Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Heavy readers avoid risk

13.11.2006
A teenager who enjoys reading textbooks is likely to be disinclined to take chances – for example in traffic, a SINTEF study for Norway’s Public Roads Administration has found.

“We can see that personality has a certain influence, but that it is far from being decisive in determining whether young people are willing to expose themselves to risk. On the other hand, we find that their attitude to risk is closely related to their learning style – that is, how they prefer to absorb knowledge,” says SINTEF researcher Trine Marie Stene, who is responsible for the report.

Enjoy books – but not risk

Stene utilised a comprehensive questionnaire study of 562 pupils at 11 junior secondary schools in the County of Sør-Trøndelag to measure how far young people’s attitudes to risk were affected by individual differences.

According to her report, young people’s attitudes to risky activities is not automatically determined by their personalities. This suggests that their willingness to take chances does not directly depend on whether or not they suffer from anxiety, whether they are introverted or extraverted, whether they are open or reserved with respect to new experiences or whether they are thoughtful or impulsive.

On the other hand, the report shows that pupils who prefer to learn by reading or by touching and holding objects, and who like to sit at a traditional schooldesk when they are absorbing knowledge, probably have little interest in taking chances.

“This shows that the educational challenges associated with transmitting messages about safety are extra great for all other groups of pupils,” says Stene.

“The main message here is that it is wrong to treat everyone in the same way when we design information or training campaigns on safety. The means that we employ must be adapted to pupils’ different expectations and wishes,” says Stene, a traffic researcher at SINTEF Technology and Society.

Moped- and car-driver training

Stene says that knowledge from this project could be used, for example, in connection with moped training, accompanied training and possibly with the use of simulators in driving schools.

“This survey could be useful when differentiated training courses based on individual differences are being designed. Some pupils are very visual and have to see everything, while others like to have material presented orally. Yet others prefer to move around when they are learning,” says Stene.

The study showed that fewer than half (40%) of the pupils preferred to learn by listening to the material. As many as one in five dislike learning new things with the healp of their auditory system. About one third like to have material presented visually. About half of the pupils prefer to be actiuve in the learning situation.

According to Stene, this shows that it is important to have some variation in training methods and that pupils should be given the opportunity to learn by touching or working with things, move around and obtain ¿? via their own experiences.

Focus on coping

Both national and international statistics show that young people in the 16- to 24-year-old age group are particularly liable to be involved in road accidents, either as car drivers or passengers. Young male drivers of private cars are particularly vulnerable.

Much of the research that has been done so far on the way young people behave on the road has attempted to identify the factors that raise risk levels so much for just this group.

Trine Marie Stene has adopted a wider perspective in her study. She wished to see how young people learn their attitudes to risk, and what factors characterise those who are willing to take risk and the more safety-oriented ones who prefer to cope with risk. On the basis of the answers to her questionnaire survey, she drew up profiles of the pupils according to where they placed themselves along five axes that describe our personality.

Personality differences were not the most important factor in terms of statistically significant differences, when the pupils were asked about their willingness to take chances

On the other hand, one of the dimensions of personality emerged in connection with the opposite condition – i.e. when preventing accidents was the aim: the material suggested that persons who scored high on the ability to agree with other people and to understand other people’s problems are more concerned about preventing accident than those who do not score high on such abilities.

Contact: trine.m.stene@sintef.no

Aase Dragland | alfa
Further information:
http://www.sintef.no

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>