Report 2

My Report on Driving Psychology

By Justin Koito


Instructions for this report are at:


I am answering Questions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6


Dr. Leon James, Instructor

University of Hawaii

December 2006




The Question I am answering is Question 1

(a) Contrast our two textbooks: Road Rage and Aggressive Driving (James and Nahl), and Driving Lessons: Exploring Systems That Make Traffic Safer (Peter Rothe, Editor). Name some ways they are similar, and some ways they are different. Would either text be suitable for high school students?

(b) Discuss in what way these ideas can help solve society's driving problems. Be specific: describe the main problems (use some statistics) and how can particular ideas in these two books help solve those problems.

(c) Describe the reactions of friends when you tell them about driving personality makeovers and its psychological and social context.


Question 1 subpart (a) Contrast our two textbooks: Road Rage and Aggressive Driving (James and Nahl), and Driving Lessons: Exploring Systems That Make Traffic Safer (Peter Rothe, Editor). Name some ways they are similar, and some ways they are different. Would either text be suitable for high school students?

            When comparing and contrasting the two books, there are some similarities and some difference that occur amongst the book.  To start, some of the similarities of the books are that they both address the problem of road rage and the need to modify both the driver self and the surroundings.  Another similarity instance occurs in chapter eight of the Driving Lessons and chapter twelve of the Road Rage book.  In these chapters, it describes the problem of the types of vehicles that may be risky and the factors interact with the types of vehicle to create an aggressive atmosphere.

            When contrasting the two books, the distinct feature of the Road Rage book is that it addresses the personal problems.  Such problem include driving age, mental health, driving personalities, three step program, etc.  The Road Rage book deals with the awareness of the problems with the individual self and how to modify the behaviors to help contribute to safer driving conditions.

            The Driving Lessons differs because the book focuses more on outside environmental factors and other drivers.  Such focuses include people’s occupation, red-light cameras, environmental versus rural problems, cell phone usage, etc.  This book is very informative to people about the outside dangers they should avoid, but not to take it in the perspective that all traffic incidents are everyone else’s fault.

            I think that both books would be suitable for high school students.  With both books combined, the students will be able to get a well rounded picture of personal driving aggression and outside environmental aggression.  The Driving Lessons book is more technical while the Road Rage book gets the reader involved.  I think that the Road Rage book would be more appealing to high school students because at they age, they are self-centered and the book focuses on the individual’s driving problems.

Question 1 subpart (b) Discuss in what way these ideas can help solve society's driving problems. Be specific: describe the main problems (use some statistics) and how can particular ideas in these two books help solve those problems.

            One of the main problems with driving today is the way people are dealing with their stress or aggression.  For example, women are statistically known to be more emotional than men.  With the increase of women drivers by 50%, there can be more conflicts on the road.  Also, 59% of men and 57% of women admitted that they swear or name call other drivers.  This is going to be an even greater problem as the population of the world continues to grow.

            The books can not fully solve the problem, but can help many drivers out there become supportive drivers rather than aggressive drivers.  One way the book mentions of people become better drivers is to be able to realize that driving is a set of complex behaviors, know the three domains of a person (affective, cognitive, sensorimotor), and that we are influenced by our parents and culture.  With drivers being able to realize these details, I believe that more drivers will start to understand the nature of driving and what real way they are suppose to act in driving instances.

            Another problem is that drivers have difficulty in the three step driving program.  It seems that everyone needs to go through these steps, but people will complain that in their busy day life, people do not have time to analyze themselves.  People will also complain that they are competent drivers and that there is not a need to change their ways.  Others may feel that because everyone else drivers aggressively, they have developed a kill or be killed mentality.  Overall, people are hesitant to take time out from their lives to try and improve a basic skill.

            The books can help aid the three step program by putting it into simple forms for people to understand.  An example would be the simple chart of the AWM approach.  If the people are able to learn the acronym, it is easier for people to remember what it stands for and what needs to be done to change their attitude with a simple mind set change.  Along with the AWM approach, the book can also help to point out the people’s faults of thinking that they do not have to do anything to change the way they drive.  Hopefully after pointing out the faults, people will take the next step and try out the AWM approach.

Question 1 (c) Describe the reactions of friends when you tell them about driving personality makeovers and its psychological and social context.

            When describing to my friends about driving makeovers and its psychological and social context, they believed that the information presented made sense.  The problem they had was that people do not pay attention to the information.  People do not pay attention to the information because it is viewed as common sense so people take aggressive driving problems lightly.  Along with common sense, everyone is brought up to be a strong individual and that is what creates the egotism in everyone.

            After listing some of the methods to combat aggressive driving, my friends thought that if there was a way to force people to learn the information, people start to be less aggressive drivers.  Along with forcing people to learn the information, stricter punishments for violators would seem to help make people realize that aggressive driving is not something that should be taken lightly.  Lastly, my friends think that they themselves need to change, but they do not know how long they can continue to self-witness and self-modify themselves.

The Question I am answering is Question 2


a)      Search Google News section, for “road rage.”  Describe what you see.  Is it a general phenomenon?  How do you react?


b)      How do you explain what’s going on – using driving psychology theory.  Connect what you found in the news with the problems and solutions you discuss in Question 1.


c)      Tell your friends about what you found.  Describe their reaction




Question 2 subpart a) Search Google News section, for “road rage.”  Describe what you see.  Is it a general phenomenon?  How do you react?


