Instructions for Report 2
Self-Witnessing Rage
409a, 409b, 459--Spring 2001--G14


0) The file name when you upload it must be called report2.html or report2.htm

1) The heading of your report should be: 

Choose a suitable Sub-title and Type it Here

by  First and Last Name   (Note: If you want, you are allowed to use a made up name.)


Link to these instructions:

2) Type the title of your report into the Page Properties Title window. Do not forget this step! It's very important.

3) The body of the report should contain these sections:

4) The Introduction should summarize the content of your annotated bibliography and link to report 1. After the summary, state the implications: What does it say about our society? How are we to explain what's happening with rage? What are we to expect for the future? What should be done about it? For some ideas on these issues, see Dr. James' book references online and the clickable links that lead you to further articles on the Age of Rage.

5) The Self-witnessing Observations should have sub-sections:

  1. How did you decide what to report on?

  2. What methods did you use?

  3. What difficulties were there and how reliable are the observations (what errors may there be there)?

  4. What were the observations: Where? When? What? Who?

  5. When did rage become visible? How was it manifested? How serious or intense was it?

  6. What was the context leading up to it and how often did it happen?

  7. Why is it showing up at that moment? What keeps it up (assumptions, expectations)?

  8. What recovery possibilities are there? How could you modify this reaction pattern?

The above steps can all be exemplified by the Threestep Method (see: as follows:

Step 1: Acknowledge
    You need to recognize when you're experiencing a rage episode. As soon as you recognize that it's happening, you need to acknowledge to yourself by thinking a sentence of acknowledgement like "I'm having another rage episode" or "I'm raging" etc. but you need to use the word "rage" to make sure that that's what you're acknowledging. This takes only a second or fraction of second, but without this, the second and third steps are not really and honestly available to you.

Step 2: Witness
You need to become consciously aware of three elements of your rage episode: your sensorimotor behavior that is visible to others; your cognitive behavior--what you're thinking; and your affective behavior--what you're feeling. This can take a few seconds or a couple of minutes.

You monitor your sensorimotor behavior by focusing on your body position and appearance: What facial expression are you making? Are you gripping something, making a fist, or trembling? Are you breathing fast and raising your voice making it harsh or mean?

You monitor your cognitive behavior by focusing on your thinking: What are your thoughts right then and there? Tune into them. Sometimes you need to formulate sentences to yourself as if you're explaining to yourself what you're thinking. This is easy to do and an excellent technique for increasing self-awareness generally.

You monitor your affective behavior by focusing on your feeling: What are you feeling? How unpleasant or annoying is it? What do you feel like doing about it?

Step 3: Modify
You need to consciously modify all three elements of your rage. You modify your sensorimotor behavior first. Fix your face and your stance, stop gripping or fisting, relax your body and regain control over your breathing and voice. This may take a minute or two. In the meantime you need to focus on the cognitive and affective domains. Be sure to continue the modification process of your sensorimotor behavior and not interrupt it while you're throwing your focus over to your cognitive domain.

You modify your cognitive behavior by interrupting the rage routines circling in your mind. You do this by contradicting and interrupting the rage thoughts. Often these rage thoughts sequence themselves in series, then recycle. We are familiar with it when we are venting, or someone we listen to is venting. It involves reasoning in a way that makes you right and the others wrong. Over an over again, almost like an obsession. This must be contradicted and interrupted. Tell yourself that emotional intelligence and rationality will keep you safe and reduce the annoyance time and severity. Act like you're disbelieving yourself when your thoughts are negative or violent, and act like you're really believing the opposite, which is rational and good. As you're wrestling with your cognitive self, be sure to continue modifying your sensorimotor self. Also, while you're modifying both the sensorimotor and the cognitive, you need to start modifying the affective without interrupting or forgetting the other two. Finally, all three domains of the self must be modified simultaneously or else you again lose grip of your emotions and behavior.

You modify your affective behavior by invoking a higher affect or motive. All our affective behaviors or feelings are arranged in a hierarchy of domination. Our highest, deepest, or strongest loves dominate the lesser loves. This is why all our goals are arranged in hierarchies of importance or value. The only way to control a passion or motive is by means of a higher or stronger passion. Ask yourself: What are my highest loves or goals in this situation? You will find that it is not revenge, retaliation, complaint, or victory in a duel. Rather, your highest loves are to be safe, civilized, and above it. If you're religious, appeal to God or focus on a prayer. If you don't want to do this, appeal to your sense of morality and humanness. In this way the new emotions that are positive, tolerant, and civilized interrupt and transform the negative affect. At this point you're fully recovered from your rage episode and better prepared to deal with the next that comes along.


There should be a minimum of 3 episodes or events being reported. Note: You can use the episodes you already discussed in your weekly Web Forum Discussions but you'll need to add more details as indicated in these instructions. Or, you can use new episodes. You can also use episodes you obtain from other people, as long as you can interview them with the specific questions mentioned in these instructions. It's important to present a blow-by-blow description or transcript of the event, accompanied by your actions, perceptions, thoughts, and feelings. This is the Affective-Cognitive-Sensorimotor Self-Witnessing Technique.

For additional information on this technique you will definitely want to look at these student reports and articles by Dr. James, listed below. These references can also serve to help you add the theory component to your report. 

  1. Kim's report on driving the speed limit:

  2. Kathleen Matayoshi's self-witnessing analysis:

  3. Student's self-witnessing report on driving:

  4. Self-witnessing report on thoughts and feelings:

  5. Article on the driver's threefold self by Dr. James:

  6. Dr, James' thoughts and feelings in traffic:

  7. Self-witnessing of one's daily round of activities:

  8. Self-witnessing form:

  9. Self-witnessing chart:

  10. Laura Izutsu Report on driving :

  11. Traffic psychology article by Dr. James:

6) The theory component:

The Discussion should summarize the outcome of the episodes or events and provide psychological explanations of the forces at play. You can use the above references to help you discuss both external behaviors (acts, speech,  and perceptions) and  internal behaviors (feelings and thoughts).

Additional theoretical explanations will be found in your text for the course and their references.

Your annotated bibliography will also contain relevant references where theory or explanation are discussed.

You can also bring in explanatory concepts from your other courses or textbooks.

Be sure to reference all your sources.

Optional: 7) Apply what you have learned from your report by creating a test of raging in one of the areas you covered.

Make up a suitable title for the test. It should have between 10 to 20 items, each with a rating scale or selection of options. Include a scoring scheme. Try the test on some people and report on how it worked out and what the difficulties were. Finally, what needs to be done further to establish the usefulness of your test.

Your textbook may contain examples of tests.

Further examples can be found on DrDriving's collection of tests:

8) References:  List all the sources you used and referred to in your report.

9) Be sure you have links to Class Home Page: and to your Report 1.


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