Liberty Mutual Fellowships Awarded for PPE, Distracted Driving Research

The American Society of Safety Engineers Foundation announced that Lauren A. Murphy of Portland State University in Portland, Ore., and David G. Kidd of George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., are each recipients of the Liberty Mutual Research Fellowship, a program at the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety in Hopkinton, Mass. Murphy's research project will focus on the effects of social modeling on safety behavior, and Kidd's research project will look at changes in driver perceptions of distracted driving performance with practice.

Murphy is currently working on a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at PSU, where she also serves as a research assistant. In addition, she is a research consultant at the City of Portland Water Bureau. She will use the fellowship to examine the effects of social modeling on participants' safety behavior, specifically, wearing of personal protective equipment when the participants are not clearly told to engage in the safety behavior.

Kidd is currently working on a Ph.D. in Psychology/Human Factors and Applied Cognition at GMU, where he also serves as an instructor of Psychology, Graduate Statistics Lab. His research proposal for the fellowship outlines an empirical investigation of people's perceptions of their distracted driving performance, how that subjective perception differs from their actual driving performance, and their ability to adapt to distractions over time.

The goals of the Liberty Mutual Research Fellowship Program, funded by the ASSE Foundation, include encouraging research activity in the field of safety; familiarizing graduate students, faculty members, and other researchers with current research projects and up-to-date research models and applications to expand the body of knowledge; expanding and stimulating graduate students, faculty members, and others in understanding safety research; providing a forum for linking safety professionals, industry needs, and quality research programs; and laying the groundwork for graduate students and faculty members to pursue safety/health applied research projects of their choice. Fellows will spend four to six weeks this summer at the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety in Hopkinton.

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