REPORT 1
PSY 459: GENERATION 2
9/18/95
BRADEN KATO
PSY459
DR. LEON JAMES

Studying the driving personality. that almost all the generation I students gave was the idea that driving personality is basically a assessment of driving habits (whether it be of themselves, or another person), that contribute to performance when driving. Many of them also state that driving habits vary within the person- in other words, we all have different ideas concerning what is good or bad when driving.

Jae Isa states a good point concerning driving personality. According to her, many factors play a role in driving personality- the type of music you're listening to, the weather, type of car you're driving, etc.. Distractions such as talking on the cellular phone, and conversing while driving can also have effects on driving personality.

Many students of Generation I Psy 459 seem to generally agree that the ideal "good driver" is basically a person who obeys all street laws, is not an aggressive driver, and who is courtious to others. Yet many of the students also admit that what consistuites a "good driver " for them is subjective. Kendall Matsuyoshi brings up a good point when he states that a "good driver" is a person aware of his or her surroundings, and can keep up with the flow of traffic. I also like his other point about how the typr of vechicle a person drives can have an effect on his or her driving personality. He gives examples of how he has to drive proper when driving his work van, compared to when he is in his own vechicle.

Aaron Reisner also draws up a good point concerning drivng personality and music. According to him, he tends to drive aggressively when listening to heavy metal music such as Metallica, Megadeth, and so on. It is the exact opposite when he is listening to soft rock.

As far as significance to traffic psychology goes, a realization has to be made that many drivers on the road simply don't care about being courtious towards other drivers. All they can think about is getting to their destination in the fastest way possible, and at the same time disregarding laws, and putting many lives in danger. I feel that if every driver on Hawaii's roads took up traffic psychology, they would be able to see many of the fustrations and anxieties that other drivers have, and be able to show emphaty to the point where they might even change their driving habits. That is where the good in traffic psychology might come.

As far as my self observations goes, I consider myself a courtious and law abiding driver. I ALWAYS signal when I change lanes, and try to keep up with the flow of traffic yet maintaining a decent speed. Like Adele Kimura, My number one pet peeve is when people don't wave thanks after you make the effort to let them cut in front of you in heavy traffic. To me, it's a basic matter of not having common courtesy. I also noticed that the type of music has a big effect on me also. When listening to fast beat music such as hard rock, I tend to drive on the aggressive side. When I'm playing something mellow such as Hawaiian or soft rock, I tend to drive a bit more relaxed.

All in all, driving personality could be synonomous with driving style. Driving personality is affected all the time by different elements, and no two driving experiences are alike.

Driving In Convoys

Just like the topic of driving personality, I was able to find a lot of material concerning this topic by looking through generation I student's papers. It appears to have been an assigned for their week ten assignments, being that virtually all of them discuss some issue pertaining to the subject of convoys. Most of them were interesting, due to the fact that the vast majority talked about their experiences with convoys.

From what I can gather, the definition of a convoy is the basic concept that drivers like to drive in packs whether it be on the freeway, or the highway. The general consensus of the generation I students was the reasoning that drivers drive in packs to avoid getting a speeding ticket, or simply to not let anyone cut in front of them, otherwise known as the "sucking in phenomenon." Most of them saw convoys in a negative light; suffocation and irritability could be two words that best describe it. Adele Kimura felt as if convoys "were like gangs: they only cause trouble." She also admits to feelings of "irritability" when driving in a convoy. Claudia Kaneshiro sees convoyees in another perspective; she sees them as people who think they have to cover every bit of foward ground as fast as possible in order to reach their target destination.

As far as psychology goes in the realm of convoys, I absolutely have to mention Jae's ideas and perceptions of the socialist convoyee or extrovert, and the anti-social introvert. I would have given her a A for the semester just because of this observation! She talks about how extroverts (convoyees) enjoy the company of others, while the introverts (anti-convoyees) like to keep to their selves, or stay within their own social boundaries. She also states how she herself is an introvert, and obviously enjoys having her own space.

My observations would be this: yes, I am a convoyee and yes, I try to use it to my advantage such as when I know that I am travelling in heavily lazered places such as the airport freeway. However, I also enjoy my own space also, so I don't mind driving in empty spaces also. Yet it could be related to my MSF (Motorcycle Saftey Foundation) training, where we were taught to ride between the convoys( they did make observations about convoys also) because it is safer than riding in the convoys.

I'd have to say that my preferences for convoys varies depending on the conditions. Jae Isa mentioned preferences for convoys such as riding through Kipapa gulch at night, and I would absolutely positively have to agree with her. It's an eerie feeling to drive alone in such a desolate part of the highway at night, where there's no lights for approximately a quarter of a mile. That is where a sense of "security" could be found in a convoy.

