Five minutes. Attitudes, empathy and self-esteem levels of people who park illegally in disabled spaces

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O'Driscoll, Conor
Issue Date
BA (Hons) in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The aim of this study was to investigate if the variables of; attitudes to disabled persons or designated parking spaces, correlated with the variables of self esteem or empathy. Additionally, participants who parked in designated spaces without a permit were invited to state why. Specifically the construct of convenience was examined in relation to parking behaviour. A mixed method quantitative and qualitative survey design was undertaken. Participants (N=113) were invited to complete self reporting questionnaires online or in hard copy format. No significant correlations were demonstrated between the main variables. However analysis did demonstrate that convenience was a significant reason for misusing designated spaces. The element of cognitive dissonance was demonstrated quantitatively through a Cramers V analysis and also qualitatively. Overall 89.3% of participants agreed it is unethical to misuse designated parking, 73.9% of those who did misuse spaces believed it was unethical to do so. Author keywords: Disability, self-esteem, empathy, attitudes cognitive dissonance