Report 2:

My Understanding of Driving Psychology

By Mari Osakoda

Instructions for this report are at:

I am answering Questions 1, 2, 4, 7 and 10.


The Question I am answering is Question 1

Question 1:

(a) Consider Tables 1, 2, 3, and 4 in the Lecture Notes, in the Section on Driving Psychology Theory and Charts at Consult the article from which the Tables were taken.

Table 1 

Driver Behavior as Skills and Errors in Three Domains






I've got to be careful here. Don't want to cut anybody off.

This person looks like he's in a hurry to get in. I better let him in.

(Waving and smiling:) Go ahead.





I wish I could give that guy a piece of my mind.

I don't think people like that should be allowed on the road

(Yelling:) "You stupid idiot, why don't you watch where you're going!"

Table 2

Behavioral Zones of Driving


Affective Responsibility
in Driving
A3 (+ or -)

Cognitive Responsibility

in Driving
C3 (+ or -)

Sensorimotor Responsibility
in Driving
S3 (+ or -)

(7) altruism and morality

(16) egotism and deficient conscience

(8 )positive dramatizations and mental health

(17) negative dramatizations and insanity

(9) enjoyment and satisfaction
(18) stress and depression


Affective Safety
in Driving
A2 (+ or -)

Cognitive Safety
in Driving
C2 (+ or -)

Sensorimotor Safety
in Driving
S2 (+ or -)

(4) defensive driving and equity
(13) aggressiveness opportunism

(5) objective attributions
(14) biased attributions

(6) polite exchanges and calmness
(15) rude exchanges and overreaction

Affective Proficiency
in Driving
A1 (+ or -)

Cognitive Proficiency
in Driving
C1 (+ or -)

Sensorimotor Proficiency
in Driving
S1(+ or -)

(1) respect for regulations and self-control
(10) disrespect for authority and deficient self-control

(2) knowledge and awareness

(11) untrained and faulty thinking

(3) correct actions and alertness

(12) faulty actions and inattention

Table 3

Two Stages of a Driving Personality Makeover Plan


Stage 1--Avoiding Being an Aggressive Driver

Affective Level
Overcoming my resistance to change


Cognitive Level
Learning to do rational analyses of traffic incidents

Sensorimotor Level
Acting out civil behavior


  • committing myself to inhibit or mitigate states of anger and retaliation
  • making it acceptable for passenger to complain or make suggestions
  • making it unacceptable for myself to ridicule or demean other drivers
  • activating higher motives within myself such as love of order and fair play, public spiritedness, charity, kindness to strangers

          reasoning against  my attribution errors (It's always their fault.  It's never my fault)

         counteracting my self-serving bias in how I view incidents

         acquiring more socialized self-regulatory sentences I can say to myself

         waving, smiling, signaling

         not crowding, not rushing in, not swearing

         not aggressing against passengers

         pretending that I'm in a good mood even when not



Stage 2--Becoming a Supportive Driver

Affective Level
Maintaining a supportive orientation towards other drivers


Cognitive Level
Analyzing driving situations objectively

Sensorimotor Level
Behaving in a cooperative style


∑        feeling responsible for errors and seeking opportunities to make reparations

∑        feeling regret at my unfriendly behaviors and impulses

∑        feeling good about behaving with civility or kindness

∑        feeling appreciation when being given advice by passenger

∑        being forgiving of others' mistakes and weaknesses

∑        acknowledging and knowing my driving errors

∑        planning and rehearsing the modification of those habits

∑        analyzing other drivers' behaviors objectively or impartially



∑        anticipating the needs of other drivers and being helpful to them

∑        verbalizing nice sentiments

∑        enjoying the ride and relaxing





Table 4

The AWM Approach in Driver Self-Modification


∑        First step:  Acknowledging that I have this particular negative habit. (A)

∑        Second step:  Witnessing myself performing this negative habit. (W)

∑        Third step:  Modifying this habit. (M)


(b) Using your own words, describe the three behavioral domains and levels of a driver (nine cells).

††††††††††† The three behavioral domains of driving are affective, which are a drivers feelings and motivations while driving.Cognitive, the part of a driver that controls thoughts and reasoning; and finally sensori-motor which are the actions that people do while driving.The three levels of a driver are proficiency, mastering the basic skills of driving.Safety-thinking about the protection of the driverís car and lastly responsibility, the realization that driving is an act in which drivers need to be caring, and altruistic.†††


When a driver begins to drive their primary concern is efficiency in operating the car, following the rules of the road, and paying attention to what is going on around them.Safety, is the second level of a driver, where the driver has interactions with other vehicles on the road but is still mostly concerned with the safety of their own vehicle.The last level is responsibility, where a driver realizes that they are a part of a complex driving web in which the driver is considerate of the needs of other cars.A responsible driver is also able to deal with aggressive drivers with optimism and restraint.††


Three Behavioral Domains of a Driver

Levels of a Driver







I realize that I am part of a much larger system of drivers and must act accordingly.††

I will let this person in because they have been waiting to merge.

Waving, letting the driver know that they can go.


My car is the most important car on the road and I donít care about the needs of others.

