Risk Homeostasis Theory: An Overview

Department of Psychology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
Injury Prevention (Impact Factor: 1.89). 07/1998; 4(2):89-91. DOI: 10.1136/ip.4.2.89
Source: PubMed
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    • "Previous research suggests that when design improvements reduce a user's risk of injury, that user will make a behavioral adjustment in a way that typically increases his or her risk, thereby diminishing some of the expected safety improvement (Peltzman, 1975; Graham and Garber, 1984). Some researchers argue that this behavioral adjustment, known as " risk compensation, " completely offsets any anticipated safety benefit (Wilde, 1998), a widely contested phenomenon known as " risk homeostasis " (O'Neill and Williams, 1998). This article discusses the development of a market systems modeling framework that incorporates safety considerations in both engineering attributes and consumer choice within the Sport Utility and Crossover Utility Vehicle (SUV/CUV) market in the United States. "
    Dataset: AAP 50 p943
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    • "One specific issue repeatedly raised in discussions around adolescent participation in HIV vaccine trials is behavioral disinhibition, or the concern that adolescents who participate will practice riskier sexual behaviors [2]. This concern is based on risk compensation theory, which suggests that persons have an inherent set point that determines their willingness to take risks [7] [8]. According to this theory, any modification in the environment that reduces the external probability of risk will lead an individual to increase their risk-related behaviors (i.e., disinhibit ), thereby neutralizing the benefits of risk-reduction strategies. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose Placebo and randomization are important concepts that must be understood before youth can safely participate in HIV vaccine studies or other biomedical trials for HIV prevention. These concepts are central to the phenomenon of preventive misconception that may be associated with an increase in risk behavior among study participants related to mistaken beliefs. Persuasive messaging, traditionally used in the field of marketing, could enhance educational efforts associated with randomized clinical trials. Methods Two educational brochures were designed to increase knowledge about HIV vaccine clinical trials via one- and two-sided persuasive messaging. Through the Adolescent Medicine Trials Network, 120 youth were enrolled, administered a mock HIV vaccine trial consent, and then randomized to receive either no supplemental information or one of the two brochures. Results The two-sided brochure group in which common clinical trial misconceptions were acknowledged and then refuted had significantly higher scores on knowledge of randomization and interpretation of side effects than the consent-only control group, and the willingness to participate in an HIV vaccine trial was not decreased with the use of this brochure. Conclusion Two-sided persuasive messaging improves understanding of the concepts of randomization and placebo among youth who would consider participating in an HIV vaccine trial. Further evaluation of this approach should be considered for at-risk youth participating in an actual trial of a biomedical intervention for HIV prevention.
    Journal of Adolescent Health 08/2014; 55(2). DOI:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2014.01.006 · 3.61 Impact Factor
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    • "Selective enhancement of road edges (using retroreflective paint or VES) further exacerbates this effect. In the absence of careful experimental evaluations, there is a concern that some safety technologies can negatively interact with driver's abilities , or lull the driver into a false sense of security that can lead to riskier behavior (OECD, 2003; Wilde, 1998). Therefore, it is important to evaluate the potential impact of these systems on safety, preferably proactively , before the technology hits the road, rather than retrospectively (i.e., based on crash reports). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background New in-vehicle technologies often outpace the scientific support for their value. In lieu of valid and consistent scientific support, common wisdom is used, as in the assumption that enhanced roadway delineation improves driving safety. Objective To evaluate the effects of a Visibility Enhancement System that selectively improves lane markers' visibility on driving safety. Method A simulation experiment assessed the effects of an in-car lane Visibility Enhancement System (VES) that highlights the edges of the road ahead on driver's behavior and overall safety, under normal and reduced visibility conditions. Thirty drivers drove in a fix-based simulator through a winding rural road, while attempting to avoid un-enhanced and unexpected obstacles that appeared on the driving lane from time to time. The simulated VES highlighted the road edges up to a distance of 90 m with two alternative configurations: two continuous red lines or a series of red crosses. The effects of the two VES configurations on performance were measured during night and fog driving. Performance measures included speed, lane keeping behavior, eye scanning pattern, reaction time (RT) and collisions with the un-enhanced unexpected obstacles. Subjective measures included confidence and stress. With the results of the VES, drivers were more confident, less stressed, and drove faster, but had almost twice as many collisions with the unexpected obstacles. Also, steering/braking RT to the obstacles was longer with the VES than without it by nearly 44 msec. Conclusions The results are consistent with Lebowitz's theory (1977). While the VES enhanced spatial orientation, it fooled the drivers into assuming that the visibility of obstacles on the road was also improved, and thus actually reduced safety. Therefore, when deploying a new safety technology that selectively enhances different sources of information to the driver, one cannot assume that all other things will remain the same and safety will be enhanced.
    Journal of Safety Research 06/2014; 49. DOI:10.1016/j.jsr.2014.02.011 · 1.29 Impact Factor
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