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Title

Social judgment research applied toward estimating factors relevant to DUI offenders' intentions to drink and drive: A factorial survey approach

Date of Award

1988

Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Abstract

The aim of this study was fourfold: (1) to measure the extent to which select circumstances weighed in driving-under-the-influence (DUI) offenders' intentions to drive after drinking; (2) to assess the impact of formal sanction, informal sanction, and moral inhibition with respect to intentions to drive after drinking; (3) to investigate the likelihood of each of fourteen rationalizations to represent a justification to drive after drinking; and (4) to examine possible associations between DUI offender characteristics and the factors indicated above. The offender characteristics of age, prior DUI offenses, and motor vehicle accidents involving alcohol were statistically significant, yet showed negligible relationships with intentions to drink and drive. Age, motor vehicle accidents involving alcohol, and "feeling mildly relaxed" were negatively, yet weakly, correlated with the Decision to Drink and Drive rating scale; that is, when these characteristics or factors were present, there was a weak association with the intention to drive. In general, the offenders disagreed with the rationalizations to drive after drinking and to a statistically significant degree. Notable exceptions were as follows: males agreed that it was not so wrong to drive after drinking if a sick friend needed to be taken home or if one had a tolerance for alcohol. Males (59%) and females (45%) tended to agree that it was not so wrong to drive while under the influence of alcohol on an open highway with no traffic. Tentative conclusions were offered: (1) the results may suggest a "treatment effect" related to the stringent enforcement efforts and the recency of conviction of 54% of the sample; (2) completing the survey provided information the offenders did not have at the time they drove after drinking, as well as, a symbolic opportunity to avoid the arrest and consequences for driving after drinking; (3) a demand characteristics effect may have been operating in that socially desirable responses were selected; (4) the number of vignette factors used may have been excessive and contributed to errors on the rating task.

Pages

195

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