Personality and Trust in Automated Cars: A Correlation Study

Daniël Heikoop, Girish Kumaar Srinivasan Ravi Kumar, Arjan van Binsbergen, Marjan Hagenzieker

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractScientific



Automated driving systems (ADS) are exponentially increasing in occurrence and autonomy. Although general rules-of-thumb are slowly being adhered to regarding its human occupant—through Human-Machine Interfaces, take-over requests, etc.—different people respond differently to similar things. Currently, individualising ADS is trending, but no research investigated whether or to what extent different types of personality result in different levels of trust in ADS. This exploratory study asked 120 participants from around the world through an online questionnaire about their trust in ADS and assessed their personality, aimed at finding relations between personality traits and levels of trust in ADS.


Via an online crowd sourcing tool (Google CrowdSource), education platforms (university student association/notice boards), and social media (e.g., WhatsApp/Facebook), 120 participants from around the world filled out a questionnaire regarding trust in ADS. The survey included questionnaires on demographics, personality (Big Five Inventory; John et al. 1991; 2008), and trust in ADS (based on Jian and colleagues' [2000] questionnaire). Scores regarding level of trust were divided into five categories (very low to very high trust). A correlation analysis was performed for the Big Five Inventory and trust questionnaire scores per demographics variable.


In total, 120 participants from 20 different countries (83 male, age M=27, SD=10) filled out the questionnaire. 20 participants did not have a driving license, and 68 were student. A moderate correlation was found where females scoring high on conscientiousness and those scoring low on neuroticism scored high on trust. Perhaps more interestingly, several correlations between trust and personality were found to score close to zero, meaning no correlation whatsoever. All demographics combined, openness and extraversion were least correlated to trust.


Although commonly thought that the average early adopter of automated driving systems are relatively old, wealthy males (see e.g., Hardman et al., 2019), our results were incapable of confirming this stereotype. Instead, automated driving systems appear to be trusted equally, regardless of the users' personality or demographics. Depsite being a relatively small, exploratory study, these results are promising, and should be expanded. Further research should go more in-depth, investigating other criteria of personality, demographics, and/or trust.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventICTTP 2022: International Conference on Traffic and Transport Psychology - Gothenburg, Sweden
Duration: 23 Aug 202225 Aug 2022


ConferenceICTTP 2022


  • automated driving systems
  • trust
  • Big Five Inventory
  • online questionnaire
  • correlation


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