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Texting while driving: impulsivity in college students

Link to study

The research aimed to evaluate the mental practices underlying texting while driving. A sample of 120 college pupils finished a questionnaire to determine how often they send and read a text message when driving.

According to this information, students were assigned to one of two classes: 20 pupils who often text when driving and 20 matched-control pupils who infrequently text when driving but were similar in sex, age, years of schooling, and years driving. The groups were compared on the level to which they differed in self-reported measures of executive function and impulsivity. The groups were compared on a behavioral measure of impulsivity: the degree to which they discounted hypothetical monetary benefits as a function of the delay.

For this step, the pupils made repeated choices between smaller financial rewards available instantly and more significant rewards available after delays ranging from 1 week to 6 weeks. The results reveal that the group of pupils who regularly text while driving revealed (a) significantly lower executive function levels and (b) higher self-reported impulsivity levels, even though the groups didn’t differ considerably on the behavioral degree of impulsivity. These results are backing a general conclusion that drivers with reduced executive function levels and greater impulsivity levels are more probable to text while driving.

The study investigated associations among texting frequency while driving, executive function levels, and college students’ impulsivity. The results show that students who regularly text when driving show low administrative function levels and elevated impulsivity levels.

These findings agree with other addictive and impulsivity- associated behaviors, such as substance abuse, pathological gambling, eating disorders, and net addiction. They so indicate that intervention approaches successful for those behaviors may also be successful for texting while driving. Further research should further investigate the utility of conceptualizing executive function as an overarching construct that underlies various psychological variables related to texting while driving. These efforts will result in a broader understanding of texting while driving and practical strategies to prevent and reduce the problem.