            In the article that I read, Road rage incidents becoming common in Mumbai too, it gave information on city road rage in the city of Mumbai.  A short story told of how Aseem Shaikh could not stop in time and put a ding in the bumper of the person in front.  The driver of the vehicle kicked his signal light and sped off.  In the end, Shaikh had to spend more money to get the tail light fixed.  Incidents like the one mentioned above are common in cities.  The road rage problem has become so bad that it is basically known as a driver’s etiquette.  In some areas, of India, people have mob rage. 


            When you look at mob rage of India, you see that people have more rage.  The passerby and residents of the area take action into their own hands instead of waiting for the police.  It is believed that road rage is caused by frustration and that any driver can trigger road rage at any time.  I think that the people of India do not know how to control their frustration.  If the people knew how to control the frustration, they would not have a hard time thinking of a more positive way to handle the situation.  When a positive solution to the problem is made, road rage will start to decline. 


            According to Pritish Nandy, he believes that road rage is not because of the person, but the management of traffic and roads.  Nandy thinks that educating the people are not going to do anything.  When he describes himself, he is the perfect example of an aggressive driver.  He says that he avoids confrontation, but if confronted, he will not have a hard time unleashing his aggressive tendencies on others.  The reason for India’s road rage problem continuing to become worse is that there is no focus on individuals, but rather making a “safer playground” for aggressive drivers.

        In another article that I read, Man guilty in road-rage shooting death, Johnny Rammage was charged with murder and possession of a hand gun.  Rammage was not supposed to be able to get a hand gun, but he obtained one and used it to murder Christopher Johnson.  This incident all started with a simple hand gesture.  Provoking the aggressive driver, Rammage met up with Johnson and his family at the next traffic light where he shot Christopher in the head.  The trial itself was a quick conviction on to a sentence of life in prison for Rammage.


            What was interesting about the trial is that the Rammage’s daughter Tracy was trying to get the murder charge appealed.  She said that the trial was quick to judge and all evidence was not presented.  I find it interesting that people try to justify murder to someone who was capable of committing violent acts.  She knew her father had a previous conviction, but still thought he was innocent.  It seems as if she is trying to blame other people for the road rage of her father.  One of the perfect signs of an aggressive driver is one who blames all actions and mistakes on others.


            The next article that I read, BMW driver charged in road rage case, told of a man William Lopez-Cruz who could not control his road rage.  Mistakes were made on both Lopez’s side and the other driver.  It was said by a witness and the other driver that Lopez was tailgating the driver in the front while in the left lane.  Since Lopez was frustrated, he pulled alongside the other driver’s car and hit the other driver.  In the end, Lopez had to pay a fine of $3,500.  Whether or not it was provoked or not, no one should take aggressive actions to that limit.


            The BMW article brought up some points that need to be pointed out.  The first thing that should be brought up is the type of car driven.  Since the aggressor was in an expensive sports car, it was known that these types of owners have more aggressive tendencies.  Another point is that the passenger that got hit was not a defensive driver.  If he knew he was going slower than others in the left lane, he should have moved over lanes to allow the other drivers to pass.  Lastly, if the man drives a BMW, it is known that he has money and a fine of $3,500 might not be enough to curb his aggressive driving.            


            In the next article, Women denies swearing during road rage incident, it told of how a woman known as M.R. is being prosecuted in Dubai for slandering her compatriot known as A.S.   Previously, A.S. was sentenced to one month in jail for making rude gestures at her previously.  According to the taxi driver witness, M.R. did not give any type of gesture to A.S.  Instead, he honked at A.S. to speed up and A.S. got out of the car to confront them.  After a heated debate, A.S. was the one who made the gesture.


            When looking at the types of drivers in Dubai, you see that everyone has a road rage problem.  A.S. has the problem of having to confront the other drivers if being honked at.  The taxi driver himself honks at other cars that are going to slow in front of him.  Even M.R. has a road rage problem of trying to rush other people to get places, in a sense she is being a backseat driver.  It seems that Dubai is not a place where people are educated about self-witnessing and self-improving.  Everyone there is in such a rush that they could care less about the road rage problem.


            The article, Residents’ Road Rage, shows how a community in Farnworth is pushing to have something done about their street.  The street is only supposed to be used for an access-only route, but people are using it as a short cut to avoid traffic.  Normal people do not pay attention while driving on the street because they are more focused on trying to avoid the traffic.  Since people are not focusing on the driving task in front of them, a seven year old boy was struck by a car.  The driver was not a resident, but a driver that was trying to take shortcut around traffic.


            The article brings up a good example of how people with aggressive tendencies put everyone in danger.  In the instance of the driver striking the seven year old boy, the driver exhibited many symptoms of risky driving.  Such activities that were committed were multitasking, not paying attention to what is in front of you, and overall aggressive actions.  The good news is that the community is banding together to make drivers more aware of the problem and having the government get involved.  If others get word of the community, it might be a self-witnessing incident and may modify their behavior. 


            After reading these articles and browsing a few others, I find that the phenomenon of aggressive driving is common in every part of the world.  People are constantly swearing and making rude gestures.  Along with swearing and rude gestures, many people take vigilantly actions.  The real aggressive drivers go as far as to harming someone of even killing the other person.  All signs of aggressive drivers play in effect on the types of personality and what types of cars that are driven.  There is no one part of the world where road rage does not exist.


