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Anhad Kashyap

Business Process Reengineering Consultant, Alcatel Lucent

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Can we judge the personality of a person based on the way he drives ??

Can we judge a person based on the decisions he takes while driving. I have observed several of my friends who drive and has seen that those who are rash and those who drive fast or take sharp turns in their work life take similar rough decisions therefore I started to analyze people based on their driving. Those who drive slow, apply brakes at distance were found to be slow while taking decisions made in real life. How good is this way of judging people :)

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    Jun 27 2012: Absolutely Anhad. They way we speak, the way we walk, they way we eat, our manners on the road or lack of is a projection of our personality or our being to the universe.
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      Jun 27 2012: Wise Answer again :)
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      Jul 12 2012: The best Social personality theories suggest a big portion of a personality can be understood by getting an ideal about where a person fits on the scale of: Openness to experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion/Introversion, Agreeableness and Neutroticism. I think a lot of that becomes evident if you watch a person drive for several miles.
      While yo may not be clairvoyant after several miles you sure do have an ideal if this is a person you would like to sit next to at a social gathering.
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    Jun 26 2012: I think it is indeed possible to know certain aspects of the personality of someone by selecting meaningful information. Malcolm Gladwell wrote "Blink" which is a really interesting book that might be useful to learn to select meaningful data to get to know something without having all the "necessary" information.

    If you want you could run a study about it. Make one group of individuals fullfill a personality test. Design a form in which you ask whether one is extrovert or introvert, impulsive or analytical, etc. depending on the dichotomies the personality test measured. And make another group of people watch the first group driving and ask them to evalutate the individuals from the first group by filling the poll you designed previously.
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    Jun 14 2012: Well I have found that the way I drive is a combination of factors. How important is the end point? Do I absolutely have to be there? Do I want to be there? Are there a lot of other idiots on the road? What is the weather like. is it hot? Am I hungry or thirsty? And finally, where am I in my cycle. Hormones play a huge part in how I drive.

    So personality, maybe. But for me it is just a small part.
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      Jun 18 2012: Next time you sit with someone and try to observe his driving. Divide the driving of the person in two way:

      a) Conscious Driving: When you ask the person to drive fast or to dry slow i.e. you make him conscious, that the the time when his drives from his conscious mind and this is when he can even tweak the intentions by altering the way of his driving.

      b) Subconscious Driving: Just let the person drive and talk of a different subject. In this situation he would drive from his Sub Conscious mind. Whatever he would do on the road would be the result of a prior learning or process stored somewhere within his subconscious brain. That is the case in which you can actually judge a person.

      Therefore according to me, only in the case where a person is not made conscious, one can have a few glimpses of his personality and also the way the person thinks or takes decision. Speed and Braking at distance matters but only when the observations are made when the driver is not consciously driving.
  • Jun 13 2012: Everything a person does expresses their personality, so I say yes.
  • Jul 9 2012: After reading this, i think i agree with you. I had a friend who was very rash and quick to decide without taking into consideration the consequences in the future, and i have been in the car for a few of his tickets. He also texts while he is driving, ignoring me when i have asked him politely not to do so, claiming "I'm skilled at this; i know what i'm doing."

    He has continuously gotten himself into situation after situation. It is uncanny, how much his personality is reflected in his driving.

    However, after reading some of the comments here, i do agree that it is also biased based on the "judge's" perception.

    So... yes, you can, but it won't be absolute.
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      Jul 12 2012: I can certainly judge them as scary and stay far away from them because I have no death wish.
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    Jun 25 2012: Yes and no.... :-)
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    Jun 21 2012: It would be too simplistic if that was all the information you had.

    A fast driver may have superb reactions and amazing vehicle control. someone driving at the same speed may think they have those qualities, but be wrong about that and therefore dangerous. Another may be drunk and reckless, or suicidal. You may perceive someone as a fast driver when the reality is that the person is driving at a moderate speed for the environment they normally drive in, but the judge is used to a slower environment.

