Report 2:
My Understanding of Driving Psychology
By Jessica Trujillo
Instructions for this report is at:
www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy23/409a-g23-report2.htm 
I am answering Questions 2, 4, 5, 7 and 10.

 

The Question I am answering is Question 2:

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. Then select one chapter from each text and give a summary of it.  Then select one chapter from each text and give a summary of it, and give any comments you would like to make.

A.        Road Rage and Aggressive Driving by Dr. James is a book that goes in depth into the world of driving.  It begins presenting the reader with what aggressive driving is, and how to realize whether or not you are an aggressive driver.  It also gives some brief advice on how to protect you from the aggressive drivers that are out there.  There are some check lists throughout  the book that ask questions that will get you thinking about weather or not you have a tendency to be aggressive and have road rage.  They are basically self realization reports.  

Through the book, Dr. James talks about aggressive driving and how it can affect health.  He guides the reader’s attention to drivers on TV and in video games and how that can influence everyday life.  He discusses differences in genders and why driving makes us as humans so angry.  He gives advice on how to control your emotions while behind the wheel.  He goes into what can cause road rage on the highway including but not limited to traffic, the unpredictability of the other drivers, and how action such as venting can be harmful to ones health.

Dr. James talks about various types of drivers which include passive-aggressive, verbal rage, epic road rage, rushing and competitive drivers.  He offers checklists to help the reader understand themselves.  He goes into emotional intelligence of the driver and gives a three step driver self improvement program which includes acknowledging, witnessing, and modifying the driver behavior.  He talks about children and road rage, and offers advice on how to make them supportive drivers when then can get behind the wheel.

He talks about supportive driving, and the steps and benefits of becoming a supportive driver, as well as to always have lifelong driver’s education.  He also covers the future of driving including the presence of legislation in driving as well as police and speed traps and whether they are effective.  He discusses the influence of music, food and cell phones in the driving world.  Overall the book is an excellent presentation of the causes and effects as well as what can be done with driving aggressively.

Driving Lessons: Exploring Systems That Make Traffic Safer by Peter Rothe is a great book that essentially discusses three subsystems; personal, institutional and technical subsystems.  Throughout the book he uses many authors to help him write this book.

Within the personal subsystems the book talks about how the brain mechanisms can be involved in the driving task, but he stresses the point that traffic behavior must be seen as a systemic product rather then a product of individual behavior. The book also goes into detail discuss factors that are considered stressors and how we as drivers can learn to deal with them instead of becoming more aggressive because of them.  The book goes into discusses the affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor aspects of driving. 

Within the personal sub-system section it continues to discuss the innovations in injury control, where it talks about how crashes not only affect the individual but they also affect the community.  Which relates to another topic that is presented which is how family and friends can influence the risks one takes while driving.  This section also discusses the differences in rural versus urban driving which are extremely interesting.  It concludes this section with the identities of drivers at certain ages; discussing the children, teens, adults, and elderly. 

Within the institutional subsystem section is covers things such as the interaction between driver and the dispatchers and the sides of both.  Both of them struggle to see each others side.  The dispatcher is all about the profit and getting the product at the specified destination as soon as possible.  The trucker on the other hand needs to follow the laws of the road and follow the speed limits yet needs to drive on little to no sleep to meet the deadlines.  The author presents this topic with a lot of information and it is very interesting. 

The institutional subsystem section also contains information on why MADD is involved in court monitoring and the effects it plays on cases where there is an impaired driver.  According to the book, they have found that court monitoring increase the likelihood of convictions, decreases the likelihood of dismissals and for repeat offenders will lengthen the jail sentences.  The author also outlines what is contained in an effective court monitoring system. 

This section continues to talk about how driving isn’t only affecting the driver, but also the work place and the community.  Later on the word ‘skills’ is defined and it about the skills of the driver and a model of different types of skills is presented.  An interesting idea of presenting traffic safety in public schools is also presented in this section.  Overall this book has great information and can be very valuable to anyone who would like to learn about a wide range of information. 