            My reaction to the whole aggressive driving situation is a shock.  I always thought of road rage as someone who goes to the extreme of trying to run someone off the road or trying to injury another.  I now feel that aggressive driving, in any form, is a problem in society.  Road rage needs to be curbed or prevented in one form or another.  The government, community, and individual drivers need to all pitch in and work towards safer driving conditions and preventing road rage.  All the people in the article should be allowed to get off on fines or jail time.  The aggressive drivers need to also be educated about their problems.


Question 2 subpart b) How do you explain what’s going on – using driving psychology theory.  Connect what you found in the news with the problems and solutions you discuss in Question 1.


            What I noticed about what is going on with driving today, is that driving has become somewhat a game to most people.  As children, we are influenced by the family, culture, and media around us.  When we become adults, we exhibit the same driving tendencies as what we have learned from those around us.  Aggressive driving is a game in the sense that a game is suppose to be challenging.  Drivers view other drivers as a challenge and think that they will be able to be rewarded or have some type of satisfaction by beating the other driver.


            Besides viewing driving as a game, aggressive drivers do not realize that they are the ones who have the problem.  In the example of Rammage’s daughter Tracy, she does not believe her father was at fault for killing Christopher Johnson.  Another example is the man known as A.S. in Dubai.  He is trying to blame the whole incident on M.R. since he thinks that he did not do anything.  These two examples show how aggressive people are always in a constant state of anger.  When in the state of anger, the drivers will not openly admit that they are at fault and the drivers do not think logically in those situations.


            When people start to driver sports cars, they feel a sense of power.  The drivers believe that everyone should get out of the way because they own higher end cars.  With this mentality, people who driver sports cars are more likely to commit aggressive actions.  In driving psychology, it was said that people who are more likely to commit aggressive actions are those who driver sports cars and lights trucks.  The example of the BMW driver is an example of a person feeling empowered by the wheel.  If someone does not “bow down” to the BMW driver, he takes it as an offense and commits an aggressive action.


            What I noticed in that each of the articles nowhere was it mentioned that any driver had education about themselves.  Each incident told of the reasons why the driver was provoked.  None of the drivers were able to self-witness their actions.  I think that if the drivers were to go through the process of self-witnessing and self-modifying, there will be less road rage around the world.  The drivers will be more considerate of other drivers on the road and how to avoid confrontations.  Also, the drives will be more aware of how life is valuable.


            If the drivers were to go through the self-witness and self-modifying approach, each driver would have to modify the Threefold Self.  At each stage, the drive will need to make changes to the affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor self.  This may pose a challenge to drivers in large cities because not all drivers will want to go through the self improvement.  Being in such a large city will hard to avoid confrontations constantly.  Once someone is an aggressive driver, they are an aggressive driver for life.  It will be hard to not retaliate to other driver’s actions when the other driver is at fault. 


            Another point that the articles need to address, is the need for education programs in each country.  It seems that there are a few people who think that education needs to start at infant levels.  When people grow older, they are going to exhibit the traits that they have grown accustomed to.  In the article with Pritish Nandy, he disagrees and thinks that educating people is not the problem.  He is completely wrong in his beliefs because who ultimately is behind the wheel making the decisions?  Road conditions can be improved, but that still does not change the mentality of the aggressive drivers.


Question 2 subpart c) Tell your friends about what you found.  Describe their reaction


            After describing to my friends the whole situation and the problem, they agreed with me that there is a problem.  My friends see aggressive driving done in everyday situations.  If aggressive driving can be seen in everyday driving near us, it is not hard to believe that it is happening around the world.  One of my friends gave an example of an aggressive driver just yesterday.  She told me that she was on a street that had only one lane.  She was already near the end and another driver came in from the opposite direction.  Since she did not move the driver gave her the finger.


            Another example that my friend had was with an aggressive driver.  When she was going home, she did not drive fast enough in the far right hand lane for the aggressive driver.  The aggressive driver then pulled next to her, gave her the finger, and kept trying to run her off the road.  The driver continued to tailgate her.  After ten minutes of trying to get away, she had to call all of us.  He finally discontinued the stalking when she reached my house where there were people with bats and other weapons waiting for him.


            This example showed how aggressive drivers.  Also, we ourselves made the mistake of taking a chance at confrontation with the aggressive driver.  I told all of my friends that instead of taking risks, we should have got his license plate number and reported it to the local authority.  After telling them what we should have done, my friends and I were able to change our whole attitude on situations like the one mentioned.  It is not only the aggressive driver who has to be able to self-witness and self-modify, but the bystanders and non-aggressive drivers alike.


            Some of my other friends did not share the same view as me and others.  My friend Ian feels that no one should be given a chance if they commit an aggressive action.  Basically he was trying to say that nothing goes unpunished.  He still holds the belief that the authorities do not have harsh penalties to make aggressive drivers realize their actions, so aggressive drivers need to be woken up through physical or psychological violence.  Maybe someday he will realize that he is continuing the problem rather than helping the problem.


The Question I am answering is Question 3


a)      Select some student reports at www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/499s2003/newsgroups Discuss your reactions to what they did – their ideas, their method, and their explanations.  What did they gain from doing their reports?  How do their ideas influence what you yourself think about these issues?


b)      Now go to Google Groups search and type in “driving.”  See if you can corroborate the conclusions of the student reports which were done several years ago.  Is it still going on the same way?




