Seemingly irrational driving behavior model: The effect of habit strength and anticipated affective reactions

Yi-Shih Chung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


An increasing amount of evidence suggests that aberrant driving behaviors are not entirely rational. On the basis of the dual-process theory, this study postulates that drivers may learn to perform irrational aberrant driving behaviors, and these behaviors could be derived either from a deliberate or an intuitive decision-making approach. Accordingly, a seemingly irrational driving behavior model is proposed; in this model, the theory of planned behavior (TPB) was adopted to represent the deliberate decision-making mechanism, and habit strength was incorporated to reflect the intuitive decision process. A multiple trivariate mediation structure was designed to reflect the process through which driving behaviors are learned. Anticipated affective reactions (AARs) were further included to examine the effect of affect on aberrant driving behaviors. Considering the example of speeding behaviors, this study developed scales and conducted a two-wave survey of students in two departments at a university in Northern Taiwan. The analysis results show that habit strength consists of multiple aspects, and frequency of past behavior cannot be a complete repository for accumulating habit strength. Habit strength appeared to be a crucial mediator between intention antecedents (e.g., attitude) and the intention itself. Including habit strength in the TPB model enhanced the explained variance of speeding intention by 26.7%. In addition, AARs were different from attitudes; particularly, young drivers tended to perform speeding behaviors to reduce negative feelings such as regret. The proposed model provides an effective alternative approach for investigating aberrant driving behaviors; corresponding countermeasures are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-89
Number of pages11
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
StatePublished - 11 Jun 2015


  • Aberrant driving behavior
  • Affect
  • Dual process
  • Habit strength
  • Speeding

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