I have to close this gap so the other car canít get in.

Following closely, not leaving space for other drivers.


There are so many things to remember while driving I hope I donít forget anything.

I have to press the gas and brake, put on my blinker, and stay in my lane.

Gripping the steering wheel, sitting straight, not having the radio on.


(c) Illustrate each domain with your own driving behavior skills and errors, or that of another driver you know well, or a driver in a particular movie.


When I started to drive all I could think about was donít crash the car, donít speed, and donít follow too closely there were so many things to remember!I remember feeling nervous every time I had to drive, I didnít want to drive on the freeway or go on the on ramps.I stayed on the surface streets and always followed the speed limit.My palms were always sweaty and my right leg muscles were sore because I was so tense when I was driving.


As I got to be a better driver I relaxed a little, I even turned on the radio so I could listen to music while I drove.My focus shifted from following the rules of the road and not crashing to being aware of others on the road.Although I was aware of the other cars I saw them as a danger to my safety and began to drive defensively.Other cars were the enemy, they were the ones that were preventing me from changing lanes, they followed too closely, and they made me nervous.


Now I think that I am somewhere in the middle of safe driver and responsible driver.Now I try to let people merge and thank people when they are nice to me.I am aware of the cars around me and, more importantly, of the people in them.Every car has somewhere to go and they all have a right to do so safely.I think of driving as a cooperative event in which masses of people must coordinate their actions to prevent accidents from occurring.


I have not done a total turn around in my driving behavior, there are days where I am cranky, tired, and donít feel like being such a nice driver.I honk my horn at people and curse at drivers when they do reckless things.I am aware of my behavior behind the wheel and I know that all of these things are wrong to do.Everyone cannot be a responsible driver all of the time, it would be impossible.That would only happen if we lived in a perfect world where there were no stress or distractions.


I think the most important thing to remember while driving is that there are not just cars on the road, but people too.If drivers would look at each car and see the people inside of it they would be less prone to drive aggressively.Every car on the road is just as important as all of the rest, no car has the right to impose on another car.††††

(d) Make up a "driving personality makeover" plan for yourself (or another driver you know well), relating specifically to negative thoughts you have about other road users.

††††††††††† I am very intolerant of people on the road who are in my own words, ďstupid.ĒThese ďstupidĒ drivers do a wide range of things, they donít pay attention to the road, they tailgate, they speed, and they talk on their cell phones.I realize that I let these drivers get to me and that my negative feeling towards them has a negative effect on my life.I wish that I was not so irritated with these people and that I could just ďlet it go.ĒSo the focus of my driving personality makeover plan is to realize that there are things that I cannot control so I shouldnít waste my time getting upset over them.

Stage 1-Avoiding Being an Aggressive Driver

Affective level

Overcoming my resistance to change.

Cognitive level

Learning to do rational analyses of traffic incidents

Sensorimotor Level

Acting out civil behavior

        Realizing that drivers make mistakes

        Grasp that I make the same mistakes as the drivers who I am getting upset at

        Being able to dismiss feelings of rage and hostility towards other drivers

        Reminding myself that I am not the most important car on the road

        Rationalizing behaviors that would cause me to become upset or impatient with other drivers

        Taking an objective look from the other carís point of view

        Neutralizing my aggressive thoughts with concern for the other driver

        Empathizing with the other driver

        Smiling, waving, giving the shaka sign

        Not making aggressive eye contact with other vehicles

        Not honking my horn unnecessarily



Stage 2-Becoming a Supportive Driver

Affective Level

Maintaining a supportive orientation towards other drivers

Cognitive Level

Analyzing driving situations objectively

Sensorimotor Level

Behaving in a cooperative style

        Accepting that other drivers are people who do not deserve to be aggressed upon

        Forgiving drivers when they make mistakes

        Be a helpful whenever possible

        Being a supportive passenger

        Giving the driver the benefit of the doubt

        Realizing that the driver had a good reason for their actions

        Recognizing that I am not a perfect driver and should not expect others to be perfect either

        Smile, and make eye contact when another driver helps me out

        Allow drivers to come into my lane when possible

        Encourage others to look at their negative driving habits and give tools to modify their negative behavior

(e) Discuss the problems you anticipate in carrying out such a plan successfully.

††††††††††† I have witnessed both of my parentís outbursts of anger while driving ever since I was a child.My parents are usually calm, level headed people but when they drive something inside of them changes and they become angry and impatient drivers.I am like that as well, usually calm and well mannered but when I drive something takes over me and I react without thinking.My quick anger response leads me to become angry with other drivers.This will be my biggest problem with my driving makeover.


Another problem that I anticipate is I have problem thinking before I act, especially in regards to driving.Anger and frustration are emotions where people often react without thinking and I hope this makeover will help me calm down and be able to react accordingly.I need to take the time to evaluate the situation and realize that it is not worth getting upset over.I have no control over other driverís actions so I am wasting my time getting upset over something that I canít control.†††

(f) Any other comments you wish to make.

