Behavioural genetics referred to as behaviour genetics, is a field of scientific research that uses genetic methods to investigate the nature and origins of individual differences in behaviour. While the name "behavioural genetics" connotes a focus on genetic influences, the field broadly investigates genetic and environmental influences, using research designs that allow removal of the confounding of genes and environment. Behavioural genetics was founded as a scientific discipline by Francis Galton in the late 19th century, only to be discredited through association with eugenics movements before and during World War II. In the latter half of the 20th century, the field saw renewed prominence with research on inheritance of behaviour and mental illness in humans, as well as research on genetically informative model organisms through selective breeding and crosses. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, technological advances in molecular genetics made it possible to measure and modify the genome directly.
This led to major advances in model organism research and in human studies, leading to new scientific discoveries. Findings from behavioural genetic research have broadly impacted modern understanding of the role of genetic and environmental influences on behaviour; these include evidence that nearly all researched behaviors are under a significant degree of genetic influence, that influence tends to increase as individuals develop into adulthood. Further, most researched human behaviours are influenced by a large number of genes and the individual effects of these genes are small. Environmental influences play a strong role, but they tend to make family members more different from one another, not more similar. Selective breeding and the domestication of animals is the earliest evidence that humans considered the idea that individual differences in behaviour could be due to natural causes. Plato and Aristotle each speculated on the basis and mechanisms of inheritance of behavioural characteristics.
Plato, for example, argued in The Republic that selective breeding among the citizenry to encourage the development of some traits and discourage others, what today might be called eugenics, was to be encouraged in the pursuit of an ideal society. Behavioural genetic concepts existed during the English renaissance, where William Shakespeare first coined the terms "nature" versus "nurture" in The Tempest, where he wrote in Act IV, Scene I, that Caliban was "A devil, a born devil, on whose nature Nurture can never stick". Modern-day behavioural genetics began with Sir Francis Galton, a nineteenth-century intellectual and cousin of Charles Darwin. Galton was a polymath who studied many subjects, including the heritability of human abilities and mental characteristics. One of Galton's investigations involved a large pedigree study of social and intellectual achievement in the English upper class. In 1869, 10 years after Darwin's On the Origin of Species, Galton published his results in Hereditary Genius.
In this work, Galton found that the rate of "eminence" was highest among close relatives of eminent individuals, decreased as the degree of relationship to eminent individuals decreased. While Galton could not rule out the role of environmental influences on eminence, a fact which he acknowledged, the study served to initiate an important debate about the relative roles of genes and environment on behavioural characteristics. Through his work, Galton "introduced multivariate analysis and paved the way towards modern Bayesian statistics" that are used throughout the sciences—launching what has been dubbed the "Statistical Enlightenment"; the field of behavioural genetics, as founded by Galton, was undermined by another of Galton's intellectual contributions, the founding of the eugenics movement in 20th century society. The primary idea behind eugenics was to use selective breeding combined with knowledge about the inheritance of behaviour to improve the human species; the eugenics movement was subsequently discredited by scientific corruption and genocidal actions in Nazi Germany.
Behavioural genetics was thereby discredited through its association to eugenics. The field once again gained status as a distinct scientific discipline through the publication of early texts on behavioural genetics, such as Calvin S. Hall's 1951 book chapter on behavioural genetics, in which he introduced the term "psychogenetics", which enjoyed some limited popularity in the 1960s and 1970s. However, it disappeared from usage in favour of "behaviour genetics"; the start of behavior genetics as a well-identified field was marked by the publication in 1960 of the book Behavior Genetics by John L. Fuller and William Robert Thompson, it is accepted now that many if not most behaviours in animals and humans are under significant genetic influence, although the extent of genetic influence for any particular trait can differ widely. A decade in February 1970, the first issue of the journal Behavior Genetics was published and in 1972 the Behavior Genetics Association was formed with Theodosius Dobzhansky elected as the association's first president.
