Report 2:

My Understanding of Driving Psychology

By:Jennifer Higa


Instructions for this report are found at:



Question 1:

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. Using your own words, describe the three behavioral domains and levels of a driver (nine cells). 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. Make up a "driving personality makeover" plan for yourself (or another driver you know well). Discuss the problems you anticipate in carrying out such a plan successfully.

††††††††††† The three behavioral domains include affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor.The affective domain describes the way you feel about something or a situation.The cognitive domain describes how you think or rationalize a situation.The third domain or the sensorimotor domain are your actions in a situation.

††††††††††† There are also three levels that go with the three domains to create what is called ďBehavioral Zones of DrivingĒ.The first level is called proficiency and is basically a driverís focus on doing a good job while driving.This level is then broken down into three parts using the affective (respect for others and being alert), cognitive (being aware), and sensorimotor (hand eye coordination).The second level is called safety and this too is broken down into three parts.The three parts are affective (staying out of trouble), cognitive (problem solving thoughts), and sensorimotor (using nice actions).†† The third level is responsibility.The parts to this level are also affective (being accountable for others), cognitive (using prosocial and not anti social thoughts), and sensorimotor (mood while driving). By adding a plus or minus to the levels it creates 18 behavioral zones.

††††††††††† Iíve noticed that I illustrate both positive and negative aspects of all domains.I for example am very likely to speed up when I think someone wants to cut me off and I think ďThis jerk isnít going to cut me offĒ.This would be a negative cognitive type behavior.I have also noticed that I tend to call people names if they succeed in cutting me off.This is a negative sensorimotor behavior.An example of a negative affective behavior I have done was thinking old people should stay off he road because they donít know how to stay in the lanes and they drive to slow.

††††††††††† I have positive aspects as well.An example of me using positive sensorimotor behavior is that I always wave thank you when someone lets me in.I perform a positive affective behavior when I feel bad for someone no one else is letting into a lane, so I will let him in.I like to let people in if they have their blinker on.An example for my positive cognitive behavior is that if I see someone speeding I let them pass me because they may have an emergency.I think about when Iím in a hurry and I wish people would let me go so I can get to my destination.I always appreciate it when people let me go so I like to return the favor.

††††††††††† The driving personality makeover plan involves two stages.The first stage is to avoid being an aggressive driver and the second stage is to become a supportive driver.I myself donít believe I am an aggressive driver and that I am a supportive driver.Iím not being cocky and I know Iím not perfect.I have the occasional speeding up so someone canít get in front of me and so on.I sometimes swear at people who almost hit me on the road and I donít always drive the speed limit.All Iím saying is that I am a moderate road rage type person.

††††††††††† My driving personality makeover plan would have to start with understanding that I have to change to make a difference.I need to stop thinking that I donít have any flaws.I admitted earlier that I know Iím not a perfect driver and that is the first step of stage one of the makeover plan.Now that I know I am not perfect I need to start thinking about why I am not and try to understand it.The second level of stage one is to learn to rationalize traffic incidences.I guess this would have to be trying to think why someone cut you off and understanding it.Instead of lashing out that that person is stupid and doesnít know how to drive I might say that the person just made a mistake and it wasnít their fault.The third level is simply holding my hands down from making those bad gestures.

††††††††††† For the second stage of the makeover plan I need to be a supportive driver.In reality I have noticed that I have become a little bit more of a supportive driver since this class started.I tend to let people go if they make a mistake on the road a little more now.I donít behave as unruly either.I think that it has a lot to do with me growing out of my road rage.I used to be very bad but I slowly started realizing that it isnít worth my energy to get upset over something that can easily be forgotten.I have started the path towards becoming a supportive driver and I feel if I keep at it I will improve a lot more.

††††††††††† I donít see myself running into any problems while doing the driving personality makeover.I am very willing to change my sometimes unruly or inappropriate behavior.I want to help make a difference in this society.I realize that driving kills many people every year and sometimes for no reason.I want to do my part to help people live.I think I will enjoy doing the makeover because it not only benefits myself but others as well.


Question 3: 

Discuss these two Web sites: vs. What are their main differences? Be sure to consider at least these areas: articles, newsletters, letters, style, probable audience, public relations or policy, advertising, size, ranking.

††††††††††† These two web sites had much more similarities then differences.They both talked a lot about driving and had a lot of good information on them.The web site had very informational articles.The articles were easy to read and somewhat short.What was also good was the fact that you could sign up for a newsletter.The newsletter would be sent to you via e-mail every month.This newsletter would be a very helpful reminder of the driving situation in America and around the world.

††††††††††† In the web site the articles were much longer and packed with a lot of information.I really liked the section with stories from the news.There were many links that related to different aspects of driving.I felt the site was a lot more fun and enjoyable then the site.The site was very professional and well organized.Even though was more professional I thought both the site targeted a younger age group.I felt targeted a younger generation because the site also applied to computer drivers.I also felt that targeted not only young but old age groups as well because the site had information and advice for all age groups.

