This class is opening up a whole new
world for me; one I never thought I would explore. The internet is quite
exciting and very interesting! Who knew you could have access to so much
information with just the touch of a key. I was very apprehensive
about exploring the previous generations on the World
Wide Web because I was afraid that my lack of experience with and
knowledge about computers would hinder me. At first, I let
computer-phobia invade my brain and I just knew that I would fail miserably
while trying to unravel the mystery of the Internet. Well, despite
my initial fears, my attempts proved successful and I read through several
reports and I'll take this opportunity to summarize and discuss a few of
On my journey through the
past generations one of the first stops I made was to visit Braden Kato.
I found Braden through the topic index on my instructor's Homepage under the
heading of aggression. I felt that aggression would be an interesting
subject to explore and I was right. Braden summarized
driving aggression as the root of all evil because it incorporates many
other problem areas found in people's driving behaviors, such as
tailgating and speeding. He then
quotes and summarizes two other student reports from the generation prior
to his own. Finally, he discusses his own aggressive driving behavior.
As a younger person he was more easily provoked to anger because he took
the other driver's actions personally
and this anger lead him to engage in aggressive driving behaviors.
Personalizing another driver's actions seems to be a bit egocentric. Most
drivers have much more on their minds than trying to cause other drivers
problems. However, as Braden pointed out, this
internalization took place when he was younger and young people have some
natural egocentric tendencies. However, many adults still internalize
other people's actions and feel threatened by other driver's mistakes.
Aggressive driving may stem from the irrational thought patterns
established in earlier teen years.
reading Braden's report and found it to be quite informative. He wrote in
a light, yet earnest manor. He discussed his subject thoroughly in clear
and concise language and the style was informal and thought
Upon entering Caroline's Home
Page, I was pleasantly surprised by the many choices which lay before
me. She set up her page with a lot of information which can be
quite helpful as I progress through this class. For instance, she has set
Bookmarks, which has some great links
to various traffic information spots and a glossary of
terms for the internet as well as traffic which can aid any student
immensely. Thanks Caroline.
I also read one of Caroline's reports which discussed three ideas about traffic psychology which were brought up in class. Caroline chose the topics of time, the similarities of pedestrian and road traffic and the effect of the emotional state of the driver on performance.
Concerning time, she discusses how people today are in
much too much of a hurry; everyone needs to be somewhere and they usually
speed to get there. One of the similarities she described about
pedestrians and vehicles is that both hate to be trapped
behind a slow-poke and will attempt to pass at all costs. Finally, a
persons emotions affect their thoughts which in turn are expressed in a
person's behavior and this is a potential hazard while driving.
I can personally relate to all three of Caroline's topics. Time is of the essence in this day and age; nothing moves slowly anymore because people just don't like to wait. Impatience has set in as a way of life. A great example of this is how we discuss computer time in class; people are always complaining if a computer takes 3 seconds instead of 1 to perform an operation. What happened to the old fashioned adage "Good things come to those who WAIT" ?
Emotions are a cognitive response to autonomic arousal; thus if one can change his thinking patterns then the effects of emotions on one's driving abilities could be lessened. However, I do agree that until this level of cognitive change can be achieved, emotions will continue to plague drivers.
Speaking personally, as
one who both drives and walks fast, it is true that being behind a slow-poke
can drive me crazy. I, however, do have a rational reason (or at least
I like to think it's rational) for
disliking the slow walker:I have long legs and it is so much easier to
I enjoyed reading Caroline's report and Home Page. The Home
Page was great. The report was very interesting and had a few good ideas,
but her writing was not very clear. It was difficult discerning the point
she was trying to make. However, overall, her pages were quite enjoyable.
Jo, like Caroline, had a wonderful Home Page. She
provides many links which she describes in such a way that makes you want to
travel through them all. The tone of the page is inviting, open and friendly.
I also read her lab report
1b. In this report she discusses the over-confidence phenomenon and
the accordion effect. She says that some people get over-confident in
their abilities as a driver and won't accept any criticism, despite the fact
that criticism can aid them in becoming a better driver. She feels that
she is becomes over-confident sometimes. The accordion effect is when a
group of cars drive
in such a manor that there is no stopping distance between them.
She said that learning about this topic has
made her more aware of her own aggressive manor. This report is well
written and is easily read. She discusses these issues in a light tone.
I really enjoyed visiting her pages.
Perhaps the over-confidence problem emerges from a lack of
self-esteem. Without a strong self-concept, people can feel threatened
from another's criticisms. The accordion effect is an interesting
concept. People often seem to gather in packs for protection ( safety in
numbers). Perhaps the accordion effect results from
the desire for protection on the highway from the perceived enemy--the
touched upon a different subject altogether. She defined what she felt
was a good driver. She feels that a good driver considers all other
people's feelings and not just their own . They also drive safely and
try not to endanger others. Now,
although she discusses the issue of driving from the positive side, she
expresses a negative view because she feels that there are very few good
drivers today. Most driver's, according to Michelle, are just acceptable
drivers, that is they "drive within a reasonable range of the law."