††††††††††† I hope that this driving makeover works for me and that I become a better driver because of it.I would like to have greater control over my anger because I would not want my children to see me reacting in such an inappropriate manner.I would like to become a good role model for my children when I have them.If this does work I hope to spread the word to my friends and family so they can become more understanding drivers as well.


The Question I am answering is Question 2


(a) Give a brief review of our two textbooks: Road Rage and Aggressive Driving (James and Nahl), and Driving Lessons: Exploring Systems That Make Traffic Safer (Peter Rothe, Editor). The reviews should be between 3 and 6 paragraphs for each text.


Road Rage and Aggressive Driving was an enjoyable and informative book to read.It was written in a way that kept the reader interested and gave valuable insight into the world of Driving Psychology.The examples that are given in the book are easy to understand and are helpful in understanding what is being talked about.It covers a wide range of topics from supportive driving to children and road rage.


One thing that I really liked about the Road Rage book was that there were questionnaires that you could do while reading the book.I think that helps the reader become actively involved in the book and helps them to become a better driver by realizing some of their bad habits.The activities in the book help the concepts that are being talked about more real because the reader can evaluate their own behaviors and learn how to prevent them.


Road Rage and Aggressive driving is a book that I am going to keep and encourage other people to read as well.This book is a comprehensive guide to a variety of problems face while on the road and Dr. James and Dr. Nahl wrote the book in a way that is appealing to the general public.I think reading this book has helped my driving skills and has made me aware of my thoughts while I drive.


Driving Lessons:Exploring Systems That Make Traffic Systems Safer is a more technical book to read.It gives a lot of information on the three systems that all drivers come into contact with when they are driving.There is the personal sub-system, institutional sub-system and finally the technical sub-system.†† This book is good because it helped me realize that there are so many layers that are involved in the simple act of driving.


Driving Lessons covered a wide range of topics ranging from the topic of older drivers to red-light cameras.The studies in the book provided information that could be helpful in further studies of traffic safety.J. Peter Rothe choose articles that encouraged readers to think about the complex web of everyday things that link driving together.This book helped me realize that driving doesnít just impact the people on the road but everyone in society.


The focus of this book is to make roads safer but because most of the research took place in Canada there is little to no mention of the safety measures being taken in America.The book may have been more helpful if there were more studies in the book that took place in America.A vast majority of the studies were conducted in Canada so I do not know how those results would translate onto American drivers.


(b) Select one Chapter from each text and give a summary of it.

††††††††††† In Road Rage and Aggressive Driving I am giving a summary of Chapter 7-Children and Road Rage.I am doing this chapter because I never realized that the way that I behave in the car is a direct result of my upbringing.I drive the same way as my parents do and play the role as a passenger just as they do.


Children will copy everything they see and repeat everything that they hear.Parents need to be aware of their behavior at all times especially in the car.Parents sometimes forget that they are role models for their children, and when they forget they slip up and negative behaviors are learned.


Parents can encourage their children to be good passengers by acknowledging their positive behavior in the car and reinforcing it with small rewards.Verbal praise also works for encouraging positive behaviors.The best thing that a parent can do to encourage their children to be good passengers is be a good example.The important thing to remember is to be consistent, children need constant reminders and praise that they are doing a good thing.


Parents also need to emphasize the importance of being good pedestrians to their children.Children need to learn good habits, like crossing in the crosswalk and looking both ways before crossing the street.Children need to learn that the road is a dangerous place and there are severe consequences for not following the rules.Parents can help this process by stopping at stop signs and yielding to pedestrians crossing the street.†††††


In regards to the media parents should talk to their children about what they see on T.V., in movies, and in video games.Children ought to realize that things they see in the media are not accurate portrayals of real life.And that the people in shows and in the movies are only acting and the roads are filled with actors and professionals that are there to make sure no one gets hurt.


Parents are a childís first and most important teachers, it is their job to teach their children skills that will help them when they get older.Teaching a child to be a good passenger, driver, and pedestrian seem like impossible tasks to parents but they can be taught with good role modeling and consistency.I donít want my children to drive like me so I will do my best to be a good role model for them.


††††††††††† In Driving Lessons: Exploring Systems That Make Traffic Safer I have selected Chapter 19 to summarize.Is Using a Cell phone Like Driving Drunk?discusses on several studies that calculate the risk of talking on ones cell phone while driving.Talking on the phone while driving is a by-product of our ďtime is moneyĒ society.People use their cell phones to call loved ones to tell them to start diner, make appointments, call the office, and for social purposes.The question here is does talking on a cell phone as distracting as driving drunk?


To find this out the authors of this chapter Donald Redelmeier and Robert Tibshirani looked at several older studies to see of there is a correlation to talking on the phone and car crashes.When they looked at these studies they found that cell phone owners had fewer accidents then those who did not.They also compared the accident rates of the same drivers before and after they bought cell phones.The result was individuals had fewer accidents after they had bought a cell phone.