The technical subsystem goes into detail about things like geographic information systems, and system design for roads.  It talks about how GIS can and will be used for mapping out hazardous areas on the roads so that drivers can avoid those specific areas.  This sections also talks about how they have done studies on cell phone usage, and whether or not it is just as bad as driving under the influence.  They found that many factors can play into it, and it isn’t just the physical act of talking on the phone. 

This section continues to talk about things like red light cameras and whether or not they are beneficial or harmful.  Then it concludes with where driving psychology and studies are headed.

B.  Chapter one in Road Rage and Aggressive Driving by Dr. James is titled “Driving in the Age of Rage”.  It discusses whether or not rage is for real or more of a media hype.  The chapter starts off with many examples of different stories on the rage of drivers.  The stories are very extreme and frightening.  Dr. James talks about the affect rage can have on the death toll.  And how even though the cars and the medical equipment is better and safer, the death toll isn’t changing. 

Dr. James continues talking about how we are living in a culture that is so disrespectful, and it flows into how we drive.  He discusses solutions and gives tips on how we can develop emotional literacy and how we can protect ourselves from aggressive drivers.  At the end of the chapter, Dr. James offers a checklist that can reveal your road rage tendency.  It is very eye opening.

Chapter nineteen in Driving Lessons edited by Peter Rothe is titled “Is Using a Cell Phone like Driving Drunk?”  This chapter was extremely interesting, and was written by Donald A. Redelmeier and Robert J. Tibshirani.  There is a stereotype that people think, and it is that using a cell phone is VERY bad when you drive.  According to some studies that were researched, and some of their own research, they found interesting results.

They did a case study, where they surveyed people who had been in an accident that had significant damage, but no personal injury.  Of those people, they found that majority of them had made a call or been on the phone the ten minutes prior.  I assumed that these would be the results.  Then they looked into hand free cell phones to see if they are any less distracting then regular hand held phones.  They found that there is not a significant difference between the two.

It went into some of the confounding variables, which included length of time cell phone was owned. They found that people, who owned their cell phone for longer then five years, decreased their risk by two points.  They also wanted to find out whether talking to passengers was just as bad as talking on the phone.  They found that it isn’t, and that it could actually be beneficial.  This is because passengers can be vigilant and understand when a driver has stopped talking.  This was a very interesting chapter.

C.  I think that these two books together cover so much information, and give so many examples and solutions, that if people will take the time to read them, and start observing themselves and changing the way they drive, we will see improvements as a whole in society. 

Specifically, observing and knowing your drivers threefold self, and observing your driver techniques.  After there is a realization there, for example if you are an aggressive driver and you realize that, then you can do the driver personality makeover and try to become more of a supportive driver.  If everyone in society can attempt to do this, I think that we will see a lot less deaths in the year, and we will see improvements across all boards.

D. These books are great reads for anyone who is interested in learning about the causes and effects of driving

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The Question I am answering is Question 4:

Select three student reports from Generation15, and summarize each of the three reports. Be sure you put a link to the report you are referring to. Add a General Conclusion Section in which you discuss your reactions to what they did; their ideas, their method, their explanations. What did they gain from doing their reports? How do their ideas influence what you yourself think about these issues? Any other comments you wish to make.

A)  Report #1- http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bf2001/shellgirl/report2.htm

B) Summary- The first report I chose to do was by the alias Shell87.  She begins by explaining that this report is an extension of her report one, and that to completely understand the emotion spin cycle that she will be discussing, you should read her first report.  She says, “The emotional spin cycle consists of four zones, two positive zones, two negative zones, a self zone and an other‘s zone.  Within each zone there are three settings consisting of the threefold self, the affective (feeling), the cognitive (thinking) and the sensorimotor (doing) setting.”

