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Geriatrics 2016, 1(3), 20; doi:10.3390/geriatrics1030020

Enhancing Older Drivers’ Safety: On Effects Induced by Stereotype Threat to Older Adults’ Driving Performance, Working Memory and Self-Regulation

1
Laboratory of Social and Cognitive Psychology (LAPSCO—UMR 6024), CNRS, University of Clermont Auvergne, 63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France
2
Unité Mixte de Recherche 5263—CLLE-LTC, CNRS, Université Toulouse 2 Jean Jaurès, Maison de la Recherche, 31100 Toulouse, France
3
Université de Lyon, F-69622 Lyon, France
4
Laboratory Ergonomics and Cognitive Sciences applied to Transport (LESCOT), The French Institute of Science and Technology for Transport, Development and Networks (IFSTTAR), F-69675 Bron, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Max Toepper
Received: 9 June 2016 / Revised: 7 August 2016 / Accepted: 18 August 2016 / Published: 24 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impaired Driving Skills in Older Adults)
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Abstract

In a study concerned with driving behaviors of older drivers (mean age 70 years) in a driving simulator, our findings indicate that telling older drivers that they are more at risk of accidents because of their age and their driving performance-related decline (i.e., exposing them to a stereotype threat concerning older drivers) severely impairs their self-regulatory skills. Moreover, our results show that this is at least partly due to exhaustion of the executive resources (older drivers under stereotype threat tended to contradict the stereotype of being slow by driving faster), appearing also through working memory overload (older drivers under stereotype threat performed markedly less well in a modular arithmetic task than drivers in the control condition). We thus complete the existing evidence that older drivers’ performance may be affected by socially-grounded factors, suggesting that simply being investigated may be enough to tax many capabilities in older people. We also propose that stereotype threat might be at least a partial explanation for why older drivers sometimes have poorer self-regulation performances after attending rehabilitation programs designed to make older drivers safer ones. View Full-Text
Keywords: older; driver; self-regulation; stereotype threat; working memory older; driver; self-regulation; stereotype threat; working memory
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Brelet, L.; Moták, L.; Ginet, M.; Huet, N.; Izaute, M.; Gabaude, C. Enhancing Older Drivers’ Safety: On Effects Induced by Stereotype Threat to Older Adults’ Driving Performance, Working Memory and Self-Regulation. Geriatrics 2016, 1, 20.

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