Confused with these results Redelmeier and Tibshirani decided to do their own study.In 1994-1995 drivers in Toronto who had been involved in an accident but not injured were studied.The results were drivers were prone to accidents if they had made a cell phone call during the ten minutes before the accident occurred.Furthermore, drivers increased their accident risk by 6.5 when they were using their cell phones.They also studied the results of using hands-free handsets, and the risk for that is 5.9.The authors concluded that the false safety that hands-free sets gives encourages drivers to talk on their phones for longer periods of time and increase their exposure risk.


Redelmeier and Tibshirani also looked into the time of day to see if there were increased risks at certain times.They also looked into see of the season affected the rate of accidents; there were no significant increases for either variable.In conclusion, they found that cell phones might be a distraction and recommend that cell phones be used in moderation.


In regards to the opening question if talking on a cell phone is equivalent to driving drunk the authors of the study say no.The average cell phone call while driving is two minutes while alcohol stays in the body for several hours.The question if talking on a cell phone is equivalent to drinking coffee, applying make-up or shaving has also been raised and the answer to that is also no.Although no research has been done on these other driving activities drinking coffee takes only seconds as opposed to talking on the cell phone, which could take minutes.


There are many distractions a driver must deal with while driving: the radio, other passengers, traffic, eating and drinking, the list goes on and on.Distractions while driving are common and drivers have to focus on their primary task, which is driving.More research needs to be done on how drivers deal with these distractions, not just the distractions themselves.


(c) Discuss in what way will these ideas contribute to solving society's driving problems.


††††††††††† Children will grow up to be drivers who will themselves have children.Parents should provide good role models so their children will learn what is acceptable behavior in the car.After children learn what is acceptable car behavior they have the knowledge and the tools to teach their own children the importance of vehicle safety behavior.


If parents do not provide adequate examples as to how their children should behave in cars and on the streets road rage and aggressive driving will worsen.There will be more incidents of road rage, more people will get hurt as a result of road rage and people will die.Also, children who do not understand the importance of traffic safety put themselves at risk of being hit by cars.


Parents should see the importance of driving safely and being good passengers so that their children will grow up to stop aggressive driving and road rage.Aggressive driving and road rage are by-products of our society, which emphasizes violence.Children must be taught the consequences of aggressive driving so they do not grow up and do it themselves.


††††††††††† Cell phones are here to stay, it is hard to find someone who does not have a cell phone.They are distractions to driving, but so are other people in the car, the radio, eating and drinking.Drivers who use cell phones need to be aware of the risk that cell phones pose so they can be smarter about choosing when to use their cell phones.


All drivers want to be safe while driving, many do not see talking on their cell phone as something that can be dangerous.More research needs to be conducted so cell phone manufactures, the police and legislators understand the effect that cell phones have on driving.Without conclusive evidence it is premature to blame cell phones for accidents and to enact laws banning their use.As more concrete evidence is found drivers can make a more informed decision about when to talk on their phones.††

(d) Any other comments you wish to make.

††††††††††† I choose these two chapters because they have issues that I felt were important to the future of driving safety.Children will grow up to be the next generation of drivers and I will do my part to make sure that my children will not be aggressive drivers.Cell phones are another issue that affects the future of driving.I hope that people will become more aware of how distracting cell phones are and use them with caution.

The Question I am answering is Question 4


(a) Select three of the following student reports from Generation 15:

1.                  *


3.                  *



6.                  *



(b) Summarize each of the three reports. Be sure you put a link to the report you are referring to.

††††††††††† All three of the below mentioned reports are on the Emotional Spin Cycle which refers to the positive and negative thoughts and the effect that they have on our actions.The understanding of ones Spin Cycle is important if a person wants a feeling of more control or understanding of how their thoughts and actions are related.


In the world today one of the main problems is not that people experience rage, anger, or depression; itís that they donít know how to deal with these emotions.Realizing that a person does have an ďEmotional Spin CycleĒ can be an effective tool in dealing with ones negative emotions.Through education and awareness of the ďEmotional Spin CycleĒ the public can be made aware of the triggers that cause them to experience these negative emotions.†††


The Emotional Spin Cycle is a result of personís upbringing; a child learns how to react to situations by observing their parents.The parents are not aware of their negative reactions and pass them on to their children.This is evident in the rise of rage and lack of self-control in our society today.


I have chosen to summarize report 1:

Jennifer Ah Sing did Report 1 on the ďEmotional Spin Cycle,Ē she used the Emotional Spin Cycle to better understand herself and to gain greater control over her emotions.†† Jennifer decided that she would track her emotions for two weeks to see if she could recognize any patterns in her ďEmotional Spin Cycle.Ē


In her first week she took a baseline sample of her general feelings of rage and anger. She wrote down her feelings, thoughts, and reactions to things in her life that stressed her out.Jennifer rated her feelings of stress, helplessness, anxiety and optimism on a scale of 1-10, 1 feeling stressed and helpless and 10 being relaxed and optimistic.


In the second week she analyzed the data that she collected during the first week.Jennifer realized that most of her negative feelings came from thinking about bigger projects, and thus stressing her out.Her stress the smaller things in life caused her to become angry, frustrated, and enraged.


At the end of the two weeks Jennifer acknowledged that she needed to stop and think about what was really bothering her and how if affected her interactions with other people.In the end Jennifer realized that coping with her emotions, and not just reacting to them made her life a lot easier.She also realized how helpful this method was and that she wanted to share it with others.