    A slow driver may be nursing a car with a mechanical fault to get it where it can be repaired. Or they may be unsure of their ability to react. Or they may have a passenger with a painful injury, so avoiding bumps and sharp cornering.

    Speed is rarely a useful indicator. Other behaviour may be. If a driver tailgates, cuts in, undertakes, shakes a fist or shouts at other drivers, that gives a better indication of the worse side of their personality than the speed they drive at.
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    M K

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    Jun 16 2012: I disagree with you that the fast driving style represents one's fast decision in the other situation.

    The reason is that we drive after our thinking, in other words, our thinking makes our driving.

    We should drive appropriately with the situation.

    When we drive near children, we should drive slowly. This slow driving does not represent the slow decision. I guess people with this driving style can make a appreciate decision fast in the other situation.

    Conversely, if one drives near children fast, this fast driving does not represent the fast decision. I guess people with this driving style can not make a appreciate decision fast in the other situation.

    When we encounter an accident, we should drive fast and sharply. This first and sharp driving does not represent the rough decision. I guess people with this driving style can make a appreciate decision carefully in the other situation, not roughly.

    In conclusion, we can judge the personality of a person based on the way of thinking when driving, not the way of driving.
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      Jun 18 2012: Hi M K,

      Next time you sit with someone and try to observe his driving. Divide the driving of the person in two way:

      a) Conscious Driving: When you ask the person to drive fast or to dry slow i.e. you make him conscious, that the the time when his drives from his conscious mind and this is when he can even tweak the intentions by altering the way of his driving.

      b) Subconscious Driving: Just let the person drive and talk of a different subject. In this situation he would drive from his Sub Conscious mind. Whatever he would do on the road would be the result of a prior learning or process stored somewhere within his subconscious brain. That is the case in which you can actually judge a person.

      Therefore according to me, only in the case where a person is not made conscious, one can have a few glimpses of his personality and also the way the person thinks or takes decision. Speed and Braking at distance matters but only when the observations are made when the driver is not consciously driving.
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        M K

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        Jun 24 2012: Conscious Driving and Subconscious Driving is the refection of one's personality. But Subconscious Driving reflects one's personality stronger than Conscious Driving. Because we can not control Subconscious Driving well and we can not control our personality well.
        In other words, what we can control is not our narrowly-defined "personality".
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      Jun 21 2012: If for example your actions hurt someone in your life, then you are likely to hurt someones feeling on the road or vice-a-versa. What ever you do is a reflection of your thinking and personality.
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        M K

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        Jun 24 2012: What I did subconsciously is a reflection of your thinking and personality. So I do not remember my reflection of your thinking and personality. Our family and friends know it better than me.
  • Jun 13 2012: I agree with you at some level, those who drive fast are usually greater risk takers and quicker decision makers. But there are other possibilities: perhaps the driver who drives fast only does so to impress others, attempting to portray the image of "rule-breaker" or "trend-setter" sort of thing. Or that person is naturally defiant, and only speeds because driving the speed limit would be conforming to something other than themself. Personally, I am a quick decision maker and hate waiting and slow processes. I prefer to act and adapt. But I rarely speed.
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      Jun 18 2012: Next time you sit with someone and try to observe his driving. Divide the driving of the person in two way:

      a) Conscious Driving: When you ask the person to drive fast or to dry slow i.e. you make him conscious, that the the time when his drives from his conscious mind and this is when he can even tweak the intentions by altering the way of his driving.

      b) Subconscious Driving: Just let the person drive and talk of a different subject. In this situation he would drive from his Sub Conscious mind. Whatever he would do on the road would be the result of a prior learning or process stored somewhere within his subconscious brain. That is the case in which you can actually judge a person.

      Therefore according to me, only in the case where a person is not made conscious, one can have a few glimpses of his personality and also the way the person thinks or takes decision. Speed and Braking at distance matters but only when the observations are made when the driver is not consciously driving.