The field has since diversified, touching many scientific disciplines. The primary goal of behavioural genetics is to investigate the nature and origins of individual differences in behaviour. A wide variety of different methodological approaches are used in behavioral genetic research, only a few of which are outlined below. Animal behavior genetic studies are considered more reliable than are studies on humans, because animal experiments allow for more variables to be manipulated in the laboratory. In animal research selection experiments have been employed
Consumer behaviour is the study of individuals, groups, or organizations and all the activities associated with the purchase and disposal of goods and services, including the consumer's emotional and behavioural responses that precede or follow these activities. Consumer behaviour emerged in the 50s as a distinct sub-discipline in the marketing area. Consumer behaviour is an inter-disciplinary social science that blends elements from psychology, social anthropology, ethnography and economics behavioural economics, it examines how emotions and preferences affect buying behaviour. Characteristics of individual consumers such as demographics, personality lifestyles and behavioural variables such as usage rates, usage occasion, brand advocacy, willingness to provide referrals, in an attempt to understand people's wants and consumption are all investigated in formal studies of consumer behaviour; the study of consumer behaviour investigates the influences, on the consumer, from groups such as family, sports, reference groups, society in general.
The study of consumer behaviour is concerned with all aspects of purchasing behaviour – from pre-purchase activities through to post-purchase consumption and disposal activities. It is concerned with all persons involved, either directly or indirectly, in purchasing decisions and consumption activities including brand-influencers and opinion leaders. Research has shown that consumer behaviour is difficult to predict for experts in the field. However, new research methods such as ethnography and consumer neuroscience are shedding new light on how consumers make decisions. Customer relationship management databases have become an asset for the analysis of customer behaviour; the voluminous data produced by these databases enables detailed examination of behavioural factors that contribute to customer re-purchase intentions, consumer retention and other behavioural intentions such as the willingness to provide positive referrals, become brand advocates or engage in customer citizenship activities.
Databases assist in market segmentation behavioural segmentation such as developing loyalty segments, which can be used to develop targeted, customized marketing strategies on a one-to-one basis. See: History of marketing thought In the 1940s and 50's, marketing was dominated by the so-called classical schools of thought which were descriptive and relied on case study approaches with only occasional use of interview methods. At the end of the 1950s, two important reports criticised marketing for its lack of methodological rigor the failure to adopt mathematically-oriented behavioural science research methods; the stage was set for marketing to become more inter-disciplinary by adopting a consumer-behaviourist perspective. From the 1950s, marketing began to shift is reliance away from economics and towards other disciplines, notably the behavioural sciences, including sociology and clinical psychology; this resulted in a new emphasis on the customer as a unit of analysis. As a result, new substantive knowledge was added to the marketing discipline – including such ideas as opinion leadership, reference groups and brand loyalty.
Market segmentation demographic segmentation based on socioeconomic status index and household life-cycle became fashionable. With the addition of consumer behaviour, the marketing discipline exhibited increasing scientific sophistication with respect to theory development and testing procedures. In its early years, consumer behaviour was influenced by motivation research, which had increased the understanding of customers, had been used extensively by consultants in the advertising industry and within the discipline of psychology in the 1920s,'30s and'40s. By the 1950s, marketing began to adopt techniques used by motivation researchers including depth interviews, projective techniques, thematic apperception tests and a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods. More scholars have added a new set of tools including: ethnography, photo-elicitation techniques and phenomenological interviewing. Today, consumer behaviour is regarded as an important sub-discipline within marketing and is included as a unit of study in all undergraduate marketing programs.
Consumer behaviour entails "all activities associated with the purchase and disposal of goods and services, including the consumer's emotional and behavioural responses that precede or follow these activities." The term, consumer can refer to individual consumers as well as organisational consumers, more "an end user, not a purchaser, in the distribution chain of a good or service." Consumer behaviour is concerned with: purchase activities: the purchase of services.