In general, it seems as if convoys have their "positives" and "negatives", but a lot of put toward the negative. As we have seen, there are some who can find security in them, while others absolutely despise convoys. Despite all this, there is one thing that is certain; as long as there are drivers in Hawaii, there will always be convoys!

Tailgating

If it's one topic that kept everyone stirring, it's got to be tailgating. Out of all the material that I found, reports about tailgating were the most extensive. Seems as if almost everyone of the generation I students has their little story concerning the issue of tailgating, and one of the students even had a top ten list to get back at a tailgater!

Many of the generation I students talk about the moral and spiritual implications concerning tailgating. A lot of students had their own ideas and views concerning the moral issue, but Rayson Noguchi puts it best by stating that it is the malicious intent to tailgate that is morally wrong. Claudia Kaneshiro brings up another good point about tailgating stating that the issue becomes moral when safety and consideration for others come into play. She believes that emotions play a big role in tailgating, by stating the fact that a lot of us let the "Dr. Jeckyl-- Mr Hyde" out and tailgate out of anger from being cut off, or having to follow someone who drives slow. Claudia also mentions that tailgating could ultimately be a result of trying to deter the "sucking in" phenomenon. Adele Kimura feels as if tailgating is simply a bad habit and relates it to the feeling of being stalked. Like many others, she also believes that there should be a law against tailgating.

In our society and culture, personal space is very important to us, including when we drive. When our personal space gets invaded, we get annoyed, irritated and defensive. I'd have to agree with Jae Isa when she relates tailgating to a violation of privacy through means of invading personal space. She also states that regardless of intention, tailgating is wrong, and can constituted as simply a lack of discourtesy. I also agree with that, yet I think that tailgating has to do with power. Many tailgaters may possibly think that tailgating forces the person in front to drive faster, or move out of the way. However, the power can be held the other way also. The person in front may keep the power by continuing to drive slow, and possibly "boxing in" the tailgater so that he or she can't get around. All this could be done through intentional means, yet it is possible that a lot of this could be unintentional. In essence, it would be probable to say that tailgating ensues a kind of "power struggle" without the participants even being aware it.

As for me, tailgating is something that I always try to avoid doing unless I really am upset. I feel that since I don't tailgate anybody, nobody should tailgate me. From my driving experience However, I've learned that its inevitable that you will come across one to three idiots (tailgaters) on the road, at any time of the day. It's always the same scenario you're driving along on H1 minding your own business, suddenly you glance in your rear view mirror and see some idiot trying to read a bumper sticker that you don't have on your bumper. You try slowing down to shake him or her loose, to the point where you are going 45 in a 55 MPH zone. The idiot finally decides to change lanes, and when he or she passes you, you give them the stinkest eye possible. This is the type of scenario that I have to put up with everyday, being that I commute all the way from Aiea. Because I drive in morning traffic a lot, I observed that most of the tailgating done to me occurs because of people trying to avoid the "sucking in" phenomena. This is usually the case when there is traffic, and people don't want to let anyone in front of them. I find this type of tailgating the most annoying, and it is probably the cause of many accidents.

It is common sense to know that tailgating disturbs many, and is potentially dangerous. I believe that tailgating should be against the law, and it should be required that people take a common sense test before getting their license. Maybe there would be less accidents. Who knows.....

Driving the Speed Limit and Speeding

To me, the second most interesting topic to talk about next to tailgating is speeding. Virtually all of us go over the speed limit at least one point in our daily driving lives. Most of us find it practically impossible to go 25 in a 25 MPH zone, let alone 50- 55 on the freeway. Contemplating this, I came upon an interesting article written by Claudia Kaneshiro concerning the effects of speeding, and ATTEMPTING to drive the speed limit. She discusses an experiment done by Lisa Isobe, who wanted to explore the effects of driving the speed limit, and other motorists' reactions. However, it seems as if Lisa Isobe's outcomes were pretty predictable, for we all know what it's like to follow someone going the speed limit. Overall, she had negative feedback from fellow motorists. "Stink eyes" were common, and she also had a sense of "fear", because of the fact that she was going "too slow"

A lot of students mentioned "curving their speeding" in their driving personality makeover. Todd Takitani made this particular resolution, yet his results weren't too good. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, Todd insisted that he tried his best to cut down on his speeding, but was unsuccessful. According to him, he couldn't go the speed limit for at least five minutes due to the fact that he was constantly thinking about what the other drivers were thinking. He felt as if the drivers (especially the ones following him) would "hate" him for going so "slow." I can emphatize with Todd.

