Signage

Can Induced Empathy Cause Behavioral Change? A Pilot Study of Alternative Signage to Reduce Accessible Parking Space Violations

A pilot study that tested the effectiveness of an empathy targeting sign on decreasing the number of parking violations in accessible parking spaces for people with disabilities was conducted in Fairfax County. Observational data was collected during a six-week A-B-A design. During the treatment period the empathy targeting sign was placed below the traditional signs at four accessible parking spaces. Although no statistically significant differences were observed in parking behaviors, notable trends in the desired direction were seen during the treatment period (a reduction in the number of violations and an increase in the number of potential violations where drivers seemingly changed their minds about parking in the accessible spaces).

Source Credit: Michael Waltrip, Ami Getu, (George Mason University), Michael Perel (Fairfax Area Commission on Aging)

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