Interaction between drivers and cyclists: social attribution

Every once in a while suggestions are made to deregulate traffic situations, with the idea that this will result in more alertness and more "social" behaviour (e.g. Shared Space). However, no account is taken of the fact that perception, expectations and behaviour are influenced by how people see themselves (personal and social identity) and by incorrect or incomplete views (stereotypes) of other people and groups. Since there are not one, but many types of road users, these underlying factors can also affect how different types of road users interact with each other in traffic. This project focuses on situations where cyclists and drivers encounter each other, such as at intersections.

Research question:

  1. Do underlying factors such as social identity and stereotypes affect how drivers and cyclists interpret mistakes of other drivers and cyclists (attribution) and respond to it?


Cyclists make up approximately one third of the total number of road deaths and 60% of the number of serious road injuries. In addition, the vast majority of bicycle road deaths still occur in crashes with motorized traffic. It is important to do research into social identity and stereotyping because these can be responsible for attribution errors, which may in turn lead to road users reacting more angrily and aggressively to errors by other road users.

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Project nr.



Start date: 01 Jan 2017
End date: 31 Dec 2017