Intolerance of ambiguity and achievement motivation of drivers



The article presents a theoretical analysis of cognitive, motivational and emotional components of road behavior of drivers of different sexes, due to their personal characteristics and existing stereotypes of perception of women-drivers in society. The article presents the results of empirical studies of the achievement motivation, inclination to risk and attitude to uncertainty of men and women drivers. Theoretical analysis suggests that male drivers are more risk-averse and more tolerant of uncertain situations in the traffic than women. At the same time, men in driving are more focused on achieving success, and women — on avoiding failure. An empirical study of 58 drivers (29 men and 29 women) showed that both men and women in driving demonstrate motivation for avoiding failure, however, the reasons for this are different. For women, they are linked to existing societal stereotypes about women’s ability to drive, and for men, to the complication of traffic and increased penalties for traffic violations. Male drivers risk appetite combined with a motive for avoiding failure. The study of attitudes to uncertainty revealed significant differences in the level of tolerance among drivers of different sexes, especially to the difficulty of the situation. We believe that women, due to existing stereotypes, perceive driving activity from the very beginning as more difficult than men, which also explains some of the features of their behavior on the road. The article presents recommendations on optimization of training in driving schools for drivers of different sexes

General Information

Keywords: traffic, drivers, achievement motivation, risk appetite, the attitude towards situations of uncertainty

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Litvinova E.Y., Makeeva S.A., Kharchenko M.A. Intolerance of ambiguity and achievement motivation of drivers. Sotsial'naya psikhologiya i obshchestvo = Social Psychology and Society, 2018. Vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 47–60. DOI: 10.17759/sps.2018090405. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Elena Y. Litvinova, PhD in Psychology, associate professor at the Chair of Management Psychology, Faculty of Social Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:

Svetlana A. Makeeva, MA in Psychology, Head of Department of marketing, OOO «Unik kosmetik», Moscow, Russia, e-mail:

Maxim A. Kharchenko, PhD in Physics and Matematics, Associate Professor, Chair of Psychology of Management, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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