In the psychological perspective, driving the speed limit deviates from the norm of going with the flow of traffic. Attitudes are changed towards you, and you are seen as "abnormal," ironic to the fact that you are obeying "statutory" laws. However, obeying statutory laws come in handy when you are being lazered!

As for me, many factors play a role in my speed while driving. Factors such as the flow of traffic, weather, type of music listening to, and if there are passengers in the car. Yet, just for the sake of "validating" Lisa Isobe's experiment, I had to try little one of my own.

My hypothesis was the obvious: if I go the speed limit, then fellow motorists will get upset. My conditions were similar to Lisa's: drive for three days while observing the speed limit at all times, no matter what. To make it more interesting, I decided to try the "great experiment" on three weekdays, just to make things more interesting.

I somewhat knew what to expect, so the results and reactions were no surprise to me. A lot of tailgating and "stink eyeing" occurred, especially on the on and off-ramps. On the freeway I drove on the second lane from the left, and it felt like the cars that were passing me (especially on the left) were going 80-90 miles per hour. I could've sworn I saw a lot of elderly people pass me and give me the stink eye! Despite all this, I kept loyal to my experiment for the sake of science and survived the three days without getting into any accidents, or serious fights.

In all, it would be proper to say that driving the speed limit is somewhat dangerous, and draws negativity to the driver from other motorists. However, speeding draws attention from people that you don't want attention from-- the boys in blue. Seems as if there is a catch- twenty two, yet I believe that regulation and recognition are the keys to successful driving. I Regulate my speed so that I'm not going too fast or too slow, and I try recognize places that speeders are most likely to get caught. It's worked for me so far, for I haven't got any speeding tickets for the past seven years. But I'm still knocking on wood!

Aggression

Concerning aggression, I was able to find a lot of material on this topic from Caroline Balatico's report. Because this is the last topic, I wanted to choose a topic that would basically "include" most of the previously mentioned topics. Aggression seems to be the root of all evil, and may include specific topics such as speeding, and tailgating.

According to Caroline Balatico, aggressive drivers come in 4 forms: predatory, territorial, dominance, and fear. Predatory aggression is when the driver feels "hunted" down by another driver, and disregard other drivers rights in order to eliminate the predator's threats. Territorial drivers act aggressive in a way that deters other drivers from invading their "space"- for instance, not letting another car cut in front of them, or pressing their brakes to warn other drivers to keep their distance in the back. Dominance aggression occurs when there is competition pertaining to the automobile itself, whether the best looking, or the fastest. Pride and ego are involved, therefore aggression is inevitable. Last but not least is aggression out of fear, where the driver drives aggressively because he or she maybe in danger, or threatened. An example would be if a person was surrounded by semi trucks side and back, the first is to speed up out of that situation so as to not get "squished" between them.

Todd Takitani recognizes another form of aggression. He refers to it as frustration-aggression, where the driver comes to a situation and realizes that it is out of his or her control, the ending result being aggression. An GOOD example would be driving in congested traffic, and after "breaking loose", driving aggressively out of frustration.

Psychologically, I have to agree with Todd Takitani when he relates Albert Bandura's theory of learning to aggressive driving. According to Todd, we all observe other people's driving habits and in turn react to it. Todd uses examples of a driver A observing driver B cut off everyone which makes driver A want to do the same to driver B. Caroline Balatico describe the aggressive driver by using terms created by Eric Fromm-biologically adaptive, and life serving. Caroline describes the first term as a driver that breaks suddenly when being followed too closely by another car. For the second term, she uses the example of the driver that cuts off other drivers just to get in the fast lane. she also includes environmental factors in determining how aggressive a driver becomes, and uses heat and humidity as an example.

As for myself, I consider myself a basically mellow driver, yet I must admit that when there are aggressive drivers around ( such as someone cutting me off), I tend to get aggressive also. I relate my aggressive driving with anger, yet it take a lot to make me angry. Being tailed closely makes me angry, as well as being cut off, and people that don't know how to drive(how do they get their license!!??) also makes me aggressive.

I must admit that when I was young (and stupid), I used to be VERY aggressive. I would race any car that made me upset, and make trouble to them. I would race even those that passed me by too fast. At that time, I took everything too personal! However, as of now, I hardly flinch when someone passes me by. I still get mad and drive aggressively at times though, yet I know my limits and ain't as crazy as I used to be. .

For most of us, it is inevitable that times will come we will feel at least some aggression when driving. We must face the fact that there will always discourteous, careless, and crappy drivers as long as there are drivers!


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