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We examined the acceptable risk of self-driving vehicles (SDVs) compared with that of human-driven vehicles (HDVs) and the psychological mechanisms influencing the decision-making regarding acceptable risk through 4 studies conducted in China and South Korea. Participants from both countries required SDVs to be 4-5 times as safe as HDVs (Studies 1 and 4). When an SDV and an HDV were manipulated to exhibit equivalent safety performance, participants' lower trust in the SDV, rather than the higher negative affect evoked by the SDV, accounted for their lower risk acceptance of the SDV (Studies 2 and 3). Both lower trust and higher negative affect accounted for why participants were less willing to ride in the SDV (Study 3). These reproducible findings improve the understanding of public assessment of acceptable risk of SDVs and offer insights for regulating SDVs. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

Original publication




Journal article


J Exp Psychol Appl

Publication Date





692 - 704


Accidents, Traffic, Automobile Driving, Humans, Safety, Trust