She continues to explain that she monitored her emotional cycle three times a day (morning, afternoon, and evening).  After she collected data, the point was to evaluate and modify her behavior using the three step method.  Those steps include acknowledging, witnessing, and modifying the behavior.  After week one, she tried modifying her negative emotions in the afternoon and evening, and she was actually able to be more positive by using the three step method.  She said the bridge technique really helped her.

C) General Conclusion:

1.  Ideas- After her first week, she had an idea to try to modify her negative feelings in the afternoon and evening.  She tried to be more productive instead of staying at a friend’s house and debating on whether or not to do the things that she previously committed to. 

2.  Method- In order to modify her afternoon negative attitude, she had to consciously choose to be more positive.  It is evident that she was trying because when she records her feelings the second week, they improved.

3.  Explanation- The explanation of the change can clearly be seen in her report because of her excellent data collection, and her record keeping.  By recording the date and time of each log, it makes it easier for the reader to actually see the transformations.

D) What did they gain?        

Not only did she gain the opportunity to self-witness her actions, but she also had the opportunity to consciously change that.  Although she clearly states that it took a lot of work to consciously do it everyday, she said that this would be a great technique to do with any behavior modification.

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

I have always thought that people have control over their own actions, and should take responsibility for them.  I think that this report strengthened that opinion.

F)  Further comment- none

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A)  Report #2- http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409af2001/sophie/report2.htm

B) Summary- The next report I choose to do was Sophie’s report.  She also introduced her paper much like the first report I reviewed, except for she went into detail on American society and how this report not only helped her, but also could help the society as a whole; changing their negative thoughts into positive ones.  She goes into how psychology is very useful, and how if this activity is implemented into everyday life, it can produce emotionally intelligent people.

C) General Conclusion:

1.  Ideas- Surprisingly, this student only had 3 negative feelings in two weeks!  To me that is a very positive person.  Her idea was that she was leading a very stress free, laid back life.  She works with animals, and had to give her turkey away to be eaten, so she obviously had negative thoughts there.  She also trains dogs, so she was nervous about getting her dog into obedience school, and she was also late to a test she even left early for. 

2.  Method- She used the blue and red bridge methods to help her through the times that were the worst in the last three weeks.

3.  Explanation- Her explanations for her negative feelings seem very valid to me, and she gives detailed accounts and what happened and why she felt the way she did every time she had a negative thought.

D) What did they gain?

She gained the tool to help her transform the very few negative thoughts she had into positive ones.  She said that she feels that this tool is a great way to understand the premise of the threefold self, the emotional spin cycle, bridging for negative to positive, and self-witnessing.  She highly recommends this to anyone who wants to establish a positive thinking routine.

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

Her report made me feel really negative compared to her, because I probably have three negative thoughts every hour!  It is hard for me to believe that someone can only have three negative thoughts in two weeks.  I do agree though, that your actions will follow your thoughts.

F)  Further comment- none

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A)  Report #3- http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bf2001/reaves/report2.html

B) Summary- The third report I chose what by Nicole Reaves.  She also starts her report off in the same way the previous two students did.  And she also goes into detail why identifying your emotional spin cycle is beneficial to society and individually.  She talks about her son’s school and how they are helping him to be more emotionally aware of his attitude and actions.  She thinks this is great.

C) General Conclusion:

1.  Ideas- She wanted to admit that she was negative more then she was positive, and try to acknowledge and modify her actions so that she could be on the more positive side of the circle. 

2.  Method- She used the three fold method just like everyone else.  She recorded her feelings and the actions she was doing with them three times daily.

3.  Explanation- She was able to change her negative actions but acknowledging, witnessing, and modifying her behavior.  This is easily explained through her detailed summary of her feelings.

D) What did they gain?

She gained a more controlled, positive relationship with her son by thinking before she said anything.

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

            It shows me that it can sometimes be very hard to change old habits.

