Key Takeaways

- Perceived choice enhances self-motivation and self-directed behavior. It is key to effective participative management. Perceived choice is a unique quality of behavior-based safety.

- Perceived choice decreases risk compensation and increases response generalization. It is critical for motivating safe behavior with cognitive dissonance.

- Human welfare or subjective well-being is enhanced by the perception of personal choice, so people need to know how to increase perceptions of choice within themselves and among others. This article explains how to make this happen for OSH.

- The article also explores whether an OSH intervention can activate cognitive dissonance, and thereby increase a person’s self-accountability for injury prevention. The critical relevance of perceived choice is also discussed.

_

The freedom to choose is invaluable for human well-being and life satisfaction. But we often take this crucial human dynamic for granted without realizing the dramatic influence, or power, of perceived choice. Consider, for example, the extent to which the pleasure of a weekend break from a weekly work routine is determined by the opportunity to choose what to do each day and when to do it, from choosing when to awake in the morning to deciding your daily activities, some of which might require more energy and effort than what is required to accomplish typical work assignments. In other words, an individual’s greater enjoyment performing one task over another is often due to the perception of having more personal choice for that task.

Given that human welfare or subjective well-being is enhanced by the perception of personal choice, people must know how to increase perceptions of choice within themselves and among others—from young children and teenagers to family, friends and work colleagues. This article explains how to make that happen for OSH. While personal experience and common sense teach us the positive impact of perceived choice, psychological science has demonstrated the power of perceived choice in OSH-related situations, as explicated in this article.

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.