University of Twente Student Theses


Travelling by airplane: the influence of demographic variables and gathering information on the perceived risk of flying.

Singenstroth, S. (2015) Travelling by airplane: the influence of demographic variables and gathering information on the perceived risk of flying.

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Abstract:Fear of flying is a widespread problem (Depla et al., 2008). It leads to financial constraints for the airline companies and restricts individuals in their personal freedom (Gaissmeier &Gigerenzer, 2012; Oakes & Bor, 2010). In order to develop successful interventions for those who fear flying, it is a first step to identify factors that are related to the fear. This exploratory research takes this aspect into account: it is meant to collect information about possible factors that are connected to the perceived risk of flying by airplane. It is conducted to figure out to which degree demographic variables and the receipt of information are related to risk perception of flying. Furthermore, associated with the airplane crash on 24 March in France, it is analyzed if the perceived risk undergoes change within one month after the accident. The research instrument is an online questionnaire which provides information about demographic variables and the perceived risk of flying. Data of 160 participants are statistically analyzed. The reliability is satisfying, so that based on the results conclusion can be formulated. The research shows that women perceive the risk of flying as higher than men do. Moreover, based on the number of times someone has been flying before, it can be predicted how high the risk is perceived: people who fly more often seem to be less fearful. There also seems to be a weak effect of age: younger people seem to estimate risk of flying as a little bit higher than older ones do. Related to risk perception, there cannot be found any significant effect of educational level or the receipt of information about the tracking system of the airplane. The days that have been passed by since the airplane accident in France also do not seem to influence the perceived risk of flying. The large part of the results corresponds to earlier expectations, researches and literature. However, the research also led to some surprising results. When regarding the obtained results, it has to be taken into account that there might be some factors that possibly influence the reliability negatively. One of these factors might be the accident on 24 March in France. It is conceivable that the accident was still very present in the people's mind while filling in the questionnaire. This could have negative consequences on the reliability of the research.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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