F) Further comment- none

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The Question I am answering is Question 5:

Consider Table 5 in the Lecture Notes, in the Section on Driving Psychology Theory and Charts at www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy23/409a-g23-lecture-notes.htm#Charts.  Consult the article from which the Table was taken.  Copy and paste the table into your file. Now delete the examples in each cell and replace them with your own examples that you make up. Discuss why driving is such a big problem in all societies and why no effective solutions have yet been found for them.  Discuss the solutions offered by Dr. Leon James (www.DrDriving.org). What likelihood is there that his approach will be adopted? Explain.  Any other comments you wish to make.

Driver Competence Skills

Aggressive
NEGATIVE DRIVING

Supportive
POSITIVE DRIVING

Not
Emotionally Intelligent
(REPTILIAN DRIVING)
 

Emotionally
Intelligent
(CORTICAL DRIVING)
 

1. Focusing on self vs. blaming others or the situation

“I’m late, why does everyone have to drive like idiots when it is raining”
 

“It is a bummer that it is raining right now, I wish I left a little early to be on time”

2. Understanding how feelings and thoughts act together

 

“I am so pissed off….who do they think they are”
 

" I get scared when I think about what might of just happened
 

3. Realizing that anger is something we choose vs. thinking it is provoked
 

  “They make me so mad”

"I get myself mad at other people’s foolish mistakes."

4. Being concerned about consequences vs. giving in to impulse

“ Oh yeah?  I’ll show YOU!”

"Whatever…I don’t think it is worth it…it won’t solve anything."
 

5. Showing respect for others and their rights vs. thinking only of oneself


"I’ve had a long day… no one better mess with me."


"I hope everyone else gets to their destination on time too."
 

6. Accepting traffic as collective team work vs. seeing it as individual competition

"HA my lane is faster…I will be out of this traffic faster then you!"
 

"I will try to go with the flow of traffic and be a supportive driver."
 

7. Recognizing the diversity of drivers and their needs and styles vs. blaming them for what they choose to do
 

"What the heck does that old man think he’s doing?"
 

"I need to be extra careful around older drivers because their reaction time is slower."
 

8. Practicing positive role models vs. negative

“What do you think?  We have all day?”
 

“Patience is a virtue”

9.  Learning to inhibit the impulse to criticize by developing a sense of driving humor

“They act like it has never rained here before”

“ sure go on ahead, I am not going anywhere any time soon anyways”

10. Taking driving seriously by becoming aware of one’s mistakes and correcting them

“ I am so good at driving”

“ If I don’t continuously watch my actions, I could get worse”

D)     I think that driving is a big problem in all societies for many different reasons.  Within this answer, I will name a few.  To begin, I believe that driver’s education is obviously not found in every country, and even if it is, it is not necessarily required by law.  With this scary statement known as fact, we find that there are a lot of young and old drivers alike that are uneducated, and being put on the road.  To me that is extremely scary.

I also think that driving is a big problem because no one really wants to admit that they are not alone on the road.  I think some times people forget, or are unaware that they are not the only one that there actions affect.  Driving is a world phenomenon and it affects everyone.

Thirdly, I think that people don’t take the psychology behind driving serious.  People are far more willing to get mad about a war that kills about 2,000 soldiers in the last two years, but the fact those accidents in cars is close to the number one killer of people; that doesn’t faze them.  I think that people think they are invincible because they have a vehicle around them, little do they know how unsafe roads are.

E)      Dr. James discusses many solutions for unsafe and aggressive driving.  He offers checklists throughout the book so that people can see where they stand on certain issues.  Not only does he talk about adult drivers, but he discusses ideas about how to raise children up to be good drivers. 

He believes that if you start your children off at a young age, then they will be better drivers for the future generation.  And of course Dr. James is known for his Driver Personality Makeovers, and for the three fold steps that require you to acknowledge, witness, and modify poor driving actions.

