Investigating the Influence of Perceived Anthropomorphism of Vehicles on Pedestrians’ Crossing Decisions in a Test Track Study
Authors: Nina Theobald, Philip Joisten, Felix Friedrich, Bettina Abendroth
Abstract: People tend to anthropomorphize, i.e., perceive the fronts of vehicles in a face-like manner and attribute personality traits to them. This study investigates the influence of perceived vehicle appearance, in terms of perceived anthropomorphism of vehicles, on pedestrians’ crossing decisions. Therefore, a test track study with 20 participants and two vehicle types was conducted. No relationship between the perceived anthropomorphism of the vehicles and pedestrians’ decisions when crossing the road in front of the vehicles was found. However, the results show that the anthropomorphic description and the non-anthropomorphic description have opposite valences in case of both vehicles. A lack of influence of perceived anthropomorphism of vehicles on pedestrians’ crossing decisions in this study could be due to compensation mechanisms between anthropomorphic and non-anthropomorphic positive and negative attributions to the vehicles. The study concludes with a discussion of both approaches used for operationalizing vehicle appearance and implications for further research.
Keywords: Pedestrian, Crossing Decision, Vehicle, Anthropomorphism, Test Track Study
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