Social Thinking and Risk Between Road Users: The Case of the Pedestrian in Two Cultural Contexts

Gaymard Sandrine, Tiplica Teodor, Koh Puay Ping, Wong Yiik Diew


Interactions between motorized and non-motorized road users constitute situations of risk for the latter. Improving the safety of pedestrians, who are the most vulnerable users, is a challenge for public health in society. The aims of this study concern the social representation of the pedestrian and the impact of the cultural variable in the construction of this knowledge; a field in which there exists little research. In this perspective, the discourse of two groups of students, one from a French city (N=85) and one from Singapore (N=124) are compared. The use of free associations and specific analyses makes it possible to isolate the words or expressions most frequently associated with pedestrians and those that discriminate the two populations. This study reveals that the pedestrian is associated with risk in both cultural environments. Nevertheless the French express more fear and apprehension and the Singaporeans’ representation is both more descriptive and personified. These results are discussed in relation to the cultural contexts.


Social representations; Pedestrian; Culture; Discourse analysis; Statistical tests; Discriminant correspondence analysis

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