Question 3 subpart a) Select some student reports at www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/499s2003/newsgroups Discuss your reactions to what they did – their ideas, their method, and their explanations.  What did they gain from doing their reports?  How do their ideas influence what you yourself think about these issues?


Janice Kamm: http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/499s2003/newsgroups/newsgroup72.html#ng1


            In Janice’s report, there were three incidents that popped out.  The first incident involved people rubbernecking.  The reason that the people were causing traffic was not because of an accident, but everyone wanted to see the ball of dust.  The ball of dust is not the only thing people pay attention to, but they pay attention to accidents or simple traffic stops.  Especially in Hawaii, with the already congested traffic, people that rubberneck make the traffic situation even worse.  One way of combating the problem is that she recommends a barrier of some sort to prevent people from looking and causing traffic.


            Another incident talked about a bill that would make speeding a felony.  In order for driving to be labeled as speeding, the driver must be going ten miles per hour over the speed limit.  Janice said that the problem lies with aggressive drivers and those are the ones who should get the attention of the police.  She is also concerned that the number of aggressive drivers is increasing at an alarming rate.  Although there were no other methods or explanations for combating this problem, she came to the conclusion that making speeding a felony is a way to combat the problem for now.


            The last incident that struck me was an incident involving a driver who did not turn on his headlights while raining in the far left lane.  Driving slowly in the far left hand lane irritates people despite weather conditions.  In the incident, the poor weather conditions and driver led to angry thoughts by another driver.  Janice said the explanation for the driver was that he/she could have just been extra cautious and did not know his headlights were off.  Instead of the other driver getting upset, Janice recommended that he could have let the other driver know that the headlights needed to be turned on.    


            When Janice was doing the reports, she seemed to get a better understanding of what her personality is like.  Although she feels that she has control of her driving, the control does not seem to be completely there.  The thought of people that rubberneck still bother her.  Aside from inconsiderate drivers, she seems to give people the benefit of the doubt.  She is slow to act rashly and believes that there is an explanation for the people’s misdoing on their part.  Lastly, Janice seems to have gained a greater concern for the aggressive drivers and for the traffic situations.


            After reading her report, some of the ideas such as putting up a barrier to prevent people from on looking is a far out idea.  To most people, spending the tax payers extra money on barriers would be a waste of money to most people.  Although I disagree with the barriers that want to be put up, I do agree with the fact that there are inconsiderate and an aggressive driving problem amongst people today.  Another part that has opened my eyes would be to try and give people the benefit of the doubt.  I think I should try to understand the reasons behind someone’s driving that I may consider inconsiderate.


Newsgroup 13: http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/499s2003/newsgroups/newsgroups13.html


            In the newsgroup that was discussed, the author decided to base his report on the word love and long distance relationships.  He first discusses the actual newsgroups.  In the newsgroups, people participate in them because it gives people a sense of family.  There are other people out there in the world that may be in the same situation and it helps to know that you are not alone.  In the newsgroups, individuals share their experiences and support one another to make it through the tough times.  Through the experiences and support, the various people can form a “family.”


            When the author decided to post up in the newsgroup, he talks about how he has a long distance relationship with a girl.  A respondent lets him know that he is not the only one in the situation.  The respondent Crysta lets him know that she is a single mother travel agent who does not have the money to go see the one she loves.  Although she can not see the other person, she is able to keep a long distance relationship and she knows not to take anything for granted.  With this experience, the author is able to feel a sense of happiness knowing that a long distance relationship can work.


            When discussing the people’s reactions to questions on a newsgroup, there are mixed reviews about the situation.  Each person bases his/her answer on personal experiences, ideas, or thoughts.  The benefit of mixed reviews is that people’s various opinions can help even though they are complete strangers.  Some people may feel more heated than others on certain issues.  Although the author’s conclusion may not be the same as others, he can at least piece together his own understanding of how to deal with love and long distance relationships.


            In the end, the author learned a great deal from doing the report.  The author learned that there are other people out there in the world that share the same situations.  He also learned that everyone has a different opinion on various topics.  He believes that newsgroups are a good way to voice opinions on topics and to get information on how to deal with certain situations.  One of the most important things that the author learned was a better understanding of what the word love is.  The other important information he picked up was the positive and negatives of a long distance relationship.


            After reading this report, I see the real reason behind newsgroups.  Aside from getting technical information when needed, it is a place for many people that want to express themselves.  Along with expressing themselves, people are allowed to gather information to help cope with situations.  I admit that when it comes to cars, I post in newsgroups to get a further understanding of the technical aspects and to receive help when I am working on a car and I reach a point where I do not know what to do next.  In the end, with the internet, everyone needs to participate in newsgroups to feel grounded.


Jason Thompson: http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/499s2003/newsgroups/newsgroups15.html


            In Jason Thompson’s approach to newsgroups, he focused on three aspects that interested him.  The first instance was on wine.  When he inquired in a newsgroup, he was hoping to find information and books on how to produce wine and how to store it.  The newsgroup to him showed him that people around the world are trying to do the same thing.  By posting up in the newsgroups, he was able to read about how other people are actually trying to build wine cellars.  He was impressed the most by the shock that there were hardcore enthusiast.