††††††††††† Both sites had some advertising.Drdriving had books and videos for sale on the site with links and order allowed people to pay a monthly fee to have an ad posted to the site.The ad had to be approved by the site according to its relevance to driving.

††††††††††† One big difference I noticed was the size of the main page.Drdriving had a lot of information all on one had a short home page with many links on it.This points out the main difference between the sites, which I believed was style.Both sites basically had the same point but very different ways of displaying them.Another main difference were the overall message the sites were showing.I felt drdriving was more of a preventative or improvement type web site.While was more of an informative site.

††††††††††† If I had to rate these sites I would rate them equal in information and content.I would rate drdriving higher for its overall message.I think that because drdriving focuses of prevention it is much more useful to everyone then just a bunch of facts.


Question 5:

Consider Table 5 in the Lecture Notes, in the Section on Driving Psychology Theory and Charts at  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 (DrDriving). What likelihood is there that his approach will be adopted? Explain.


Table 5
Emotionally Intelligent Driver Personality Skills

Driver Competence Skills



Emotionally Intelligent


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

 ďIím going to be so late because these people donít know how to drive.Ē

ď I know I should have left earlier to beat the traffic.Ē

2. Understanding how feelings and thoughts act together

ď I fell scared and I donít feel so well.They need to get away from me.Ē

ďI feel scared and I donít feel so well because I could have died.Ē

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

ďThat guy just cut me off and Iím so angry I need to give him a piece of my mind.Ē

ďIím to tired of getting mad, Iíll let it go and save some energy.Ē

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

ďI need to get that guy back for cutting me off.Ē

ďWhat if that guy has a gun or is a psycho, Iíll just forget about it.Ē

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

ĒI waited to long to get into this lane so Iím not letting anyone else in.Ē

ĒIĎll let these people in my lane because they might be late if I donít.Ē  

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

"No one gets in front of me or speeds up to get in front of me. No way.Ē

"I let people go if they want to cut in front of me. Itís not a race."

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

"They should have looked before they changed lanes and almost hit me.Idiots.Ē 

"I need to watch out for cars if I feel they are going to change lanes and Iím in the way.They might not see me.

8. Practicing positive role models vs. negative

"I hate it when you pull out of a driveway and cut me off so I need to slam on the brakes. Then you drive slow.Iím going to get in front of you and slow down too.Ē

"I guess this guy didnít realize how fast I was coming down the street so Iíll just be patient or change lanes."

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

"Old drivers should stay off the road they always drive slow and are all over the lines.They need glasses, oh ya they already do.Ē

"That guy did something wrong but Iíll let it go

†† so it doesnít spoil my day.Ē 

10. Taking driving seriously by becoming aware of oneís mistakes and correcting them

"I never did anything wrong.All the accidents I got into were other peoples faults.Ē

"I try to see my mistakes and improve on they so I can become a better driver.Ē

The above comes from: 



††††††††††† I always thought the reason driving is such a problem was because people donít realize how powerful and dangerous a car can be.Most people see a cars power as dominance not actual strength.I remember hearing a statistic about people who drive SUVís on the news.It said that people who drive SUVís are 17% more likely to be killed in an accident then for people who drive regular cars.The reason was that SUV drivers think they are safer in a SUVís and tend to be more reckless.I think people need to learn early on that a car isnít just a toy but a serious responsibility for you and for others.


††††††††††† I donít think any effective solutions have been found because not too many people think itís a problem.Some of the solutions offered by Dr. Leon James in the web site are to practice self-witnessing and better drivers education programs.Self-witnessing is to help people realize they need to fix problems they might have never known they had.Improving driverís education by informing people about risks and teaching them skills throughout life and not just when you start driving.


††††††††††† I feel that some people might adopt these techniques and a lot wonít.I think it goes back to fact that people donít care until itís too late.All people need to do is stop and realize that they may have a problem but constructive criticism is not always accepted especially in our society.



Question 7:

Our textbook Road Rage and Aggressive Driving has exercises in several chapters. Do the following four exercises: (a) Exercise on scenario analysis on p. 205; (b) Exercise on acting as-if on p.128; (c) Exercise on self-assessment on p. 134; and (d) Checklist of your road rage tendency on p. 40. What were your reactions to the exercises? 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?

††††††††††† I really liked the exercises in the text for many reasons.For one thing the exercises helped me see what I am really like.They help you see the person you really are on the road.They also make you think of why things might happen.Exercise A was about doing a scenario analysis of a road rage incident.This exercise helps a person reconstruct a road rage incident and think about a smarter behavior.I felt this exercise was helpful because it helps a person see the good and bad results from your actions.