Quantitative psychology is a field of scientific study that focuses on the mathematical modeling, research design and methodology, statistical analysis of human or animal psychological processes. It includes other devices for measuring human abilities. Quantitative psychologists develop and analyze a wide variety of research methods, including those of psychometrics, a field concerned with the theory and technique of psychological measurement. Psychologists have long contributed to statistical and mathematical analysis, quantitative psychology is now a specialty recognized by the American Psychological Association. Doctoral degrees are awarded in this field in a number of universities in Europe and North America, quantitative psychologists have been in high demand in industry and academia, their training in both social science and quantitative methodology provides a unique skill set for solving both applied and theoretical problems in a variety of areas. Quantitative psychology has its roots in early experimental psychology when, in the nineteenth century, the scientific method was first systematically applied to psychological phenomena.
Notable contributions included E. H. Weber's studies of tactile sensitivity, Fechner's development and use of the psychophysical methods, Helmholtz's research on vision and audition beginning after 1850. Wilhelm Wundt is called the "founder of experimental psychology", because he called himself a psychologist and opened a psychological laboratory in 1879 where many researchers came to study; the work of these and many others helped put to rest the assertion, by theorists such as Immanuel Kant, that psychology could not become a science because precise experiments on the human mind were impossible. Intelligence testing has long been an important branch of quantitative psychology; the nineteenth-century English statistician Francis Galton, a pioneer in psychometrics, was the first to create a standardized test of intelligence, he was among the first to apply statistical methods to the study of human differences and their inheritance. He came to believe that intelligence is determined by heredity, he hypothesized that other measures such as the speed of reflexes, muscle strength, head size are correlated with intelligence.
He established the world's first mental testing center in 1882 in the following year he published his observations and theories in "Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development". Statistical methods are the quantitative tools most used by psychologists. Pearson introduced the chi-squared test; the 1900–1920 period saw the t-test, the ANOVA and a non-parametric correlation coefficient. A large number of tests were developed in the latter half of the 20th century. Popular techniques are recent. In 1946, psychologist Stanley Smith Stevens organized levels of measurement into four scales: Nominal, Ordinal and Interval in a paper, still cited. Jacob Cohen, a New York University professor of psychology, analyzed quantitative methods involving statistical power and effect size, which helped to lay foundations for current statistical meta-analysis and the methods of estimation statistics, he gave his name to Cohen's kappa and Cohen's d. In 1990, an influential paper titled "Graduate Training in Statistics and Measurement in Psychology" was published in the American Psychologist journal.
This article discussed the need for increased and up-to-date training in quantitative methods for psychology graduate programs in the United States. Training for quantitative psychology can begin informally at the undergraduate level. Many graduate schools recommend that students have some coursework in psychology and complete the full college sequence of calculus and a course in linear algebra. Quantitative coursework in other fields such as economics and research methods and statistics courses for psychology majors are helpful. However, students without all these courses have been accepted if other aspects of their application show promise; some schools offer formal minors in areas related to quantitative psychology. For example, the University of Kansas offers a minor in "Social and Behavioral Sciences Methodology" that provides advanced training in research methodology, applied data analysis, practical research experience relevant to quantitative psychology. Coursework in computer science is useful.
Mastery of an object-oriented programming language or learning to write code in SPSS or R is useful for the type of data analysis performed in graduate school. Quantitative psychologists may possess a master's degree. Due to its interdisciplinary nature and depending on the research focus of the university, these programs may be housed in a school's college of education or in their psychology department. Programs that focus in educational research and psychometrics are part of education or educational psychology departments; these programs may therefore have different names mentioning "research methods" or "quantitative methods", such as the "Research and Evaluation Methodology" Ph. D from the University of Florida or the "Quantitative Methods" degree at the University of Pennsylvania. However, some universities may have separate programs in their two colleges. For example, the University of Washington has a "Quantitative psychology" degree in their psychology department and a separate "Measurement & Statistics" Ph.