            The next newsgroup he went on to was driving.  It was not focused so much on driving, but the English language.  In other countries, drunk driving has its own name.  In a newsgroup, someone posted that in Australia, drunk driving was called driving.  It was interesting for Jason to experience other languages context when it comes to drunk driving.  If he were to go to another country and did not know what drunk driving was called, no one would know what he is talking about when inquiring about drunk driving.


            The last area of interested was his specialty, surfing.  He was able to learn that people around the world were interested in upcoming surf reports for Maui.  Sine he knows both Maui and Oahu, he was able to give the other person on the newsgroup advice.  Jason was also shocked that there are many surfers that know about the physics of waves.  I think that he was shocked because not many surfers would take the time out to research the way the waves work.


            The last section of his report discussed how the newsgroups have multiple uses.  The way the newsgroups are used is for informative, entertainment, and social life.  When people use newsgroups to be informative, it is to gather information on a specific topic.  The entertainment side of newsgroups is somewhat similar to recreation.  Users look up random articles that seem to be of interest to them and they can respond to the articles.  The last use is the social life.  The newsgroups are used for social life by networking with others.  An example could be myspace.com.  People use that site to keep in touch with friends and to meet new people.


            After doing the report, Jason learned a lot of new information about newsgroups.  He learned how to access news groups and how informative they can be.  It has helped him understand that other people have just as much knowledge and it is easier to converse with people on the same level as him.  His recommendation for future generations is to keep an open mind while on newsgroups and to explore various newsgroups.  Lastly, Jason recommends searching ones hobbies because it can be beneficial for expanding knowledge about the topic.


            When analyzing Jason’s report, I found that he basically thinks the same thing I do.  I agree that there are multipurpose for newsgroups.  They can be used for technical information as well as recreational purposes.  By reading his article, it has strengthened my understanding and usage of newsgroups.  Along with strengthening my understanding and usage, it has also reminded me other people in the world.  Not everyone in the world may understand what I am talking about because they may have a different slang for it.  I believe it is beneficial to look around on newsgroups to gain a better understanding of what ever information is being inquired.


Question 3 subpart b) Now go to Google Groups search and type in “driving.”  See if you can corroborate the conclusions of the student reports which were done several years ago.  Is it still going on the same way?


            When visiting google groups, I came to the conclusion that the student reports I read about have a basic theme in common with one another about newsgroups.  In each of the reports, it shows how newsgroups can be used for information, entertainment, and social interactions.  The newsgroups allows people to discuss other around the world on various topics.  There will be various opinions due to everyone having their own personalities and experiences.  What makes newsgroups beneficial is that there are no limitations on speech.  A person is free to express his/her opinions.


            Newsgroups are still being conducted in the same manner as in previous years.  Methods of communications are getting more sophisticated so that newsgroups become more personal.  An example would be the widespread use of video conferencing through the use of web cameras.  When you look at it, newsgroups are still being conducted in the same manner.  While on the google groups, I was able to find various topics written in the same fashion as in previous years.  Some topics that were researched were insurance quote information, reliability of cloning automobile performance parts, and the difference between front wheel drive and rear wheel drive.


            Newsgroups are growing.  The basic concept is simple, but the amount of enthusiast are growing constantly daily.  With sites linking to each other, many users can form strong bonds with people and allow them to meet a larger number of people that share the same interest.  Information in newsgroups are limitless.  With improving technology, people are always going to share the new ideas.  An example would be the fuel management for a turbo Celica.  Right now the Apexi Power FC is the best, eventually new technology will overtake it and people will need to share information with each other on how to use the device and the best way to tune.


            Although newsgroups may vary due to language differences, it is still conducted in the same fashion.  Someone will always have a question and there will be others who have years of knowledge about the subject.  With the sharing of international information, people are able to get a better understanding on such topics as how the government works or any type of wrong doings.   I believe that in the next five years, technology will improve but the basic principle of newsgroups will remain the same.  As long as people have curiosity, newsgroups will never end.


The Question I am answering is Question 4


(a) Consider Table 4 in the Lecture Notes at  www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy25/409a-g25-lecture-notes.htm#Charts   Read the Section titled "The AWM Approach in Driver Self-Modification" where Table 4 is located. In your own words summarize what it is about.

(b) Now select the norms that characterize your threefold self as a driver, passenger, or pedestrian.

(c) Try the AWM procedure on at least two trips or episodes. What is your conclusion? How can this approach be promoted in our society?


Question 4 subpart (a) Consider Table 4 in the Lecture Notes at  www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy25/409a-g25-lecture-notes.htm#Charts   Read the Section titled "The AWM Approach in Driver Self-Modification" where Table 4 is located. In your own words summarize what it is about.

            A: Acknowledge you have a problem

            W: self-witness yourself committing and aggressive action

            M: modify your behavior to the right behavior

            The AWM approach in driver self-modification is a text that discusses the approach people should take in them to better improve their driving capabilities.  Everyone has a problem with their personality and the AWM approach gives people a way to deal with their problems.  After going through the AWM approach, drivers are more aware of their own negative habits and will start to see less aggressive tendencies in themselves.

            Along with the AWM approach, drivers are informed of the basic driving principles.  The principles are to know that driving is a complex behaviors, there are three domains of driving norms, and that driving is influenced by family and culture.  The main part to realize is the three domains of driving norms: affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor.  The three domains make up a drivers personality.  It involves everything from simple thought processes to actual physical actions that a driver commits when following on emotion.

