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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Personality trait and cognitive ability correlates of unsafe behaviours LeRoy, Zehra Pirani

Abstract

Unsafe behaviours were presumed to be a primary precursor to accident involvement, related to personality, attention and memory. In Study 1, 633 undergraduates completed a personality inventory and a hazardous-behaviours questionnaire. A trait-based scale was empirically developed to assess safety-oriented tendencies. The scale is suitable for applied use, and draws on traits related to the Big Five, risk-taking, counterproductivity, and impulsivity. In Study 2, 140 undergraduates completed the Study 1 measures and a battery of cognitive ability tests assessing attention and memory. Two common-factors—Cognitive Errors and Performance Speed—were correlated with the Study-1 Safety-Orientation scale, but not with unsafe behaviours. Individual-differences variables may have a more complex role in the safety system than previously thought, and could be used to improve various Human Resources interventions to reduce accidents in the workplace, such as through selection, placement, training, and job redesign. Recommendations for future research are discussed.

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