Ep 252: How Psychology Gets You To Slow Down While Driving

MichaelPerception, Social Psychology2 Comments



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How can we use a little psychology to get you to slow down when you’re driving? You’d be surprised. Very often road signs like “Slow” or a posted speed limit of, say 20 mph does not work. Drivers go past these signs and nothing bad happens so after a while they’re ignored. We try to make it more personal with signs say, “Drive as if your kids live here”, but often that doesn’t work. How about something trickier: what if we enlisted the help of those 3D sidewalk artists? What could they possibly do? You’ll find out.

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2 Comments on “Ep 252: How Psychology Gets You To Slow Down While Driving”

  1. That’s a great example! I can see myself slowing down just to see the green face. Your mention of gamification reminded me that I talked a little bit about this idea of getting people to drive more safely using gamification in this episode. Your example is right on the nose – thanks Vera.

  2. Hi Michael,
    I listened to your recent episode today and found it very interesting. Apparently the strategies used also vary over the countries.
    I’d like to add one idea how psychology is used to slow us down over here in Germany: the idea of gamification.
    Simple speed cameras (which are not accurate enough to issue speeding tickets) are installed in villages or residential neighbourhoods and connected to an LED screen. If you drive faster than allowed, the screen shows a frowny face. If you slow down as required, you are rewarded with a green smiley face, sometimes even a “thank you” note.
    I often catch myself slowing down to avoid or stop the frown (i. e. classic negative reinforcement, right?)
    What do you think of this?

    Thanks once again for your great show


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