            The acknowledge awareness is involved to combat aggressive norms and promote positive and cooperative roles.  The cognitive awareness is to help to self-train and self-improve ones self.  The sensorimotor awareness is used to reinforce our behaviors throughout the rest of our lives.  As we practice better driving techniques, we continue to improve who we are as drivers.  Although there is no such thing as a perfect driver, people can continue to become improved and better drivers.  Driving is like a knife, it must constantly be sharpened in order to keep it close to its peak performance.

            Although people go through the self-improvement process, they can also get extra support through support groups such as Quality Driving Circles.  These groups of people help each other deal with their aggressive tendencies and give notices of various aggressive driving habits being exhibited by other drivers.  By knowing that you are not alone in the world is comforting for many people to know so it is easier to admit the mistakes and be able to take the step forward to do something about their problem.

Question 4 subpart (b) Now select the norms that characterize your threefold self as a driver, passenger, or pedestrian.


            Affective: support retribution ethics, value territoriality

            Cognitive: inaccurate risk assessment

            Sensorimotor: suffer lapses (i.e. sleepiness, distraction, not paying attention)


            Affective: intolerance of diversity

            Cognitive: low or  undeveloped level of moral involvement

            Sensorimotor: automatized habits (i.e. unaware of own style and risk)


            Affective: disrespect for drivers

            Cognitive: self-serving explanation of driving incidents

            Sensorimotor: error of perception

            In each of these incidents where I was a driver, passenger, and pedestrian, I noticed that I have a problem regardless of which role I played.  My aggressive driving has stemmed out even when I am not driving and not in a car.  These norms are not where I want to be and I think there is a need to change soon or else I can pass all my bad traits onto those around me.  I do not blame my family on my driving habits, but television and the people I hung out with in high school.  Regardless of who is to blame, I need to change my own mentality.

Question 4 subpart (c) Try the AWM procedure on at least two trips or  episodes. What is your conclusion? How can this approach be promoted in our society?

            My first trip that involved the AWM approach was last week where I tried to realize that I had a problem with thinking that I was the only driver on the road trying to make a delivery for my company.  I was very agitated that morning due to the lack of sleep and my co-worker always not showing up for  work.  Along with these problems, I was on a deadline to get all the work done before I had to leave for class.  This is almost a weekly occurrence because every week I am faced with a new challenge of getting companies their product.

            After trying the AWM approach in the situation, I found a sense of calm amongst all the chaos.  Although I was angry, I was able to self-witness myself and change my attitude towards the day.  My anger and aggression subsided and was able not worry about the time.  In the end, because I was able to modify my behavior, I did not feel rotten about myself and was able to complete my work without having a single aggressive though for the rest of the day.  It is too bad that I have a hard time trying to constantly continue the AWM approach.

            The second incident that I tried the AWM approach was yesterday.  It was the day after Thanksgiving.  I noticed with the mass amounts of people at the shopping mall, it was going to be a hellish time trying to find parking.  When I got to Waikele, I noticed that I was yelling and swearing at other drivers for their stupidity and the time it took to get out of their parking stalls.  I also was muttering to myself and did not want to hear anything comments from my girlfriend.  Overall, I was a one hundred percent aggressive driver.

            Trying to follow through with the AWM approach yesterday was just not possible for me.  While trying to look for parking, I tried a few times to self-witness and modify myself, but it was too overwhelming that everyone was out to screw you over.  I may have failed at curbing my anger, but I do not see it as a total loss.  I think that as long as I was able to conduct the AWM approach, it is a start to becoming a better driver.  Hopefully soon, I will be able to conduct the AWM approach on subconscious level.

            The AWM approach can be promoted in our society through the use of making it mandatory to know on a driver’s license test, both written and physical.  Another way that it can be promoted is through the teaching at schools.  If it is taught early enough, it can combat the negative influence that other people and culture can have on a child.  Even in anger management classes, it will be worth teaching.  People who have to go to these classes obviously have a larger chance of raging.  Lastly, the government can get involved by public service announcements and billboards that promote the AWM approach.  People tend to learn things quicker through acronyms and constant reminders.

The Question I am answering is Question 5

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

(i) Exercise on Aggressive Thoughts and Feelings on p. 65-66
(ii) Exercise on Are You an Aggressive Competitor on p. 104-5
(iii) Exercise on Positive Driving Behaviors on p. 212-3
(iv) Exercise on Your Passive Aggressive Road Rage Tendency on p. 88-9

(b) Discuss the results with your friends. How do you explain the results? Where did they get this style of reacting and driving? How do they help you understand some principles of driving psychology mentioned in the book?

(c) Discuss how this activity helps you to become more aware of yourself as a driver.



Question 5 subpart (a) Our textbook Road Rage and Aggressive Driving has checklist exercises in several chapters. Have a friend do the following four exercises:

(i) Exercise on Aggressive Thoughts and Feelings on p. 65-66
(ii) Exercise on Are You an Aggressive Competitor on p. 104-105
(iii) Exercise on Positive Driving Behaviors on p. 212-213
(iv) Exercise on Your Passive Aggressive Road Rage Tendency on p. 88-89

            These four exercises were given to my girlfriend Han  to figure out how she is as a driver on the road.


