Definitions of Traffic Psychology:

How I Stack Up

Instructions for this report My experiences as a driver
Claudine and My Comments  My experiences as a passenger
Irene  and My Comments  My expereinces as a pedestrian
Chris  and My Comments  My experiences as a cyclist
Dina  and My Comments  Advice to Future Generations
Kimberly  and My Comments  Epilogue
  Navigation Table

Claudine Dela Cruz, G8
Claudine defines traffic psychology as the study of our thoughts and behaviors involving traffic.  She emphasized the different atitudes, behaviors and personalities that people posses in dealing with the daily stresses of being a driver.  Traffic psychology also attempts to identify dangerous driving personalities, behaviors,  patterns, and methods to help modify negative aspects of driving.  

I agree with Claudine on her definitions of traffic psychology, most especially her emphasis on the attitudes, behaviors, and personalities that people posses in dealing with stresses of driving. I think that we all process the stimulus we receive from our driving experiences differently. We have different mechanism for dealing with the daily stresses of being a driver. Some peole react assertively while other more aggressively. Traffic psychology is a  field of study the encompasses the braod spectrum of society's definition and labeling of deviant driving behaviors..  

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Irene Barrineau, G8
Irene conceptualizes traffic psychology as the analysis and the discipline of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors while driving or interacting with other drivers.  In the study of traffic psychology we must analyze the problem of road rage and come up with solutions to effectively deal with the problem.  Irene also stated the importance of discipline in the area of traffic psychology.  We must learn how to discipline and modify our behaviors while driving so that we could avoid unnecessary negative experiences of road rage.  Learning how to discipline ourselves while driving is a challenge but we must try to redefine the situation in a more positive manner and avoid any negative confortations.  Since driving is an important means of transportation, we as a society should learn ways in which to promote better driving skills.  The desire to learn better driving skills begins with the individual.  


    I was impressed with Irene's definition of traffic psychology.  She really focused on the individual's behavior and the responsibility that we have to monitor and modify our driving behaviors.  Through self discipline and self modification we can teach ourselves ways in which to avoid or encourage road rage.  

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Chris Murakami, G6
Chris views traffic psychology as the study of traffic and the effect it has on the driving behavior of all road users.  Traffic psychology is a field of study that enlightens us and enables us to become aware of our driving behaviors and those of others.  Often we don't consciously think about our driving behaviors.  It seems to become habitual overtime.  However, the field of traffic psychology offers an opportunity for a complete behavioral introspection which ranges from initial self awareness, to ultimately, the modification of abberant behaviors. One becomes aware of his/her driving behaviors and the consequences it has on other drivers.  


    I thought that Chris made some good points in his definition of traffic psychology.  I agree with Chris that our driving behaviors affect the driving behaviors of others.  We must become aware of our driving behaviors and modify any negative or aggressive behaviors and then maybe we could educate other people to change their driving style.  

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Dina Takahashi, G6
DINA's definition of traffic psychology is that traffic psychology describes the process in whcih various methods are implemented in order to modify driving behavior.  Such methods include self witnessing and the quality of driving circles.  We must first realize our inadequacies of driving before we can begin to modify our driving behaviors.  When driving we are influenced by many different situations.  How we process and react to those situations are influenced by our affective, cognitive and  sensorimotor domains.  With traffic psychology people define and views good and bad drivers differently.  We may view ourselves as good drivers while others see us as aggressive drivers.  The meaning you attach to a driving situation depends upon your definition of that situation.  


    Dina took a different appraoch in defining traffic psychology.  She focused on the methods of modifying driving behaviors.  It is interesting how she mentioned that we must realize our disability in driving before we can modify our driving behaviors.  Also, we must understand that we are influenced by many stimulus that shapes our driving behavior.  I agree with Dina that we must withness our own driving behaviors as well as those of others to better understand the situation we are in and what is the right approach in dealing with the problem.  We just can't simply behave a certain way without thinking about our actions.  

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Kimberly Oshiroki, G5
KIMBERLY defines traffic psychology as dealing with our thoughts, feelings, and actions while driving on the road.  The study of traffic psychology is a way of instilling self-discipline, compassion, selflessness and kindness toward humankind. It is really a tool to bring about the teaching of basic moral principles and values; a basis for teaching etiquette, not just on the road, but for all other aspects of life as well.  


    I thought that Kimberly's definition of traffic psychology was interesting.  Indeed within the field of psychology the primary focus is on the individual and his/her actions, feelings and thoughts.  I never really thought of traffic psychology as a tool for teaching moral principles and values but then again it is not impossible. 