D in their college of education. Oth
Social psychology is the scientific study of how people's thoughts and behaviors are influenced by the actual, imagined or implied presence of others. In this definition, scientific refers to the empirical investigation using the scientific method; the terms thoughts and behavior refer to psychological variables that can be measured in humans. The statement that others' presence may be imagined or implied suggests that humans are malleable to social influences when alone, such as when watching television or following internalized cultural norms. Social psychologists explain human behavior as a result of the interaction of mental states and social situations. Social psychologists examine factors that cause behaviors to unfold in a given way in the presence of others, they study conditions under which certain behavior and feelings occur. Social psychology is concerned with the way these feelings, beliefs and goals are cognitively constructed and how these mental representations, in turn, influence our interactions with others.
Social psychology traditionally bridged the gap between sociology. During the years following World War II there was frequent collaboration between psychologists and sociologists; the two disciplines, have become specialized and isolated from each other in recent years, with sociologists focusing on "macro variables" to a much greater extent than psychologists. Sociological approaches to psychology remain an important counterpart to psychological research in this area. In addition to the split between psychology and sociology, there has been a somewhat less pronounced difference in emphasis between American social psychologists and European social psychologists; as a generalization, American researchers traditionally have focused more on the individual, whereas Europeans have paid more attention to group level phenomena. Although there were some older writings about social psychology, such as those by Islamic philosopher Al-Farabi, the discipline of social psychology, as its modern-day definition, began in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century.
By that time, the discipline had developed a significant foundation. Following the 18th century, those in the emerging field of social psychology were concerned with developing concrete explanations for different aspects of human nature, they attempted to discover concrete cause and effect relationships that explained the social interactions in the world around them. In order to do so, they believed that the scientific method, an empirically based scientific measure, could be applied to human behavior; the first published study in this area was an experiment in 1898 by Norman Triplett, on the phenomenon of social facilitation. During the 1930s, many Gestalt psychologists, most notably Kurt Lewin, fled to the United States from Nazi Germany, they were instrumental in developing the field as something separate from the behavioral and psychoanalytic schools that were dominant during that time, social psychology has always maintained the legacy of their interests in perception and cognition. Attitudes and small group phenomena were the most studied topics in this era.
During World War II, social psychologists studied persuasion and propaganda for the U. S. military. After the war, researchers became interested in a variety of social problems, including gender issues and racial prejudice. Most notable and contentious of these were the Stanley Milgram shock experiments on obedience to authority. In the sixties, there was growing interest in new topics, such as cognitive dissonance, bystander intervention, aggression. By the 1970s, social psychology in America had reached a crisis. There was heated debate over the ethics of laboratory experimentation, whether or not attitudes predicted behavior, how much science could be done in a cultural context; this was the time when a radical situationist approach challenged the relevance of self and personality in psychology. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s social psychology reached a more mature level. Two of the areas social psychology matured in were methods. Careful ethical standards now regulate research. Pluralistic and multicultural perspectives have emerged.
Modern researchers are interested in many phenomena, but attribution, social cognition, the self-concept are the greatest areas of growth in recent years. Social psychologists have maintained their applied interests with contributions in the social psychology of health, education and the workplace. In social psychology, attitudes are defined as learned, global evaluations of a person, place, or issue that influence thought and action. Put more attitudes are basic expressions of approval or disapproval, favorability or unfavorability, or as Bem put it, likes and dislikes. Examples would include liking chocolate ice cream, or endorsing the values of a particular political party. Social psychologists have studied attitude formation, the structure of attitudes, attitude change, the function of attitudes, the relationship between attitudes and behavior; because people are influenced by the situation, general attitudes are not always good predictors of specific behavior. For example, for a variety of reasons, a person may value the environment but not recycle a can on a particular day.