Dr. James discusses many solutions for unsafe and aggressive driving.  He offers checklists throughout the book so that people can see where they stand on certain issues.  Not only does he talk about adult drivers, but he discusses ideas about how to raise children up to be good drivers.  He believes that if you start your children off at a young age, then they will be better drivers for the future generation. 

Of course Dr. James is known for his Driver Personality Makeovers, and for the three fold steps that require you to acknowledge, witness, and modify poor driving actions.  My hope is that his approach would be adopted, but I think that people aren’t giving driving psychology enough credit, and they are kind of just throwing it to the sidelines.  I think that if there was a revival in the driving community, there would be no better material to use then Dr. James’s book.  I hope in the near future this material will be implemented

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The Question I am answering is Question 7:

Our textbook Road Rage and Aggressive Driving has checklist exercises in several chapters. Do the following four exercises: Exercise on How Passenger-Friendly Are you on p.184-5, Exercise on Witnessing Your Aggressive driving on p. 140-3, Exercise on Your Road Rage Tendency on p. 40-42, Exercise on Your Verbal Road Rage Tendency on p. 91.  What were your reactions to each exercise? Discuss how these exercises help you to become more aware of yourself as a driver.  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.

B) What was your reaction to the exercise on How Passenger-Friendly Are You on p.184-5?

This checklist was bad for me.  It was seeing how considerate I am of my passengers.  I found out that I have a lot of pride and control issue when it comes to taking my passengers feelings in to consideration.  I think that this checklist helped me realize that I need to give my passenger’s opinions more weight then I do right now.  I feel that the one thing that I am good at though is making sure I drive a little more careful when I have a passenger in the car. I really don’t like when my passengers select the music or control the air conditioning.

What was your reaction to the exercise on witnessing Your Aggressive driving on p. 140-3?

This checklist was not that bad for me.  I don’t really do a lot of the actions on it, but I did find that I am bad at speeding faster then the flow of traffic, honking to protest something when it’s not an emergency, speeding up suddenly to make it through a yellow light, and ignoring the comfort of the passengers in the car.  I think that I can improve these bad characteristics, because I have already acknowledged it, and now I just need to witness and modify.  With a little self control I think it can be done.

What was your reaction to the exercise on Your Road Rage Tendency on p. 40-42?

This checklist was really interesting to me when it came to a point system.  I found that I am really aggressive when it comes to passing cars on the road and wanting to get to my destination quicker then normal.  I think that I would probably ‘lose’ this game, but if I do this often enough when I drive, and create a driving log, then I can improve the areas where I am not very good.

What was your reaction to the exercise on Your Verbal Road Rage Tendency on p. 91?

I say maybe 40% of these comments, which obviously leaves room for improvement.  Prior to taking this class I didn’t realize that saying things was actually aggressive driving as well.  I know that now, and desire to change my thought process into more positive then negative thoughts.  I am not naturally a very mean person, but I can be sarcastic and impatient a lot, which is where most of these comments stem from.  I think that seeing this checklist and witnessing it in my own driving will quickly help me modify it.

C) How do these exercises help you to become more aware of yourself as a driver?

I think that doing the checklist is great.  I know that for me personally it showed me many areas in which I can improve my driving.  I think with consistent acknowledgement, and witnessing, it will become easier to modify the actions that aren’t very good.   I think that seeing the areas of driving that are unsafe is a good start, but one truly needs to desire change before change can occur.  These exercises are a good foundation for that.

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 gave this book to my fiancée and asked him to do the checklists.  Without him even doing them I have always thought that he is more aggressive then me, because I am the one who usually tells him to slow down, stop, or watch out!  He took the quizzes and was ‘shocked’ to find out that he was as bad as he was!  He had not idea.  I think that this is the common problem with driving psychology, is that people don’t think they have a problem, and therefore they are not willing to change it. 

This also helps me better understand principles in the book because it is harder to see your faults in yourself, but it is interesting, because a lot of the same stuff he checked is the same stuff I checked.  It is easier to see that he is aggressive then it is to see and admit that I am aggressive.