††††††††††† Second report that I summarized was:

Like Jennifer, Natalia also did her report of the Emotional Spin Cycle that was covered in Dr. Jamesís class.Natalia believes that through education that people can be in control of their emotions and can pass their good habits on to their children.


Natalia chose to monitor her behavior at home for the next eight days; she chose her home because that is where she experienced most of her rage episodes.She wanted to modify her threefold self- her cognitive, affective and sensory motor self to better understand herself.††


Along with the self-monitoring system and the three-step method Natalia also used something called the bridge technique.The bridge technique focuses on the threefold self and its interactions with the self and others.The bridge is divided into two parts, the self, (depicted in blue) and others (depicted in red).The self and others are divided again into two parts: the negative and positive.So there are four types of interactions:positive blue or negative blue self-interactions and positive or negative red others interactions.


So the purpose of the bridge is to have the person cross over from the negative side to the positive side.Natalia used the bridge to transform her negative thoughts into positive ones and she vowed not to let the small things in life impact her overall happiness.So with the self-monitoring and integrating the bridge method Natalia began to realize how her feelings affect her thoughts, which can then influence her actions.


The self-monitoring helped Natalia realize that she is an emotional person and often reacts without analyzing her feelings and thoughts about the situation before reacting.She doesnít let lifeís little annoyances get in the way of enjoying the rest of her day.Now she hopes to pass this information on to her friends to help them deal with their negative emotions.

The last report that I am summarizing is:

Like Jennifer and Natalia, Nicole also did her report on the Emotional Spin Cycle.Along with the self-monitoring and threefold self-Nicole focused on her negative feelings and how they relate to her daily life as well as her interactions with her son.In her self-monitoring in week one I noticed a pattern, Nicole was most frustrated and upset when her son didnít listen to her or made her late.She said she yelled at her son a lot during the first week and that made her more upset and didnít help the situation any.


During the second week Nicole acknowledged that yelling at her son would not help the situation and would try to modify the way she talked to him.When Nicole didnít yell she was amazed at how easily she son listened.When Nicole was able to control her anger she found that everything went better for her.The small things in life didnít bother her as much and she was a more positive person.Nicole successfully crossed over the bridge into the positive side.†††



(c) Add a General Conclusion Section in which you discuss your reactions to what they did Ė


(i) their ideas,

Jenniferís ideas about the Emotional Spin Cycle were she thought that it was important for society as a whole to be aware of their thoughts so that they can be more responsible for their actions.She believed that more people needed to be educated about the Spin Cycle so there could be less negativity in the world.††


Natalia wanted to not dwell on the unimportant annoyances that ruin her day and cause her to behave negatively.She wanted to improve her behavior at home and in her daily life.As Natalia became aware of her anger she modified her thinking to not allow herself to be so angry and to not let her anger be reflected in her actions.As her thoughts became more positive, so did her behavior.


Nicole was very stressed in the beginning of the self-monitoring exercise and she hoped that the Emotional Spin Cycle would help her be more relaxed at work and with her son.She focused on the negative side of the Spin Cycle and hoped by the end to have crossed over to the positive side.In the end she was able to cross over on to the positive side by realizing that she shouldnít let the little frustrations in life ruin her whole day.††

(ii) their method,

Jennifer wrote down her emotions for one week, three times a day for a total of twenty-one reports on her thoughts, emotions, feelings and actions.She reported any intense feelings that she had and wrote them down as soon as she could.Also, she used a global rating scale, from 1-10, 1 being with little positive thoughts or hope and 10 being the opposite, positivity and hopeful thoughts.During the second week she choose several points from her previous observations and focused on changing specific feelings.After she identified these specific feelings that she wanted to change she wanted to ďbridgeĒ these negative thoughts into positive thoughts.Her last step was to recognize her changes in her thoughts, feelings, and emotions from the negative side to the positive side.


Natalia self monitored her behavior for eight days and incorporated the three-step method, witness, acknowledge, and modify to gather her data.She specified one intense emotion that she felt during the morning, afternoon and evening time, Natalia wrote down what she was feeling and what her body was experiencing.She also used to global rating scale (1-10) to measure her stress levels, self satisfaction, productivity, relations with others, hope for the future and level of negativity.She also used the bridge technique to help her focus on how to cross over from the negative side to the positive side.


Nicole, like Jennifer and Natalia concentrated on getting from the negative side of the bridge to the positive side.She used the three-step method and global rating scales to rate her levels of emotionality.She did this three times a day and wrote down what was the cause of her stress, frustration, or anger and what she did about it.Her first week was monitoring and recording her thoughts, feelings, and actions and her second week focused on changing her negative feelings to positive ones.†††††††


All three of the girls found that they were controlled by the emotional spin cycle; they learned that through self-monitoring and the three-step method that their negative emotions could be controlled and modified into positive ones.They all found the method helpful to changing the way that they interpret and react to the world around them.


(iii) their explanations.