I think the best exercise was exercise C where you record you good and bad traits and have another person do the same of you.I realized that my boyfriend had one good trait and a whole bunch of bad oneís for me.I myself noticed I had more bad then good traits but it wasnít as extreme.I felt it was very interesting how upset I got when I found out what my boyfriend thought were my bad traits.†† He said I drive to slow and let to many people in.I was upset because I knew itís not wrong but he thought it was.I realized that I was upset because I knew he was the one with the problem and not me.This made me wish everyone would take a road rage course.Many people out there need to learn what the consequences are of bad driving behavior.

††††††††††† I think that because road rage has become so much a part of driving in todayís society the fact of bringing it up as a problem is just not heard of.Many people think itís harmless and what some people deserve.I feel itís a waste of energy and added stress that we definitely donít need in todayís world.These exercises can help people realize they and many others have a problem that needs to be changed.The only hard part is getting people to try the exercises.For example exercise D asks you some questions to see how much of an aggressive driver you are.I got an 8 out of 20, which means I am a moderate aggressive driver.I think if some people take this test and realize how much of an aggressive driver they are then maybe they will make an attempt to change.

††††††††††† The principles of driving psychology are to realize you have a problem and then try to become a more supportive driver.I think all these exercise help you see that.In exercise B, you get some tips on how to become a more supportive driver.The exercise tells you what to do in a road rage type situation.I feel this exercise can help you calm down and start becoming a better driver.All these exercises are quick and easy.If everyone took the 30 or so minutes to complete the exercises and apply them we might be able to change the way people drive in todayís stress filled world.


Question 8:

Search the Web and the University of Hawaii Library Electronic Resources of full text journals to find out what is known about risk and driving. Do drivers have a preferred or usual level of risk? Why do drivers take more risks when better safety features are added to the automobile? What is known about personality factors and taking risks while driving? How is the topic of risk integrated in accident analysis, legislation, and driver education?

††††††††††† As I searched the Internet for risk and driving related articles I realized that many of the search results had a lot to do with drinking and driving.††† It seems that people are more concerned with drunken driving risks then the risk of just driving.As I searched on I found a site with many different articles.The site was called found an article on cell phones, adolescent drivers, and risk taking.

††††††††††† The article about drunken driving talked about the normal risks about drinking and driving, but I wasnít very entertained. I know drinking and driving is dangerous but so does everyone else.Many people take a risk when they decide to drink and drive.This goes for people of all ages.†† Another thing that was seen as a risk was using a cell phone while driving.I felt it was interesting to see that a cell phone was seen as more risky than road rage.The article talked about the statistics etc. but again itís something we know is wrong and unsafe.One thing no one realizes is unsafe is road rage.

††††††††††† I also found that if a car has higher safety features then the more likely a driver is of driving recklessly.The driver feel safer therefore performs riskier activities on the road.I think I mentioned earlier that a person who drives a SUV is more likely to get in to an accident because they feel safer.When people think they will be protected by something they are more likely to do something stupid. In a way it is a loose loose situation.In an attempt to keep people safer (with new side air bags, etc.) the industries are actually making peoples driving behaviors worse.

††††††††††† I couldnít find any articles that connected personality with risk taking although I did find an article from, which spoke a lot about youthful risk taking and driving.It seem that people blame young new drivers as the biggest risk takers.It seems that young people really are the biggest risk taker because they account for the highest crash rates.Driving fatalities are the major cause of death for young adults.This is all tied into risk taking.Young adults have the tendency to take more risks.The article stated that people who emerge out of adolescence with a lot of confidence are much higher risk takers.The theories of risk taking behavior also take into account environmental and individualís characteristics.

††††††††††† The article also went into great detail about influences of television, alcohol, drugs, or other things.Other topics discussed in the article were the rate of risk declining after a driver has had more experience.Young drivers are more likely to tailgate than others.One very interesting point from the article was that people tend not to use their seat belt as they get older.The article says that risk taking behavior is preformed by how the risk is perceived.Young drivers tend to perceive less driving risk then adults.

††††††††††† Because young people get into more accidents they are seen as higher risk takers. Insurance companies also see them as a risk.If you are a young male you are even a greater risk.I think this ties into the fact that young people arenít prepared for this new and dangerous activity.I feel that they donít teach this fact enough in driverís education.In drivers education young people are basically taught to drive.I think they should emphasize the risks of speeding etc. by showing statistics and pictures or video of accidents.I donít think young people realize how deadly driving is to them because of their actions.Young people are so eager to be free they will literally kill for it.


Advice to Future Generations

††††††††††† I think the key to succeeding in this course would be to keep an open mind.Many people out there need to know the risks and dangers of aggressive driving.Another thing you would need to do to succeed would be to accept the fact that we all have a problem with driving and we need to fix it.

††††††††††† This course deals with a lot of things people might not think are very important but as you go through the semester you will learn what you need to do to keep yourself and others safe.As far as grading goes, as long as you keep up youíll be ok.Donít procrastinate! You canít recover from it.


Class Home Page:

My Home Page: