ERIC Number: EJ922040
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
Impulsive Choice and Workplace Safety: A New Area of Inquiry for Research in Occupational Settings
Reynolds, Brady; Schiffbauer, Ryan M.
Behavior Analyst, v27 n2 p239-246 Fall 2004
A conceptual argument is presented for the relevance of behavior-analytic research on impulsive choice to issues of occupational safety and health. Impulsive choice is defined in terms of discounting, which is the tendency for the value of a commodity to decrease as a function of various parameters (e.g., having to wait or expend energy to receive the commodity). A high degree of discounting is often considered an index of impulsivity. We argue that for workers, possible negative consequences (e.g., injury or disease) are often disregarded, or discounted, in choices about workplace safety because such consequences are typically delayed and uncertain. Furthermore, some evidence suggests that certain environmental conditions, such as those that lead to stress or sleep deprivation, may increase discounting. Increased discounting, by extension, leads to a further devaluation of safety practices and their benefits. A call is made for research aimed at more clearly delineating the relation between impulsive choice and workplace safety.
Descriptors: Evidence, Occupational Safety and Health, Sleep, Behavioral Science Research, Anxiety, Stress Variables, Industrial Psychology, Intervention, Work Environment
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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