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Thursday, February 20, 2020

The menace called honking: drivers' mindset and attitude desperately need change!

IAnD Exclusive

#KyaBola

By Dr. Shefali Batra
Representations: World Wide Web
Read Time: 2 mins
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image courtesy GEICO

Dr. Shefali Batra pegs the root cause of the honking mayhem at the idea that one thinks that he or she honks at a vehicle, and not at a person…

Tens of years of social and personality research have repeatedly linked honking of the horn with aggression. Added to this is the inherent thought of honking at the vehicle and perceiving the driver as a mere tool that manoeuvres it. This is equivalent to dehumanisation of the victim - a state wherein the honker sees any obstruction in their path as a hurdle that needs to be flung out of the way. Besides, a large problem afflicting most humans today is that of the need for immediate gratification, clubbed with a reduced threshold to tolerate frustration. People are increasingly stressed, overworked, under slept and in a hurry to get somewhere - all the time. It's an endless chase with time. And nobody seems to be winning. 

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Part of a painting by artist Mahesh Karambele

Heterogeneity in traffic, (as is commonly seen in a country like ours) only enhances honking behaviour. The traffic diversity - pedestrians, bicycles, motorbikes, auto rickshaws, an occasional bullock cart, a handcart, trucks, tankers, cars, buses and scooters, the din is endless. This increases the external stimulation on an anyways overworked internal mindset and enhances cognitive workload, allowing the driver to feel hyper aroused, frustrated, restless, irritable and more likely to indulge in irrational behaviour - one of which is honking. 

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©Shutterstock.com

Recent research affirms that the human brain cannot multitask because elementally - we serially monotask. Attention is hence diverted from the task of actually driving when one honks. A noteworthy fact also is that a honker feels more irritable after honking, loses rational judgement, and would drive less perfectly. This facilitates other drivers to honk at this driver even more - hereby initiating a vicious cycle of endless frustration on the road.

Honking was never about the traffic. It has always been about the drivers' mindset and attitude. Which desperately needs change.

Give us your approach to this menace of honking. Propose a resolution. Participate here: http://bit.ly/KyaBola

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Dr. Shefali Batra

Dr Shefali Batra is a Senior Consultant Psychiatrist and Cognitive Therapist. A clinician, researcher, author, and trainer, she partakes in wellness initiatives for individuals, groups, schools and corporates.   She focuses on wellness, with the goal to prevent illness. Hence her emphasis on lifestyle management, healthy behaviour choices, and optimal interpersonal communication. She practices online worldwide, and her mindfulness based cognitive techniques help attain physically and psychologically optimal outcomes in relation to diverse human environments.

Dr Shefali Batra can be contacted at
Website http://mindframes.co.in
Blog: http://www.mindframes.life
WhatsApp: +919821646409
Call: +919821646409
Email: connect@mindframes.co.in

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