Blog

Theory and news about general psychology, psychopharmacology, DSM-5, and the high sensation seeking personality.

Does driving faster get you there faster..buzz-junkies think so

 Driving styles vary along with the plentiful personality types, some styles more dangerous than others, presumably because some driving styles involve generally faster driving than other driving styles.  Dr. Eyal Peer and Dr. Tove Rosenbloom have done research of “the Effects of time-saving bias and sensation-seeking on driving speed choices” and have some rather interesting findings.  They have found that drivers overwhelmingly often go beyond the speed limit because they overestimate the time it will save them in getting to their destination.  Dr. Peer and Dr. Rosenbloom call this “time-saving bias”.  Time saving bias entails that the drivers believes driving at a faster speed reduces the time it takes to arrive at their destination by a longer amount of time than it actually does.  According to Peer and Rosenbloom, “research has shown that drivers typically overestimate the time gained when increasing from an already relatively high speed while underestimating the time gained when increasing for a relatively low speed”, which further explains time-saving bias.

 Can time-saving bias be the only reason drivers speed whilst driving?  According to Dr. Peer and Dr. Rosenbloom, the answer to that question is no.  Possessing the general trait of high sensation seeking entails that the possessor “needs more stimulation to maintain an optimal level of arousal while low sensation seekers manage themselves better in relatively less stimulating settings”.  High sensation seekers have a chemical make-up which in a sense predisposes them to disinhibited behaviors such as driving at high speeds.  The combination of time-saving bias and a high sensation seeker’s potential to drive at high speeds regardless makes for a rather dangerous experience, but for some high sensation seekers, a necessary one.