Report 1

Studying the Online Generational Curriculum in Traffic Psychology by Rahnelle Ring: Everybody Could Benefit From a Driving Personality Makeover

Table of Contents
What is a Driving Personality Makeover?
The Benefits of Doing a Driving Personality Makeover
Allright, Now that I know What it is, How do I do it?
What Would Make a person Want to do a Driving Personality Makeover?
I Have the Know How, but Can I, and Will I?
Using the Online Generational Curriculum, How did it Measure up:
My Opinion of the Online Generational Curriculum

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What is a Driving Personality Makeover?

By reading through the generational student reports on traffic psychology I was able to get a pretty clear understanding of what a driving personality makeover was. I especially liked Nancee Aki's three step process. According to her, the first step is to recognize that you possess some undesirable driving behaviors. The second step is to be aware of, and able to analyze both the internal and external factors a driver may experience. For example, internal factors can include the mood you are in, the amount of stress you may have encountered that day, ect. External factors can include such things as the weather, the amount of traffic you have encountered and so on. The third step in this process, is to alter the negative driving behaviors into positive ones in order to help achieve self actualization; a concept that Nancy got from another generational student, Joleen Lai's. I think that another important point was brought up by Jason Nakasato. The point being that in order to successfully alter your driving behaviors you must constantly maintain a self-awareness because driving is an automatic behavior you don't even have to think about doing. Simplified, a driving personality makeover is an individuals attempt at evaluating their own driving behaviors, deciding if any negative behaviors exist, and then formulatting an action plan to alter those negative behaviors into more positive ones.

The Benefits of Doing a Driving Personality Makeover

As it stands today, automobile accidents are one of the leading causes of death in this country. Some fifty thousand americans are killed each year. Perhaps if every licensed driver in the United States performed a successful driving personality makeover this number would decrease substantially. Just think, if every one became a safer and more courteous driver, how less stressful driving would be. With a substantial decrease in collisions and resulting injuries insurance premiums could even go down. Now if that is not a motivator I do not know what is! (oops, I think this concept has been introduced before, was it Utopia or something like that?) Anyway, knowing human nature with it's strong adversion to change this is probably unrealistic.
Although, it may be unrealistic for a substantial beneficial change to take place on a societal level, it is not all that unrealistic for it to take place on an individual level. For example, if a person came to the conclusion that they speeded too much, and that in some way it was going to eventually cause them harm, perhaps they would be able to undertake a successful driving personality makeover. In so doing, they would eliminate the fear that their speeding would eventually cause them harm. Also, in their successful attempt at change they would feel better about themselves as a person as well as a driver. I think that Laura Izutsu had the right idea when she said that most drivers think as individuals, and only give priority to their own needs instead of thinking how their driving would effect others. Perhaps in doing a driving personality makeover attempt we should take into account how our driving would effect others.
Personally, in investigating this concept through the generational reports, I recognized a lot of the negative behaviors mentioned as ones; that I myself possessed. Through feedback that I've received (policeofficers, insurance companies, and passangers) I realize that it wouldn't be such a bad idea for me to give it a try. Who knows, maybe I'll get ambitious and give it a whirl.

Allright, Now That I Know What it is, How do I do it?

The Five Steps to a Personality Makeover

Decide to do a Driving Personality Makeover.
Analyze through self observation what driving behaviors you exhibit.
Pinpoint what behaviors you would like to change.
Formulate an action plan to alter those behaviors.
Record and evaluate your progress.

I think that by following these five steps, one can get a clear idea of how to do a driving personality makeover. Hopefully, with the use of this outline, somebody who would like to do a driving personality makeover, but doesn't know how can get some idea (at least that was its purpose). However, if you need some more information on how to do one, take a look at Sherman Lee's report. I think that he had the right idea when he attempted his driving personality makeover. I especialy liked his ideas about cognitive restructuring: that altering thoughts about driving behaviors, will lead to behavior change.

What Would Make a Person Want to do a Driving Personality Makeover?