Many people in the population let their negative emotions get the best of them.They let the small irritations in life ruin their day.They walk around with hostility and anger towards the rest of the world.They are aware of their negative thoughts and behaviors but do not know how to change their thinking.


People need to be aware of their negative emotions and how to change these negative thoughts into positive ones.If the majority of the population is stuck in their negative states of mind, this leads to stress, grouchiness, hostility, irritation, and hopelessness.The Emotional Spin Cycle helps people monitor their behavior and makes them aware of the changes they can make to make their lives more enjoyable.†††††


(d) What did they gain from doing their reports?

††††††††††† The girls gained insight into their thought process and behavior patterns.They all made significant progress in crossing over the bridge onto the positive side.They realize that the experiment was just the beginning of a new way of evaluating their thoughts and actions.All of the girls want to educate others on the importance of learning the Emotional Spin Cycle.


Jennifer realized that one personís behavior could affect the other people that they come into contact with.Negativity can spread like a disease, passing from one person to the next.Monitoring her behavior helped Jennifer stop her negative thoughts, evaluate the situation, and respond in a more appropriate manner.


Natalia gained greater control over her emotions, and realized how her emotional behavior had a negative impact on the people around her.She gained greater stability in her emotionality, and was more optimistic and rational, which increased her overall happiness.Natialia became a more self-aware person who has greater control over her life now.


Nicole had a positive experience; it helped her at her work, with relations with her son and in her daily life.She felt less stress, was more productive, felt better about herself and had a brighter outlook on life then she had before.Her relationship with her son improved too, she reacted calmly and in a more controlled manner, which minimized the time, she spent scolding and yelling at him.Nicole wants her son to remember her as being a loving, not yelling parent and she hopes to keep up her positive interactions with him.


(e) How do their ideas influence what you yourself think about these issues?


The three reports were so positive; each girl had a life-changing experience with the self-monitoring that it made me want to try it.It seemed like all of the girls became better people as a result of taking part in the Emotional Spin Cycle experiment.I need to be aware of how my actions affect others, especially because I work with children.I would like to be a good role model for them and be remembered as someone who was fun and happy.I often get upset at little things and take my anger out on people who donít have anything to do with the situation.There are times when I wonder what would have happened if I had just took the time to evaluate the situation.


Because I do work with children and that can be frustrating at times I would like to learn a new way to cope with my frustration so I donít take it out on the children.One of the good things about the Customizing My Emotional Spin Cycle is that it uses the threefold self and self-monitoring in its method of observation.I have started to use both of these

methods and they have helped me become more aware of my behavior as a driver.I try to integrate this method into my daily life.†††


(f) Any other comments you wish to make.


††††††††††† Through greater education about the Emotional Spin Cycle more people can make life changes to make their lives easier.


The Question that I am answering is Question 7

Question 7:

(a) Our textbook Road Rage and Aggressive Driving has checklist exercises in several chapters. Do the following four exercises:

(i) Exercise on How Passenger-Friendly Are You on p.184-5
(ii) Exercise on Witnessing Your Aggressive Driving on p. 140-3
(iii) Exercise on Your Road Rage Tendency on p. 40-42
(iv) Exercise on Your Verbal Road Rage Tendency on p. 91

(b) What were your reactions to each exercise?

(i)Checklist: Do You Support Passenger Rights In Your Car?

††††††††††† I think that I am considerate of my passengers in my car.I donít drive in a reckless manner or take pleasure in scarring them.I will take as many bathroom and food breaks that my passengers ask for.I treat my passengers with courtesy because that is the way that I would like to be treated when I ride in their car.


The rule in my car is: ask and you shall receive.If you would like to change the radio station, just ask. If you would like to turn the air conditioning on or off, all you have to do is ask.I do get upset when people do things without asking.This is because I would never change anything in a personís car without asking first, and I expect the same consideration when they are in my car.


As far as direction giving goes, as long as you tell me nicely and donít yell its fine with me.I donít know all of the roads in Hawaii so I will ask if for directions if donít know where I am going.I get annoyed when someone is giving me directions and goes, ďTurnÖright now!You missed it!ĒI am not a mind reader and if someone is giving me directions they should know when the turn is coming up.I also donít like to be yelled at when I drive, it rattles me and distracts me from driving.


I change my driving style to accommodate my passengers, I drive carefully when I have passengers in my car.With my friends and boyfriend I drive pretty much the same way as I would if I were alone.When my family comes into my car I make sure I follow every sign exactly.Especially with my Grandma, I take special care not to rattle her around in my car and to make sure that she feels safe.I also drive very carefully with my father because he is the one who taught me how to drive.I feel that I have to do an extra good job to impress him with my driving skills.

(ii)Checklist:Witnessing Your Aggressive Driving

††††††††††† After completing this checklist I was surprised for find that I didnít have many of the items checked off.The items that applied to me were about witnessing my emotions, I realize that I am a very emotional driver with bad habits.If I donít control my emotions I could become an aggressive driver and road rager.My high emotionality makes me worry because I donít think when I am emotional, I just react, this could cause problems for me not only in regards to driving but in other parts of my life.I need to take hold of my emotions and not allow myself to react so quickly.†††


I get angry when other motorists force me to brake, and am suspicious when other drivers donít let me into the lane, I feel satisfaction when I retaliate against another driver, and I stereotype certain drivers.I need to change my behavior because there is no point in getting angry over something that I have no control over.

