Data Project Report: Self-Witnessing of Driving

Part II

Index of Reports


New York: Holt, Reinhart, and Winston, 1961. Newspaper Article.

The part of this article that I chose to discuss was the section on understanding perception as related to personality growth. I feel that this discussion is important because it involves my spiritual level on all three levels of affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor. I have to be willing to honestly look at my defects of character before I can grow in personality or spirituality.

The key to understanding perception in regard to making serious attempts to grow in character is to recognize that it is a unique interpretation of a situation. Nobody will see a situation exactly the way that I do.

Perception is a complex cognitive process that provides a unique picture of the world that may be a lot different from my reality or other people's reality.

Recognizing the difference between the real world and the perceptual world is critical to the understanding of personality patterns.


Attitude is frequently used in describing people and their behaviors. An understanding of the functions of perceptual attitudes is important to the study of personality and personality growth for a number of reasons. One is that attitude helps predict future behavior. Another reason why an understanding of attitudes is important is that attitudes help people adapt to their environment. If these attitudes can be addressed and a person is able to receive feedback a person will have a greater chance at obtaining a higher level of personal growth.


Citation # 7: Reinforcement. Journal of Behavioral Psychology. September 1992 issue. Psych. Lit. Search term used was reinforcement.

The reason that I wanted to use this article was because it relates to my sensorimotor # 4 "I won't use turn signals". I am aware that when people cut me off or drive too slow in front of me I will speed up, pass them and make a quick turn without using my turn signals. This type of behavior is generally reinforcing for me because I get in and out of traffic much more easily. When I use my signals it seems as though other drivers are determined to keep me out of the flow of traffic. I feel as though I have won a victory when I get in and this feeling is reinforcing.

Neutral stimuli may acquire value and become conditioned reinforcers when they become associated with other stimuli that are already reinforcing. Conditioned reinforcers become generalized when they are paired with more than one primary reinforcer. An example of a conditioned generalized reinforcer is getting in the traffic line, because in a round about way it provides several primary gratifications. If I get in the traffic line I will be to work on time and get a good weekly check for food, medical help etc.

Another strong generalized reinforcer is the love of my husband. I know that if I get into traffic and am early to pick him up at work he will be happy. In turn, I will get the attention and approval that I want from him. Cutting into the lines are continuous reinforcers for me, as discussed in this article. I say continuous reinforcers because my behavior is reinforced every time that I cut into the line. Because I receive a continuous reinforcement from this behavior it is much more difficult to distinguish as opposed to the reinforcement being a partial reinforcement or intermittent schedule.

Citation # 8: A Study on Hysteria. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 71, 124-135. Psych. Lit. Search term used was hysteria.

The reason that I chose to use this article was because it related to my affective # 2 frustration. I always feel totally overwhelmed, frustrated and often hysterical in traffic because there quite often is no consideration on the roads. Sometimes I can let go of the feelings but other times I carry it with me.

I like this article because it is very easy to understand which makes it much more interesting to read. That hysteria involves such symptoms as hysterical blindness, and hysterical anesthesia's reflect defensive attempts to avoid painful thoughts and feelings by diversionary preoccupation with apparently physical symptoms. It has been thought by many that the key mechanism in this blocking was unconsciously motivated repression. The article goes on to say that through repression the basic impulses that are unacceptable to the person are rendered unconscious and thereby less frightening. Eventually these repressed feelings come up and the end result is hysteria, as it so often is the case with me.

Disaster Phobia
Citation # 9: The treatment of a disaster phobia by systematic desensitization

Canadian Journal of Behavioral Science; 1991, July Vol. 23 (3) p.32-37. Psych. Lit. Search terms used were treatment, phobia, systematic desensitization.

The reason that I chose to use this article was because it relates to my cognition # 4: "I think about tailgating other people". This type of behavior is obviously very dangerous. I know that by continuing to behave in this manner I am creating my own disaster phobia. This article goes into great detail about the procedure and treatment used in systematic desensitization for a client attempting to overcome a disaster phobia.

Systematic desensitization is used to help people overcome fears or anxieties. The individual is exposed cognitively to increasingly severe samples of aversive or fear arousing stimuli; simultaneously the person is helped to make responses incompatible with anxiety, such as muscle relaxation. Gradually the anxiety evoked by the aversive stimulus is reduced and the stimulus is neutralized. This type of therapy would be very useful to use for my driving behavior because I would be able to overcome the fears and anxieties that I experience while I am driving.

Citation # 10: A Motivational System for Therapy and Rehabilitation.

American Psychologist, 12, 421-434. Psych. Lit. Search terms used were motivation, therapy, rehabilitation.

The reason that I chose this article was because it relates to my successes that I experienced while trying to modify the five cognitive, affective, and sensorimotor things from not noble to noble. This article focuses on higher order motivation. I felt this article was perfect for summing up my experiences while trying to modify my behavior. Higher order motives do not involve specific physiological changes. Instead they are seen as physiological desires or wishes for particular goals or outcomes that have value for the individual. In my case of wanting to change my behavior I felt that it was higher order motivation because the desire for change came from inside of me and it wasn't because any primary needs were involved. I wanted to change so that I would feel better driving and so that myself and other people on the road would be safer.


Allport, G.W. Pattern and Growth in Personality.New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1961

Ashem, R. The treatment of a Disaster Phobia by Systematic Desensitization. Canadian Journal of Behavioral Science, 1991 July vol. 23 (3)

Ayllon, T., and Azrin, N.H. A Motivational System for Therapy and Rehabilitation.American psychologist, 12, 421-434.

Birney, R.C. and Teevan, R.C. (eds) Reinforcement.Princeton: Van Nostrand, 1961.

Brueur,J., and Freud, S. Studies on Hysteria.New York: Basic Books, 1957)

Dailey, Robert C. Relationship between Locus of Control, Task Characteristics, and Attitudes.Psycholoqical Reports, 1980, 47, 855-861.

Glass,G.V., Wilson, V.L. and Gottmam, J.M. Social Learning Personality.Boulder: Colorado university Press, 1974).

Leitenberg,H., Agras, W.S. Thomson, L., and Wright, D.E. Feedback in Behavior Modification.Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 1966.

Luszcz, Mary A. Predictors of Memory. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 1991, 8 (2), 455-475.

Schumann-Hengsteler, Ruth. The Development of Visuo-Spatial Memory. How to Remember Location.International Journal of Behavioral Development, 1992, 15 (4), 455-471.

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