Traffic norms between safety and perversity

Grigore Havârneanu, Andreea Goliţă


Perverse norms are believed to be an important factor leading to deviance in traffic (Fernández-Dols & Oceja, 1994; Pérez, et al., 1998; Pérez et al., 2002). From a particular social perspective, norm violation originates in the general perception of norms being irrational or useless for real safety needs (Lucas & Pérez, 2003; Ţepordei, Havârneanu & Boncu, 2010). In the current research we examined the degree to which ordinary and professional drivers perceive a set of norms as being mostly rational, irrational (i.e. perverse) or both. In order to assess the anti-normative behaviour, we used 17 traffic scenarios and had participants motivate their decisions in terms of the heteronomous vs. autonomous systems of moral reasoning. The results reveal the importance of past accident involvement, as well as of heteronomy in terms of police control as well as personal experience with the police.

perverse norm, moral system, road safety

Grigore Havârneanu – Al. I. Cuza University, Iaşi, Romania, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, E-mail:

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