In recent times, research on attitudes has examined the distinction between traditional, self-reported attitude measures and "implicit" or unconscious attitudes. For example, experiments using the Implicit Association Test have found that people demonstrate implicit bias against other races when their explicit responses
Psychology of religion
Speaking, psychology of religion consists of the application of psychological methods and interpretive frameworks to the diverse contents of religious traditions as well as to both religious and irreligious individuals. The extraordinary range of methods and frameworks can be helpfully summed up regarding the classic distinction between the natural-scientific and human-scientific approaches: the first cluster proceeds by means of objective and preferably experimental procedures for testing hypotheses regarding the causal connections among the objects of one's study. In contrast, the human-scientific approach accesses the human world of experience using qualitative and interpretive methods, with the goal of discerning meaningful rather than causal connections among the phenomena one seeks to understand. Psychologists of religion pursue three major projects: systematic description of religious contents, attitudes and expressions; the psychology of religion first arose as a self-conscious discipline in the late 19th century, but all three of these tasks have a history going back many centuries before that.
The challenge for the psychology of religion is threefold: to provide a thoroughgoing description of the objects of investigation, whether they be shared religious content or individual experiences, attitudes, or conduct. These fruits may be both negative; the first, descriptive task requires a clarification of one's terms—above all, the word religion. Historians of religion have long underscored the problematic character of this term, noting that its usage over the centuries has changed in significant ways in the direction of reification; the early psychologists of religion were aware of these difficulties acknowledging that the definitions they were choosing to use were to some degree arbitrary. With the rise of positivistic trends in psychology over the course of the 20th century the demand that all phenomena be operationalized by quantitative procedures, psychologists of religion developed a multitude of scales, most of them developed for use with Protestant Christians. Factor analysis was brought into play by both psychologists and sociologists of religion, to establish a fixed core of dimensions and a corresponding set of scales.
The justification and adequacy of these efforts in the light of constructivist and other postmodern viewpoints, remains a matter of debate. In the last several decades among clinical psychologists, a preference for the terms "spirituality" and "spiritual" has emerged, along with efforts to distinguish them from "religion" and "religious." In the United States, "religion" has for many become associated with sectarian institutions and their obligatory creeds and rituals, thus giving the word a negative cast. In fact, "spirituality" has undergone an evolution in the West, from a time when it was a synonym for religion in its original, subjective meaning. Today, efforts are ongoing to "operationalize" these terms, with little regard for their history in their Western context, with the apparent realist assumption that underlying them are fixed qualities identifiable using empirical procedures. Schnitker and Emmons theorized that the understanding of religion as a search for meaning makes implications in the three psychological areas of motivation and social relationships.
The cognitive aspects relate to God and a sense of purpose, the motivational ones to the need to control, the religious search for meaning is weaved into social communities. American psychologist and philosopher William James is regarded by most psychologists of religion as the founder of the field, he served as president of the American Psychological Association, wrote one of the first psychology textbooks. In the psychology of religion, James' influence endures, his Varieties of Religious Experience is considered to be the classic work in the field, references to James' ideas are common at professional conferences. James distinguished between personal religion. Institutional religion refers to the religious group or organization and plays an important part in a society's culture. Personal religion, in which the individual has mystical experience, can be experienced regardless of the culture. James was most interested in understanding personal religious experience. In studying personal religious experiences, James made a distinction between healthy-minded and sick-souled religiousness.
Individuals predisposed to healthy-mindedness tend to ignore the evil in the world and focus on the positive and the good. James used examples of Walt Whitman and the "mind-cure" religious movement to illustrate healthy-mindedness in The Varieties of Religious Experience. In contrast, individuals predisposed to having a sick-souled religion are unable to ignore evil and suffering and need a unifying experience, religious or otherwise, to reconcile good and evil. James included quotations from Leo Tolstoy and John Bunyan
Cultural psychology is the study of how cultures reflect and shape the psychological processes of their members. The main tenet of cultural psychology is that mind and culture are inseparable and mutually constitutive, meaning that people are shaped by their culture and their culture is shaped by them; as Richard Shweder, one of the major proponents of the field, writes, "Cultural psychology is the study of the way cultural traditions and social practices regulate and transform the human psyche, resulting less in psychic unity for humankind than in ethnic divergences in mind and emotion." Cultural psychology is confused with cross-cultural psychology. However, cultural psychology is distinct from cross-cultural psychology in that the cross-cultural psychologists use culture as a means of testing the universality of psychological processes rather than determining how local cultural practices shape psychological processes. So whereas a cross-cultural psychologist might ask whether Jean Piaget's stages of development are universal across a variety of cultures, a cultural psychologist would be interested in how the social practices of a particular set of cultures shape the development of cognitive processes in different ways.
