Experiment 53

Stepwise regression for statistical control
Partial Correlation

It has been suggested that drivers are more likely to take risks if they perceive their vehicle to be well protected in the case of an accident. Sixty car drivers are interviewed in a motorway service station. A test of risk taking, that involves making judgements about descriptions of driving behaviour, is administered. In addition, they fill in a questionnaire concerning the safety features in the car they are driving, and how effective they judge them to be. This yields a "perceived safety" score. The correlation between perceived safety scores and risk taking scores is moderately high as predicted, however, other researchers have found that the size of the car being driven correlates highly with risk taking behaviour. Accordingly the length of the car is determined as a measure of size. The investigators hypothesise that perceived safety scores will still correlate with risk taking scores when length of vehicle is statistically controlled.

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