Implicit Perceptions of Risk and Anxiety and Pilot Involvement in Hazardous Events

Keryn Anne Pauley, David O'Hare

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPublished conference contribution

15 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The aim of the studies was to examine the role of implicit processes in aeronautical risk perception and risk taking. Background: Aeronautical decision making consists of both explicit processes (e.g., comparing options, seeking information) and implicit, or intuitive, processes (e.g., immediate affective reactions). The present studies utilized a novel methodology, adapted from studies in social cognition, to examine the relationship between general aviation pilots' implicit reactions toward risk and their involvement in hazardous events. Method: The Implicit Association Test was used to measure pilots'(Study 1: N=23; Study 2: N=32) implicit associations between good and bad weather conditions and perceptions of risk and anxiety. Results: There was a relationship between the pilots' implicit perceptions and previous involvement in hazardous aeronautical events as measured by D. R. Hunter's (1995, 2002) Hazardous Events Scale. The more weather-related hazardous events the pilots had been involved in, the less they associated implicit risk with adverse weather (Study 1) and the less implicitly anxious they were toward adverse weather (Study 2). Conclusion: The results show a relationship between implicit associations and risk-taking behavior. Application: Pilots may be involved in risk-taking behavior because they perceive less risk in, and are implicitly less afraid of, hazardous conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 52nd Annual Meeting.
PublisherHuman Factors & Ergonomics Society
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)978-0-945289-32-6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008


Dive into the research topics of 'Implicit Perceptions of Risk and Anxiety and Pilot Involvement in Hazardous Events'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this