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   2011, Vol. 43 Issue (11) : 1308-1319     DOI:
The Role of Risk Perception and Hazardous Attitudes in the Effects of Risk Tolerance on Safety Operation Behaviors among Airline Pilots
JI Ming;YANG Shi-Yun;ZHAO Xiao-Jun;BAO Xu-Hui;YOU Xu-Qun
(1 School of Psychology, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an 710062, China)
(2 Department of Aviation Medicine, China Southern Airline Ltd., Guangzhou 510405, China)
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Abstract  Safety operation behavior is the non-technical skills of modern airline pilots behaved in implementing scheduled flights, which has been regarded as the importance safeguard to ensure flight safety. Previous research indicated that cognitive and personality various may influence unsafe operation and accident involvement in aviation. However, recently several researches have concluded that the majority of aviation safety campaigns aimed at influencing social cognition various such as attitudes and risk perception have failed. One reason may be that the role of personality characteristics often has been ignored when such campaigns are carried out. In aviation, risk tolerance is been usually regarded as a personality trait, which is the amount of risk that an individual is willing to accept in the pursuit of some goal and is an importance factor to influence flight safety. This present study attempts to integrate two of these research traditions, the personality trait approach and the social cognition approach, in order to understand the mechanisms underlying pilot’ safety operation behaviors.
Based on a sample of 257 commercial airline pilots came from China Southern Airlines Ltd. as college graduates with good physical and mental health, and four flight experts with the certificates of LOSA and CRM invited to conduct level evaluation on the actual safety operation behaviors of these airline pilots, the present study examined the associations between risk tolerance, risk perception, hazardous attitudes and safety operation behaviors among airline pilots in China used a self-administered questionnaire survey. Structural equation modeling analyses and hierarchical regression analyses were applied to detect the effects of risk tolerance on safety operation behaviors among airline pilots as well as the mediating role of hazardous attitudes and the moderating role of risk perception in the effects of risk tolerance.
Results indicated that after controlling for the effects of age, educational level, position, and flight times, risk tolerance displayed a direct effect on safety operation behaviors of airline pilots, in which high-risk tolerance pilots were lower safety operation behaviors than their low risk tolerance counterparts. Risk perception served to moderate the association between risk tolerance and safety operation behaviors in that high risk perception weakened the negative association. Risk tolerance displayed an indirect effect on safety operation behaviors of airline pilots, which hazardous attitudes could fully mediate the relationship between risk tolerance and safety operation behaviors. That is, risk tolerance could affect safety operation behaviors among airline pilots through influencing hazardous attitudes. However, the mediating effect of hazardous attitudes was moderated by risk perception. High risk perception could actually protect airline pilots who were provided with high hazardous attitudes from low safety operation behaviors. In fact, hazardous attitudes, as a moderated mediator, had an effect on safety operation behaviors of airline pilots.
In sum, it is demonstrated that risk tolerance has a direct and indirect effect in the mechanisms underlying airline pilot’ safety operation behaviors. Meanwhile, risk perception and hazardous attitudes play important roles in the effect of risk tolerance on pilots’ safety operation behaviors in this study. These results imply that we could emphasize the low risk tolerance and high risk perception of candidates in pilot selection and could assist pilots with low safety operation behaviors by improving their risk tolerance levels, improving their hazardous attitudes, and helping them promote high risk perception levels.
Keywords airline pilot      risk tolerance      risk perception      hazardous attitude      safety operation behaviors     
Corresponding Authors: YOU Xu-Qun;JI Ming   
Issue Date: 30 November 2011
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JI Ming
YANG Shi-Yun
ZHAO Xiao-Jun
BAO Xu-Hui
YOU Xu-Qun
Cite this article:   
JI Ming,YANG Shi-Yun,ZHAO Xiao-Jun, et al. The Role of Risk Perception and Hazardous Attitudes in the Effects of Risk Tolerance on Safety Operation Behaviors among Airline Pilots[J]. , 2011, 43(11): 1308-1319.
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