(iii)Checklist:Your Road Rage Tendency

††††††††††† My score was six, which means that I have moderate road rage habits.I realize that I have some aggressive habits when I drive but I justify this by saying that I mostly have aggressive thoughts and not actions.I realize now that having aggressive thoughts can lead to road rage so I hope to control my emotions when I drive.I hope to be the kind of driver that is calm and level headed, and a good role model for others who ride in my car.†††

(iv)Checklist:Your Verbal Road Rage Tendency

††††††††††† I checked off almost all of the items for this checklist, which did not surprise me at all.I know that I swear a lot when I drive and I use derogatory statements when people do things that endanger the safety of my car and me.I think that verbal road rage is acceptable because no one else hears it besides me.Itís just me in the car most of the time and making a comment or degrading the other driver doesnít hurt anyone.


I do realize that it is a bad habit that I have and I would like to stop it because I donít want to be the mother who swears when her children are in the car with her.I see the harm in this pattern of negativity and I am trying to stop my verbal road rage by using the AWM Approach in Driver Self-Modification.I acknowledge that I have a verbal road rage problem.I witness myself doing it when I get upset at drivers, and I am trying to modify this habit.I try to substitute other words for profanities when I drive and people make me upset.I have started a swear jar that I have in my car and I make myself put a quarter in it each time I swear while driving.

(c) Discuss how these exercises help you to become more aware of yourself as a driver.

††††††††††† I knew that I had some bad habits when I drove but I didnít realize that I had such a severe verbal road rage problem.Now that I know that I have such a problem I have taken the steps to try and control it.I now realize that my negative thoughts while driving could lead to road rage and aggressive driving in the future.I am aware of my negative thoughts and am trying to change my attitude towards other drivers.


In regards to the way I treat my passengers I feel that I do a pretty good job at keeping them safe and happy when they ride in my car.I am accommodating to them as long as they ask nicely.The only thing that I need to work on is tolerance when people donít give good directions.I need to be more patient with my passengers when they are trying to help me get somewhere and more understanding as a driver.

(d) Do some of the exercises with another driver you know. How do they help you understand some principles of driving psychology mentioned in the book? Discuss and illustrate.

††††††††††† I asked my boyfriend to do the verbal road rage tendency checklist and passenger rights checklist.The principle that he demonstrates is the self-serving bias, he doesnít think that he exhibits verbal road rage at all even though I have heard him numerous times say demeaning and aggressive things about other drivers.He even says things when he has his window down and the other driver can hear him.


He does not see himself as a verbally aggressive driver at all, his lack of insight into his true emotions and actions are exhibited.He experiences the feelings of road rage but when I ask him about it or tell him what I learned in class he is not interested.I once asked him to rate his driving skill on a scale of 1-10 and he said that he was a 10!When I told him that drivers who rate themselves as good drivers also say they engage in aggressive driving he totally dismissed me.


I have asked him numerous times to stop being a verbally aggressive driver but no matter how many times I talk to him he still denies that he has a problem.I donít know what it will take for him to realize that he has a problem with verbalizing his aggression.I have the tools to help him but he just doesnít listen.

(e) Any other comments you wish to make.

††††††††††† I would like to ask everyone that I know all of the questionnaires, I would like to encourage people to think about their driving behavior.I tell my mom, dad, friends, and boyfriend about the things that I learn in my driving psychology class.They seem interested because it is a topic that affects their lives.This would be a way for them to understand what I do in class because most of them have never heard of driving psychology before.

I would like to take the things that I have learned and make others aware of what road rage is and how they can prevent it from happening.Most people donít think that psychology is important and donít see how they can benefit from learning about psychology.Everyone drives or is somehow impacted by driving in their lives.Education about driving psychology can help people be more aware of their driving behavior.When they take the time to objectively look at their negative driving behaviors they have taken the first step to becoming supportive drivers.

Question 10:

(a) Explain the "supportive driving" orientation in relation to the driver's threefold self. Refer to our book on Road Rage and Aggressive Driving where this concept is discussed.

††††††††††† What makes a good driver?Most people think that a good driver is a defensive driver.Defensive drivers are able to anticipate what they think the other car is going to do and ďdefendĒ their car against harm.Defensive drivers view other cars as the enemy-someone that intends to do harm to their car.This mentality leads to feelings of hostility, aggression, impatience, and suspicion of other cars.


††††††††††† A true good driver is a supportive driver they give other drivers the benefit of the doubt and are optimistic in their driver mentality.They key to being a supportive driver is redirecting feelings of hostility and anger into more pro-social thoughts and actions.Supportive drivers are able to self-monitor their thoughts and are conscious of their negative thoughts.They are able to change negative thoughts into positive and optimistic thoughts that do not place blame onto other drivers.


