Seeking Applicants Interested in Traffic Psychology

With regard to doctoral and master's admissions for the 2017 academic year, the Anger and Traffic Psychology Lab is particularly interested in receiving applications from individuals interested in conducting psychological research on aspects of personality and driving behavior, with relevance to driving anger, aggressive driving, risky driving (e.g., speeding, driving while distracted), and/or accident-related outcomes. A variety of both adaptive and maladaptive personality constructs are of interest in this area. Examples of potentially relevant adaptive personality constructs include empathy for others, emotional intelligence, trait forgiveness, and consideration of the future consequences of one's behavior. Examples of potentially relevant maladaptive personality traits include impulsivity, sensation seeking, boredom proneness, and a variety of "dark personality" traits.

We have several ideas for research projects in this area and are hoping to attract qualified applicants with compatible interests.

Dr. Dahlen Appointed as Associate Editor

After serving as a member of their Editorial Board for several years, I was recently offered and accepted an appointment to serve as an Associate Editor at Accident Analysis & Prevention (AAP). AAP is a peer-reviewed journal published by Elsevier and affiliated with the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine. They publish research on accidental injury and damage from a variety of disciplines, including "studies of human, environmental and vehicular factors influencing the occurrence, type and severity of accidents and injury; the design, implementation and evaluation of countermeasures; biomechanics of impact and human tolerance limits to injury; modeling and statistical analysis of accident data; policy, planning and decision-making in safety." Many of the articles they publish involve investigations of human factors in transportation-related accidents, which is consistent with the lab's work in clinical traffic psychology.

As with any new responsibility, I expect a bit of a learning curve; however, I am excited by the opportunity to learn more about the editorial process and contribute to the field in a new way.

Sarah Burghaus Proposes Thesis on Driving Anger

Sarah Burghaus, a doctoral student in her second year, successfully proposed her master's thesis yesterday. She hopes to begin data collection in January.

We know that driving anger is a robust predictor of aggressive driving, non-aggressive forms of unsafe driving, and a number of crash-related conditions (e.g., near misses, losses of concentration while driving). Sarah's thesis, Relationship of Mindfulness, Empathy, and Consideration of Future Consequences to Driving Anger, will examine three variables which may mitigate the experience of driving anger: trait mindfulness, empathy, and the consideration of future consequences.

Sarah will determine whether these variables can enhance the prediction of driving anger beyond the contribution of the Five Factor Model (FFM) of personality. If these variables can explain additional variance in driving anger, it will help to support a case for assessing these constructs as part of a comprehensive evaluation of driver risk and may inform the development of more sophisticated models for understanding the proximate factors contributing to unsafe driving.

The Driver Stress Profile

Michael Moore, a doctoral student from the Anger and Traffic Psychology Lab who is now on internship at the Memphis VA Medical Center, successfully defended his dissertation last week, "Further Validation of the Larson Driver Stress Profile." Congratulations soon-to-be-Dr. Moore!

The Driver Stress Profile (DSP; Larson, 1996) is a 40-item self-report measure of four constructs thought to be relevant to aggressive driving: competitiveness, anger, impatience, and punishing other drivers. Michael's dissertation provided initial evidence of the construct validity of a version of this measure after refining it through exploratory factor analysis. Although additional work is needed before this modified version of the DSP can be considered complete, initial results are promising. The revised DSP was found to predict motor vehicle accidents, aggressive driving,risky driving, and driving anger expression. In fact, the DSP was able to explain an additional 20% of the variance in aggressive driving even after accounting for gender, miles driven/week, driving anger, and sensation seeking.

Distracted Driving PSA

It is nice to see the problem of distracted driving receiving more attention. Check out this new public service announcement.


Article on Driving Anger and Boredom Proneness Makes AAP's Top 20 Most Cited List

I was just informed by Elsevier that a 2005 article published in Accident Analysis and Prevention was one of the top 20 most cited articles from this journal published between 2005 and 2010. The citation of the article is:

Dahlen, E. R., Martin, R. C., Ragan, K., & Kuhlman, M. M. (2005). Driving anger, sensation seeking, impulsiveness, and boredom proneness in the prediction of unsafe driving. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 37, 341-348.

It is great to know that others have found it useful in their research.