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 As a driver I rarely pay attention to my driving behavior.  I just get into the car, turn the engine on and get ready to commute to my destination.  It seems that my driving has become habitual that I take for granted that each driving experience is different.  However, through doing this assigment I am trying to modify my attitude towards driving.  I try to pay attention to my driving behavior and figure out which behaviors has the potential for eliciting negative actions from other drivers.  Often when other drivers comment on my driving, through hand gestures or honking the horn, I tend to rationalize that my error was someting beyond my control.  I don't take responsibility for my mistakes when driving.

Traffic psychology is needed to help drivers modify their driving behaviors.  People think that they are excellent drivers because they never got any ticket but nevertheless, their driving behaviors is careless.  Driving is like a communication process.  Their must be some mutual ground to ensure successful interaction.  Thus, if people become sensitive to the needs of other drivers and not just on their needs then maybe driving will be a more pleasant and peaceful experience for all drivers.

 When I am the passenger I feel helpless.  I have no control of the car.  I have to anticipate the actions of the driver.  My dad, my brother-in-laws, and some of my friends are scary drivers.  They would drive fast and wait for the last minute to break.  They make sudden changes on the road which takes me by surprise.  I usually comment on their careless drving behaviors, hoping that they would be more careful the next time around.  But that never works.  They would retaliate by saying that when I'm the driver I drive like they do.  When I am a passenger I am more conscious of the driving behaviors of others compared to when I am the driver.  My emtional response is also greater when I am the passenger because I am not in control of the driving situation.  I tend to be more alert to the traffic conditions and the driving behavior of the driver when I am in the passenger seat.
Drivers are vey inconsiderate towards pedestrains.  They don't let pedestrians cross the street even though there's a pedestrian xing. I don't know if their ignorance of pedestrian is due to the fact they just did not see the pedestrian or that they just ignore them because it would be a hassle for them to stop and let the pedestrian cross. As a pedestrian it really irritates me when drivers don't stop to allow me to cross the street. I don't know if they are not thinking that as a pedestrian I have a right of way. The road system is not only designed to accomodate drivers but cyclist and pedestrian as well. People should be more sensitive to the needs of pedestrian. They should be more conscious of their actions. If drivers see a person waiting to corss the street then should have the courtesy to stop and allow that person to cross the street.
Personally, I don't have much experience of being a cyclist on the road, but I did experienced several situations in which I encountered a cyclist on the road. I often get irritated when a cyclist is in front of me, especially when I am in a hurry. Cyclist block the road. Even though they could use the side walk they still remain on the main road. Sometimes I am very patient and just tolerate the situation until I could pass the cyclist. However, in some situations I get so irritated that I often force myself to pass them and thus, causing the cyclist to swerve a little. My perception of cyclist on the road really depends on my affective state. If I am not in a hurry or upset about something then I am pretty laid back. I just relax and share the road with cyclist. On the othe hand, if I'm in a bad mood then I get irritated and somehow show my irritation to the cyclist.

I also think that cyclist should be more conscious about the traffic around them. Sometimes cyclist are careless and they just take chances on the main road. This is a dangerous situation both for themselves and for other drivers. Also, cyclist should not suddenly cut in front of a vehicle because it is more difficult for a driver to anticipate the actions of a cyclist than a vehicle driver because of the size of the bike compared to a vehicle.

For future generations who want to improve on this activity, I suggest that you start early so that you can get a feel for what traffic psychology really is. By examining your driving behaviors and those of others you will be able to do this assigment with relative ease. This activity requires reflection of one's feelings and experiences involving issues relating to traffic psychology. One way to greatly improve in this activity is to incorporte your experiences within your writing. Before you write your report, reflect back on past driving experiences and ways in which you can change or have changed because of what you learned about traffic psychology. Keep in mind the ifluences of your affective, cognitive and sensorimotor domains as you examined and reflect on you driving experiences.
Doing this report was somewhat tiring. It took a lot of time trying to find past generation reports on the definitions of traffic psychology. However, if you take this assigment to heart you might find it worthwhile. This report influenced me to become more sensitive toward other drivers. I have learned through reading the reports of past generations and writing this assigment that as drivers we have the responsibility to ensure the safety of our roads. Not everyone will change their aggressive driving behaviors but if you decided to take the initiative to modify your driving behavior more psotively, then maybe you could begin to influence the driving behaviors of others. Doing this activity really got me to think about my own driving style. I am trying to modify my driving behavior but it is not easy. It takes a lot of initiative and resisting temptations to resume to you negative driving behaviors. But hopefully with patience and determination I will be able to self modify my behavior to become a more conscious, alert, assertive and sensitive driver.
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