Despite the negativity in her views, Michelle's
report is very well written. It is a clear and concise piece of
Lai and Terri
Slaughter discuss the issue of drivers not paying attention to their
passengers. Joleen states that people simply forget that they might be
influencing their passengers, especially young children. She, herself,
has experienced this while driving with her young
cousins. Terri, on the other hand, feels that drivers become too absorbed
in their driving and what the other driver thinks, instead of what the
person right next to them thinks:they don't care that their passenger is
scared as long as they are going fast enough not to bother the car behind
Both of these papers bring out an
extremely interesting point; most people do get self absorbed or succumb
to the fallacy that the other drivers care about their behavior. Although
they both expressed a similar idea, Terri's was clearly
written with a better style, grammar and structure. It was terribly
difficult to discern Joleen's point, due to the poor grammar and
wrote about the chronic speeder. She define's the chronic speeder as one
who continuously drives over the speed limit by at least 10 miles or more.
Sound Familiar? It does to me.
Nancee, too, confesses her need for speed. We again get the theory of
the fast paced society causing people to speed. She also adds the
notion of an individualistic society, saying that people speed because
they are only concerned with themselves.
More personally, though, Nancee confesses that speeding gives her a
rush; the thrill of danger; the risk of getting caught. This seems the
appropriate response for a person with a thrill seeking personality, which
there's probably a little of in all of us.
Nancee is an excellent writer. Her report is very informative and done with a bit of humor. Her report is clear and very well organized. I enjoyed reading her pages quite a lot. ¥
addressed the issue of swearing in his report. This report was a self
evaluation and an attempt to modify his behavior through imagery
therapy. He confessed that he had a foul mouth while driving and that he
bagan to realize that his behavior was affecting his
girlfriend, so he
decided to try and change. His plan of attack was to take away the safety
barriers which had allowed him to use his foul mouth in the past, namely,
the cars between him and the other drivers. Impossible? Not for Bryan
and his imagery therapy. He imagined
himself to be swearing directly into the faces of the other drivers. This
put his behavior on a more personal level, which helped him to reduce the
amount of cussing he did. Way
to go Bryan!
I thought Bryan's paper was great. It's good to know
that therapy can succeed. He wrote about himself clearly and objectively.
He had a good style, not too dry, but serious. He could have used just a
little more editing, however, it was a great report overall.
For my final review of the previous generations' work I chose an
extremely interesting site. Once I entered Curtis'sHome Page I was struck by a
mystical air. The pictures he chose to include as well as the
label "The Tao of Driving" added to this mystique; it was quite
intriguing. The captivating tone continued when I found one of the
reports to be titled "Last Will and Testament". Needless to say, I
clicked on this one right away. My expectations for this
report were fulfilled; it
was just as imaginative as I thought it would be. He wrote in the format
of a true will in which he left the subsequent generations some valuable
advice. I think the most relevant
advice for me was not to be intimidated by this form of communication and
to just take it step by step.
I then read one of his other reports about
This was another refreshing change because in my exploration
I had not yet encountered this topic.
He felt that cell phones are an added distraction to a driver,
especially if the conversation is really animated.
Then he quotes two students from his prior generation and they also felt
that cell phones created an attention problem. He even mentioned that it
is illegal to use cell phones in Brazil unless they are hands-free.
That fact poses an interesting thought for
consideration, but it does seem terribly difficult to enforce the no phone
I certainly enjoyed exploring Curtis' pages. He was incredibly
creative and formed enough intrigue to make you search further into his
work. He also wrote clearly and concisely. His style was quite
intelligent and a refreshing change.
I've enjoyed my
journeys through G1 and G2 immensely, thus far. I expect that, with
continued exploration and practice, I will become competent at using this
technology. In the beginning I was extremely intimidated at the thought
of having to dive into a computer so fast because previously I had
barely even looked at one. Now,
after a little use, I am much less intimidated, but I still have a
lot to learn! This has also been a frustrating experience in the fact
that it is impossible to connect to the Pearl Saver from my home.
The line is always busy whenever I have
the time to work on it. After subscribing to America On-line, I was able
to begin my searches from my home, but I still could not type in any
reports on my pages. I
also had trouble because I have Windows 95 at home, but I am working
on Windows 3.1 in the lab; thus everything I figure out in the lab I have
to relearn at home. But, in spite of these problems, I am enjoying the
process of learning to use these computer techniques.
I feel that this is a very innovative way to
learn and I'm quite happy to be a part of G3. I hope that I will be able
to add a few new insights to all the great ideas in traffic psychology
left behind by the previous generations. They've explored numerous
topics in the subject of traffic and I just hope that my
exploration of some of these topics will help someone in the next
generation better understand their driving behaviors and their subsequent
transformations into facilitative drivers. Most all, I hope that I will
be successful in eliciting a change in my own
driving persona because when I get behind the wheel, my personality alters
and I become a traffic bully. I also definitely possess some of the bad
habits described in the reports from generations 1 and 2. I do expect to
have a really great time conducting
further explorations of this media and gaining some extremely useful
information along the way.
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