(i) selected: 4,6,8,19,25

(ii) selected: 4,8

(iii) selected 9,12,and 13

(iv) selected 7,9,10      

Question 5 subpart (b) Discuss the results with your friends. How do you explain the results? Where did they get this style of reacting and driving? How do they help you understand some principles of driving psychology mentioned in the book?

            In (i), I noticed that she has road rage, but it is not the type that would go out and retaliate on a physical level.  I let her know that she has a real problem with letting her emotional side of her get the best of every situation.  She seems to feed off of her negative energy and it shows because she admitted that when she is under stress, she takes it out on others.  Due to her feeding off of the negative emotions, she has little respect for those on the road with her.

            When doing exercise (ii), I explained to her that she blames other drivers for all incidents that she is involved in.  Another problem that I addressed to her was that she does not ever feel that there is a need of self responsibility for her.

            The results of excise (iii) show that when trying to self improve, she knows what she needs to do to become a better driver.  She also knows her limitations on how far she would go to try and become a supportive driver.  There is a side to her that would like to improve, but does not know if it is worth doing.

            For the final exercise (iv), I found out that she has a self-serving bias and that everyone should be catering to her.  The example of taking her time and not caring how long she made other drivers was a clear distinct feature of herself.  I always tell her that she thinks she is the queen of the road and that she needs to learn that there are other drivers on the road.

            After discussing with her all of the exercises, I went on to try and figure out why she has this driving personality.  I told her that one reason she might have a higher aggression is that she is from Vietnam.  From what she has told me, the roads are dangerous over there and you have to be pushy in order to get anywhere or people will take advantage of your weakness.  I also think that her aggressive driving tendencies might be caused by my own influence.  She sees me all the time raging at every little thing and it is starting to rub off on her.

            Aside from where she was from and my influence, I think that her job also plays a role in her aggressive personality.  Having to deal with customers at a retail store constantly, she is irritated by everyone who comes in and messes up the store.  At the end of the day, she is glad to get off of work and feels a bit of tension in her because of all the bad customers she had to help today.  Along with the stress at work, the pressure from her parents and school also play factors.  Since there is much pressure on her to succeed , she feels she can use any method necessary to release her tension.

Question 5 subpart (c) Discuss how this activity helps you to become more aware of yourself as a driver.

            After having Han do the exercises, it has made me aware of my own faults.  It has made me realize that I might not be a full positive influence on her.  Knowing that she is starting to learn my bad behaviors, it has encouraged me to try and modify myself so that she does not continue to learn only my bad habits.  Along with knowing that I am an influencing factor, I was able to self-witness some of my bad qualities through her.  After hearing her discuss each answer she chose, I realized that it sounds illogical to think this way.

            The exercises has also made me realize that I myself should not be so self-centered.  I noticed that a lot of her bad traits, I resemble the same.  I too do not care how long I take when driving.  I do not mind people waiting for me to do whatever I am doing.  This is an attitude I need to change.  I do not intend to try and rush driving, but to be more understanding that there are people behind of me being patient in allowing me to accomplish my driving task.

            Lastly, it has made me realize that I am in a way a hypocrite.  I know what needs to be changed and say that this is what needs to be changed, but I do not do anything about it.  Through Han’s exercises, I know I have to take the next step and try to modify my behavior so that I do not view myself anymore as a hypocrite, but view myself as an role model to those who also suffer from the hypocrisies of themselves.



My Report on the Previous Generation


Jenny Arakaki:



            After reading Jenny’s report, I noticed that her report was different from mine by conducting a self assessment.  The way she conduct her assessment was in an experiment.  When the assessment was complete, she was able to break everything down into various charts to explain her behavior.  A self assessment seems to be better for yourself because it is easier to teach yourself to change rather than try to teach someone who might not want to change.  Lastly, I noticed that she put much emphasis on scofflaw.  People disregarding traffic signs and laws is a large factor in aggressive driving.


            Although her report took a different approach than my own, there were some similar points that were made.  Her emphasis was also on learning how to become a supportive driver.  When becoming a supportive driver, the basic aspect of a person should be known.  She was able to identify the affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor self.  The identification of the selves helps for a person to realize that driving is a complex set of tasks and it takes many parts of our self to drive a car.


            Evaluating her overall understanding, it seems that she understands the problems with an individual and a change needed for the self to become better.  Jenny wants to become a supportive driver because she is also conducting the AWM approach.  By trying to conduct an experiment on her is the first step to acknowledging she has a problem and self-witnessing the act.  In the end, she is willing to modify her ways in order to become the supportive driver.


Mark Corupz:



            Mark Corupz report differed from any self-modification report that I have done because I have not had to deal with a person who drives under the influence.  By him admitting that he drivers under the influence, there is more of a need for him to change his driving personality.  Along with driving under the influence, he admits that he retaliates against other drivers and verbal road rage.  This differs from my report because the people that I had interviewed do not have an aggression problem in the form of physical violence.  In Mark’s case, he is a road hazard.


            His report does have similarities despite his over aggressive self.  Mark mentions of the selves.  He gives mention to the affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor self.  If Mark was able to take control of all three selves, he will be able to become more of a supportive driver and slowly start to do away with his physical retaliations.  He may still have mental retaliations, but at least he will have less of a chance of putting others in harms way.


            Evaluating his report, it seems that he knows ways to avoid getting angry to the point where he needs to take physical action against other drivers.  The problem with knowing the ways is that it is not solving the problem, but trying to avoid any confrontation.  The road rage in Mark will still be there as long as he does not see a need to change his mentality.  By putting a block on aggressive tendencies can only hold so much.  There might come a day when he will not be able to control himself and the road rage will erupt into a larger retaliation than what has already been done.