Cultural psychology research informs several fields within psychology, including social psychology, cultural-historical psychology, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology. However, the relativist perspective of cultural psychology, through which cultural psychologists compare thought patterns and behaviors within and across cultures, tends to clash with the universal perspectives common in most fields in psychology, which seek to qualify fundamental psychological truths that are consistent across all of humanity. According to Richard Shweder, there has been repeated failure to replicate Western psychology laboratory findings in non-Western settings. Therefore, a major goal of cultural psychology is to have many and varied cultures contribute to basic psychological theories in order to correct these theories so that they become more relevant to the predictions and explanations of all human behaviors, not just Western ones; this goal is shared by many of the scholars. In an attempt to show the interrelated interests of cultural and indigenous psychology, cultural psychologist Pradeep Chakkarath emphasizes that international mainstream psychology, as it has been exported to most regions of the world by the so-called West, is only one among many indigenous psychologies and therefore may not have enough intercultural expertise to claim, as it does, that its theories have universal validity.
The acronym W. E. I. R. D. Describes populations that are Western, Industrialized and Democratic, thus far, W. E. I. R. D. Populations have been vastly overrepresented in psychological research. Findings from psychology research utilizing W. E. I. R. D. Populations are labeled as universal theories and are inaccurately applied to other cultures. Recent research is showing that cultures differ in many areas, such as logical reasoning and social values; the evidence that basic cognitive and motivational processes vary across populations has become difficult to ignore. For example, many studies have shown that Americans and western Europeans rely on analytical reasoning strategies, which separate objects from their contexts to explain and predict behavior. Social psychologists refer to the "fundamental attribution error" or the tendency to explain people's behavior in terms of internal, inherent personality traits rather than external, situational considerations. Outside W. E. I. R. D. Cultures, this phenomenon is less prominent, as many non-W.
E. I. R. D. Populations tend to pay more attention to the context. Asians tend to reason holistically, for example by considering people's behavior in terms of their situation, yet many long-standing theories of how humans think rely on the prominence of analytical thought. By studying only W. E. I. R. D. Populations, psychologists fail to account for a substantial amount of diversity of the global population. Applying the findings from W. E. I. R. D. Populations to other populations can lead to a miscalculation of psychological theories and may hinder psychologists' abilities to isolate fundamental cultural characteristics. Mutual constitution is the notion that the society and the individual have an influencing effect on one another; because a society is composed of individuals, the behavior and actions of the individuals directly impact the society. In the same manner, society directly impacts the individual living within it; the values and ways of life a society exemplifies will have an immediate impact on the way an individual is shaped as a person.