E) Any other comments you wish to make- These are great checklists!

________________________________________________________________

The Question I am answering is Question 10:

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.  Describe any resistance you experience regarding this orientation, including the idea that how you drive is a moral issue of human rights, the idea of lifelong driver education and the idea of mandatory participation in QDC support groups.  Describe the reactions of friends when you tell them about driving personality makeovers and anything else you have to say.

A)     Supportive driving in relation to the drivers threefold self includes three parts; the affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor.  To begin, supportive driving in the affective is when the driver can maintain a supportive orientation towards other drivers.  This includes but is not limited to; feeling responsible for mistakes, and seeking a way to rectify it, feeling convicted of any mean gestures or words, feeling good about being kind on the road, open to suggestions from passengers, and being a forgiving driver when others make mistakes.

Supportive driving in the cognitive level is when the driver is able to analyze driving situations objectively.  This means that the driver can admit that they have driving errors, and work on practicing the modification of those behaviors, and not being partial to any other drivers, but analyzing objectively. 

Supportive driving in the sensorimotor level is when the driver is able to behave in a cooperative style.  This includes being able to anticipate the needs of other drivers and being able to help them, saying nice things about them, and relaxing, stress free, and enjoying the ride.

There are many benefits of supportive driving that Dr. James mentions in his book Road Rage and Aggressive Driving. To begin, it helps alleviate road rage, while reducing stress.   Because it reduces stress, it also has the power to build up and improve the immune system.  Supportive driving helps facilitate a sense of community, and obviously protects emotional or physical injury, and if you are driving supportively, it can protect you from financial liability, and higher insurance costs.

 

B)     I don’t really have much resistance when it comes to driving as a moral issue of human rights because I fully believe that.  Sometimes I don’t drive like I believe it, but I am working on modifying my behavior.  I think that drivers are fully responsible for the passengers in the vehicle, and it isn’t giving the passengers much ‘rights’ when it comes speeding and driving dangerously.  I think that lifelong driver’s education can improve not only our roads as a whole, but also every driver who chooses to continue to in their education. 

 

I am more resistant to the idea of there being mandatory QDC classes or support groups.  I think that it is a nice idea, just not very realistic, and I am not sure I know anyone who is going to want to get home from work and have a second job.

C)  My fiancée really wants to know what driving psychology is all about.  So when I tell him about the main topics, he listens, and wants to change his ways to become a better driver.  It is amazing to me that he is interested in the driver personality makeover.  He is eager and very interested.

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My Report on the Previous Generation:

 

Report #1

I looked at Jessica Lacy’s report.  She answered the questions that covered the charts, and was asked to illustrate her own driving domain and skills.  She had the opportunity to compare and contrast two different sites.  They were www.drdriving.org and www.drivers.com - she was clear that Dr. James’s website was more organized and relevant to the material that she was looking up.  She also summarized six students from past generations.

 

Report #2

I looked at Justin Gilder’s report.  He also covers charts, and compares websites, and looks at previous generations work.  He also covers the chart that helps you improve your attitude while driving.  He also has the opportunity to compare and contrast www.drdriving.org and www.drivers.com.

 

Report #3

This report was by Amy Beeler, and she was able to watch what she does wrong, or characteristics that she wants to change, and be able to implement these into a driver’s personality makeover.  She also gave a couple of minutes for a brief overview on both Dr. James’s book and Peter Rothe’s.  She was able to also review the websites, just like every else previously. 

 

Advice to Future Generations:

My advice to anyone taking this class is to start early on all your work, and you can get a head start.  I also recommend that you participate in class lectures, and speak your mind and opinion.  Don’t procrastinate.

 

 

Class Home Page: www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy23/classhome-g23.htm   

My Home Page: www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/40af2005/trujillo/409a-g23-home.htm