††††††††††† The three-step driver self-improvement program helps drivers modify any negative driving behavior.Acknowledge is the first step, where the driver realizes that they have a bad driving habit that needs to modified.The second step is witness, where the driver witnesses their behavior while driving and impartially evaluates their thoughts, feelings and actions to determine the severity of their negative driving behavior.The third step is modifying, where the driver takes small steps to change their undesirable behaviors.


††††††††††† Acknowledging that a driver has a negative habit is the first and hardest step in the three-step method.Most habits are subconscious and have been learned over time, they become a part of our daily lives that we donít even notice them.The driver must not make generalized statements like, ďI will try to be a better driver.ĒThese kinds of statements do not help the driver realize their specific negative behaviors; specific statements such as, ďI will try and not give people the finger.Ē Is a statement that pinpoints one negative behavior to be modified.


††††††††††† The second step is witnessing, self-witnessing specific behaviors such as speed, distance between cars, yelling, making rude gestures, and not signaling.Verbalizing and critically thinking about what causes a driver to become aggressive on the road helps the driver in changing his or her negative thought pattern to a more positive one.The driver is encouraged to think about what their mood is, what they were noticing, how they reacted, and what they intend to do about their negative thoughts.

††††††††††† Self-witnessing can be done in a number of different ways, the driver can place a tape recorder in their car, put beads or coins into a jar to keep track of the occurrence of aggressive driving, or write in a journal or log book when they arrive at their destination.Keeping track of driversí negative thoughts, feelings, and actions helps create a baseline to which changes can be monitored over time.With this baseline of events that creates hostility the driver can then focus on a few behaviors that they would like to change.


††††††††††† In the modifying step the driver is encouraged to take small steps to prevent their hostility on the road.Making a list of specific behaviors that need to be modified and working on one or two each time they drive makes a daunting task seem easier to do.Also, simple things like leaving a few minutes earlier can really help a driver in being a supportive driver.Rushing cause drivers to not care about the needs of others, when adequate time is available drivers feel more relaxed and are more inclined to display altruistic behaviors towards other drivers.


A byproduct of self-witnessing is a greater sense of self-knowledge, being able to see yourself objectively.When the driver is aware of their emotions and feelings they have the ability to regulate their aggressive behavior.This is a valuable skill that can help a person in other aspects of their lives besides driving.

(b) Describe any resistance you experience regarding this orientation, including

(i) the idea that how you drive is a moral issue of human rights
(ii) the idea of lifelong driver education and the idea of mandatory participation in QDC support groups

††††††††††† I believe that drivers need to be more considerate of one another and think of the needs of others every once in a while.I donít think that the general public would be so open to this idea.People are self-centered and think that their needs are the only ones that matter.Altruism once in a while may be tolerated but it would be naive to think that all drivers have the ability to become supportive drivers.

††††††††††† Most drivers who think that they are good drivers also recognize that they drive aggressively.These drivers are a majority of the population who are not very willing to even recognize that they are bad drivers.Even if they were to realize that they do have an aggressive driving problem they wouldnít know where to go for help.

††††††††††† Everyone is different when it comes to driving, some people are passive and others are aggressive.It is our choice of how we want to drive, and unless the police are called in most aggressive drivers will continue to drive recklessly and endanger the lives of others.Telling people how they have to drive is not a violation of human rights; itís a matter of public safety.All people have a right to be safe when they drive, cross the street, ride their bikes, or do anything related to the road.

††††††††††† I think that lifelong drivers education is a good idea, if a person drives for most of their adult life they are bound to forget some of the rules of the road.Drivers should be required to attend refresher courses in driving safety and education.As drivers age they should be taught about the increased risks that older drivers have to deal with while driving.New drivers should have special classes to teach them about the importance of emotional intelligence, road rage, and the dangers of racing and drunk driving.

(c) Describe the reactions of friends when you tell them about driving personality makeovers

††††††††††† When I told some of my friends about driving personality makeovers they almost laughed in my face.They thought that no one would take the time to change their driving behavior unless the government ordered it or drivers got something out of it, like money or reduced insurance.They thought that people are too busy to take the time to objectively look at their driving behavior and create a makeover plan that they would stick to.All of my friends were unanimous in saying that driving personality makeovers were a dumb idea.

††††††††††† I tried to help them to understand how big a problem road rage and aggressive driving are and how so many lives could be saved if people underwent a driving personality makeover.My friends said that personality is something that you are born with and nothing can change it.You canít make over personality because it is something innate and ingrained into a person.

††††††††††† I couldnít make my friends understand the importance of driving personality makeovers because they didnít think it was possible to change a large part of a personís life.They have the misconception that changing unwanted behaviors takes up too much time and no one has that kind of time to devote to change.I think the problem is people are so set in their ways that they donít even realize that they have bad habits that need to be changed.

(d) Anything else you have to say.

††††††††††† I believe that people need to take an objective look at their driving behavior in order for them to realize that they have a problem.The public is not aware of how big the problem of road rage is.They also donít think that they are aggressive drivers; denial is the thing that keeps aggressive drivers from getting the help that they need.If people were required to take classes on aggressive driving more people would be aware of the problem and try to change their negative behaviors.


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