The atmosphere that a society provides for the individual is a determining factor for how an individual will develop. Furthermore, mutual constitution is a cyclical model in which the society and the individual both influence one another. While cultural psychology is reliant on this model, societies fail to recognize this. Despite the overwhelming acceptance that people affect culture and culture affects people, societal systems tend to minimize the effect that people form on their communities. For example, mission statements of businesses and foundations attempt make promises regarding the environment and values that their establishment holds. However, these promises cannot be made in accordance with the mutually consisting theory without being upheld by all participants; the mission statement for the employees of Southwest Airlines, for example, makes th
Traffic psychology is a discipline of psychology that studies the relationship between psychological processes and the behavior of road users. In general, traffic psychology aims to apply theoretical aspects of psychology in order to improve traffic mobility by helping to develop and apply accident countermeasures, as well as by guiding desired behaviors through education and the motivation of road users. Behavior is studied in conjunction with accident research in order to assess causes and differences in accident involvement. Traffic psychologists distinguish three motivations of driver behavior: reasoned or planned behavior, impulsive or emotional behavior, habitual behavior. Additionally and cognitive applications of psychology are used, such as enforcement, road safety education campaigns, therapeutic and rehabilitation programs. Broad theories of cognition, sensory-motor and neurological aspects psychology are applied to the field of traffic psychology. Studies of factors such as attention, spatial cognition, stress, distracting/ambiguous stimuli and secondary tasks such as phone conversations are used to understand and investigate the experience and actions of road users.
Traffic psychology deals with the noncognitive and sensory-motor aspects of people in the context of driving, dealing with traffic, dealing with others. By identifying feelings that cause cognitive thoughts, traffic psychology allows the understanding of resulting actions and gives a way of modifying behavior. Traffic psychology can be defined as a tool that through subjective analysis, helps to increase the overall quality of lives through behavioral observation and modification; the task of traffic psychology is to understand and provide measures to modify road user behavior at levels identified with as general objective to minimize the harmful effects of traffic participation. Behavior research in traffic psychology deals with subjects like motivation and gender differences, overconfidence and skill differences and violation of traffic rules. A classification of behavioral factors into those that reduce driving capability and those that promote risky behavior with further division into those with short- and long-term impact helps the conceptualization of the problems and may contribute to the prioritization of behavior modification.
Traffic and transport sciences concern themselves with the study, comprehension and prediction of everything related to the mobility of people and products. It incorporates several aspects of the transportation systems along with multiple techniques; this process attempts to develop valid and reliable methods to better understand and predict the effects of human variability with its environmental interactions on safety. The transportation system consists of road, rail and air infrastructures, it includes the possibilities and limitations of its economics and regulations, which sets barriers to the capabilities of an individual and mass motorist. For instance, speed can be influenced by method of travel, by financial capabilities for the type of vehicle, or by regulations such as speed limits in rural areas versus city driving; the traffic environment takes into account location, time constraints and dangers that are exposed to motorist. These environmental factors pose risk to motorists that may be fatal.
Driving in wet and dark conditions exposes drivers to far greater risk than driving on a sunny day on an open road. This is just one type of road factor for crashes that Sullman goes on to explain in further detail: …crashes include lack of visibility or obstructions, unclean road or loose material, poor road conditions or road markings, the horizontal curvature of the road. Environmental influences such as cold or hot weather and vibration are all more to impact on stress and fatigue states Variability of the driver’s age, temperament and expertise affect speed and decisions. Drivers use some degree of risk compensation to assess driving decisions and it is skewed by varying levels of intoxication. Alcohol and drug usage and fatigue, distraction and focus are a few of the main factors attributed to driver error and crashes. In addition to behavior research, accident research is a component in traffic psychology, looking at driving methodology, individual differences, characteristics of personality, temporary impairments, relevant capabilities, the driver as an information processor, human factors on highway accidents, the pedestrian.
Examination of the operator plays a large role in transportation psychology. While many external factors influence traffic safety, internal factors are significant; some factors include: Decision-making Demographics Distraction Detection Thresholds Drugs and alcohol Driving training and experience Familiarity with vehicle and environment Fatigue Inattention Perception-reaction time Response to the unexpected Risky behaviors Stress and panic Linking brain regions and circuits with behaviors involved in operating a vehicle is one of the more salient topics of research within traffic psychology. Seven separate brain networks have been identified in driving simulations as being of importance to the neurophysiological processes involved in driving; the networks each have a unique function as outlined by Porter: The parietoccipital sulcus is involved in visual monitoring, motor cortex and cerebellar areas—for gr