same as when we tell others that our University is the best. When we go to foreign countries, we will tell others that China is the best country in the world. So when we talk about speeding with foreigners, you are not just yourself, you must...

  22. 26 year old male: Speaker 2…take the reputation of our country into consideration. Speaker 1: Yes, you are not only yourself. More importantly, you represent the honour of the whole country. In our country, we don’t take speeding as seriously as foreigners. In their eyes, speeding is a big deal so if they ask me about this issue, I will tell them speeding is not a common thing. Speaker 2 :I agree. I would say that I have never noticed people speeding. We should show others the good side of our country and city. ”

  23. The Concept of Face • Integral in Chinese conduct • ‘An individual’s public or social image gained by performing one of more specific social roles that are well recognised by others (Luo, 2007) • Face saving/reputation saving of nation • ‘Faking good for foreigners’ • Triandis’ welfare of the collective (Triandis, 2001) • Individualism-collectivism dimension

  24. Quantitative findings

  25. Type of Driver

  26. Community Norms *t(820)=8.08, p<.0001, =.54 ** t(827)=11.58, p<.0001, =.69 Scored: 1= Strongly Disagree to 7 = Strongly Agree

  27. Discussion • Discrepancy between qualitative & quantitative findings within countries • Perceptions of greater community acceptance of speeding appeared higher in Australia • Australian drivers appear less compliant with speed limits than Chinese drivers

  28. But are they ?

  29. Conclusions • Results may reflect ‘reality’ or may be related to ‘faking good for foreigners’ • However, a foreign researcher (me) was present when ‘faking good’ was discussed • Could socially desirable responding be taking place in both countries?

  30. Food for Thought… • The issue of ‘face’ in road safety context not previously described • More research needed to better understand this potential confounder and to search for others • Important because international collaborations taking place to assist rapidly motorising countries deal with enormous road trauma burden

  31. Thank you, any questions/comments? Acknowledgements: Australian Postgraduate Award, National Health and Medical Research Council Australia-China Fellowship, Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Psychology j.fleiter@qut.edu.au Mark your Diaries! International Council on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety Conference (ICADTS T2013) August 2013, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre

  32. References • Australian Transport Council. (2011). National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020. Retrieved from http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/safety/national_road_safety_strategy/index.aspx. • Li, Y., Xie, D., Nie, G., & Zhang, J. (2012). The drink driving situation in China. Traffic Injury Prevention, 13, 101-108. doi: 10.1080/15389588.2011.637097 • Luo, Y. (2007). Guanxi and business. New Jersey: World Scientific. • Perkins, H. W., & Wechsler, H. (1996). Variation in perceived college drinking norms and its impact on alcohol abuse: A nationwide study. Journal of Drug Issues, 26(4), 961-974. • Triandis, H. (2001). Individualism-Collectivism and Personality. Journal of Personality, 69(6), 907-924. • Wang, Y., Hasselberg, M., Wu, Z. Z., & Laflamme, L. (2008). Distribution and characteristics of road traffic crashes in the Chaoyang District of Beijing, China. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 40, 334-340. • Xie, C., & Parker, D. (2002). A social psychological approach to driving violations in two Chinese cities. Transportation Research Part F, 5, 293-308.

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