Ikue Fukushima:



            Ikue’s report had some difference than mine.  She does not drive, so her understanding comes from a person who does not know what it is like to be a driver.  I have addressed the AWM approach consisting of acknowledging you have a problem, self-witnessing, and modifying the behavior.  In his report, she addresses the acknowledging the problem and witnessing.  When she conducted her experiment on the boyfriend, it seems that she realized all of her problems, but her boyfriend did not make any real changes towards the way that he drove.


           One similarity that I was able to point out was that between the person that I had interviewed and the person she did, they are both aggressive drivers.  Both people that were interviewed had aggressive tendencies when they were challenged by other drivers on the road.  I think that aggression is built in to everyone and there is no way of avoiding becoming aggressive drivers.  Aggressive driving seems that it is a built in trait into humans like an instinct.


            After reading her full report, I noticed that she is able to go through the AWM approach, but her boyfriend has only been informed of the problems.  She mentions that she has tried to modify her boyfriend’s behavior, but if he himself does not want to become a supportive driver, there is no point in trying to change the way he drivers.  I think that the focus should have been on physically changing her boyfriend rather than trying to teach him how to become a better driver.


Hiroko Kikuchi:



            Hiroko’s report was different form mine because she conducted an experiment on herself.  When she conducted her experiment, she used tables to monitor different aspects of her driving throughout the week.  For example, she made a table to monitor how many times she swore each day of the week.  After gathering all the information, she was able to apply her scores to a scoring system.  The scoring system that was used determined the severity of the road rage.  It ranged from not being an aggressive drive to one who is out of control.


            Some of the similarities I saw between our reports, was the reiteration of the driver three fold self.  Also, self-witnessing is another important aspect when becoming a supportive driver.  I think that every person’s report shares the two important points of the drivers threefold self and the AWM approach.  Another point that I found similar was that everyone who takes this class realizes that they have road rage and a change is needed.  Everyone is shocked in the beginning to find out that they do have a problem, but will gradually learn to become better drivers.


            In Hiroko’s conclusion, it reveals that her understanding of driving has greatly improved.  At first, she admits that she was a timid person who did not have road rage.  After going through the whole class and doing the reports, she has found herself to be the total opposite of what she envisioned of herself.  Not all hope is lost for because she is now taking the information she knows and is applying it to driver self-improvement.  I feel as though she understands that driver self-improvement is a life long process and not a one time deal.


            When looking at the generational curriculum, I feel that none of the information that is already presented should be left out.  Each piece of information is needed to help people figure out how to improve them and to be aware of other driver’s bad habits.  When knowing how people will react to certain situations, the next move is in the hands of the improved driver.  If the driver has not improved, the driver will take a negative approach to the situation.  A reformed driver will take a civil action that will prevent any confrontation.


            My suggestion to changing the curriculum is to have everyone fill out evaluation forms and be classified as a certain type of drivers.  Although the curriculum is great the way it is, more of the modifying of the behavior from the AWM approach should be enforced.  If people who take the class and realize they need a change, they should have support to figure out ways to modify the behavior.  Each class session is similar to a QDC group, but it is not the same when not everyone has to share experiences.  By everyone having to participate, it will help people to feel more comfortable in going through the AWM approach.


Advice to Future Generations


            In finishing up the psychology 409a class, I have some advice for future generations to come on what to do to succeed in the class.  The next group who takes this should come in with an open mind.  Although everyone already has their own driving personality, they should first know that no one is perfect.  There is always room for improvement.  Students should know that it may seem like this class will make you a worse driver than before, but it actually is the beginning of the AWM approach.  The class will help to show yourself acknowledging that you have a problem.


            A more technical side to succeeding in the class involves the actual work load.  As long as you are able to make a plan for the outlines to come, you will finish the outlines on time.  As for the two reports, it is advisable to start the papers one month before.  It is difficult to try and write a twenty page paper in one or two weeks.  The final leg of the course involves the oral reports.  When you have an oral report coming up, finish up what you are going to say two weeks in advance.  You should practice giving the oral one week before you give it.  It is nothing like going into an oral report in front of your peers and not being organized.  It makes you look unprepared and ridiculous.


            When sitting through each class, expect to hear statistics and personal stories about people with road rage and how to deal with it.  Do not go into the class thinking that it is a one time cure, but becoming a supportive driver takes a life time.  You can expect to learn parts of yourself that you never thought was there.  You will mainly start to realize how bad of a driver you are and hopefully will make you realize that you need a change in attitude.  The class will seem easy if you make it enjoyable.  It is a lot of work, but at the same time, it is not one of those classes that are mundane.


            Another thing to expect from the class is the AWM approach to be pounded into your memory.  When you see other people, you will be able to explain to them that the way to start driving better is for them to acknowledge they have a problem, witness their behavior, and modify their behavior.  Along with the AWM approach, you will be able to teach people that there is more than one type of norm to the psychology of driving.  You can teach people that there is an affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor norm that interacts with each other to produce the action that is put out.  Overall, you will be thinking: “Why is the class not taught to everyone!”


Class Home Page: www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy25/classhome-g25.htm


My Home Page: www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409af2006/koito/koito-home.htm