To get to the answer of the question, perhaps we should first look at the converse of the question, why wouldn't someone want to do a driving personality makeover? Personally, I think that we can look at this through a learning perspective. I think that negative driving behaviors are rewarding (operant conditioning). For an example, I will use speeding. Most people speed. People speed for all sorts of reasons; it's exciting, they're in a rush, (check out Caroline Balatico's report on rushing) they have to make an appointment, ect. The outcome of speeding is rewarding; you make it to where you want to go on time, you're not bored behind the wheel, and so on. In these situations, not speeding could be punishing; for instance, your bored or you're late to work and get fired. I think that if everytime you speed and the outcome is rewarding, then you will not want to change the behavior. What then would it take for a speeder to change their speeding behavior or at least come to realize that some sort of change should be made? Why some sort of negative outcome or punishment, such as a speeding ticket or an accident. I know from experience, that when I got my first speeding ticket, (a whopping 250 bucks, ouch!) for awhile after that, I adhered to the speed limit.

I Have the Know How, but Can I, and Will I?

I am quite confident that I have gained enough knowledge to be able to do my own driving personality makeover. The question is do I really want to? After all, some of my negative driving behaviors are rewarding to me and rewarding behaviors are hard to change. Ahh. but the more I think about it the more I realize that knowledge is power. I know that some of my driving behaviors are negative, and although they are rewarding, they are also potentially dangerous. With this in mind, I think that I should do a driving personality makeover. I have the tools, I can use them.

Using the Online Generational Curriculum, How did it Measure up?

Online generational curriculum, what in the world is that? A week ago I had no clue. A week ago my computer knowledge was zero, now it is slightly above zero. When I first found out that this class's only access to resources was via the computer I was sweating bullets! I thought oh no I'm going to get a big fat "F" in this class. However, after struggling through the first few days of class and computer lab, here I sit, typing this report in html markup language (a concept I had never heard of before). This is pretty exciting to me because I had very little faith in myself and thought that I would be incapable of learning, a fear I discovered I wasn't alone in. Dalybeth Kadala apparently, had similar fears about her computer capabilities.
I am amazed at all of the information that is available with just a touch of a button. Just by going to Dr. Leon James home page you can access about a hundred or so different students work from the past generations (not to mention all of his vast files). I think that this is a fantastic way to learn. It is so simple. Instead of having to go to the library and wonder through all of those books, all you have to do is highlight the information you want to see with your mouse and you're there. It is also a lot less expensive than buying a fifty or sixty dollar text book. Although, I think that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, I think the one disadvantage that is frustrating is that sometimes some of the links in some of the reports didn't work and I found myself lost until I remembered to hit the "back" button (hopefully, my links will work and you won't face the same problem).
Perhaps the future generations can make it a little easier to use. I found, that it was much easier to access the generation 2 students reports. From Dr. James's home page when you click on generation 2 the screen that pops up is a class list. From the class list, All you do is click on the student's name that you want to see. From there, is a list of all of the student's reports for the class, and all you do is click on the report that you want to see. I found this a much faster and easier way to access the information that I wanted to see; the other generations aren't set up this way. In the other generations, there is no class list and it is much harder, and takes longer to get to their reports. Cherish Higashi, also, found this to be true. So, perhaps it would be easier to use if all of the future generations were set up like generation two's.

My Opinion of the Online Generational Curriculum

I think that the Online Generational Curriculum is a new and excitig way to access information, Ross Takara, also shares this opinion with me. I never knew that it existed until last week. Although, I am not surprised because after all we are living in the technology error(at least I am as of last week). I believe that in the future that this "alternative" form of learning will become the norm.
I, for one, am glad that Dr. James, decided to be unique and offer this new alternate way to learn. I think that in a few years, everybody will be learning in this way, starting with high school students on up, (that is, if public highschools can get the funding necessary), an important point that Sondra Blake brought up, and it'll be important to know how. It feels great to be a part of the growing online generational curriculum and it will be intresting to follow it and see how it evolves. Just think about it, right now, the online generational curriculum consists of about a hundred students all with about four full length reports. Just in one more year the figure will double. Every year it will keep doubling. That is a lot of information!
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