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Alter Ego while driving?

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posted on Sep, 23 2008 @ 09:03 AM
I am not a physiologist. I have taken one semester of intro to psych, and this is just an observation/opinion.


The Ego comprises that organized part of the personality structure which includes defensive, perceptual, intellectual-cognitive, and executive functions. Conscious awareness resides in the ego, although not all of the operations of the ego are conscious.


Do humans have an alter ego when it comes to driving?

Over the last few years I have noticed, without a doubt, that in certain parts of the country (United States) people are more aggressive when it comes to driving. Is this an effect of poor up bringing or is it that when people get behind a 2+ ton piece of equipment they feel empowered? I personally feel it's a little of both. The lack of respect and responsibility instilled in the youth is astonishing (for ref I am only 25). At the same time our employers and general higher ups make us feel so worthless that it would seem some people need to feel that sense of power through there aggressive driving.

For example two weeks ago I was driving to class from work. They're about 15 miles from each other. At about the 10 mile mark I noticed a car approaching fast in a 20 mph school zone. So I sped up to 30 mph. Now cause of the aggressive driver I am speeding in a school zone and not watching the road cause I am making sure he doesn't run me off the road. After about 5 miles I realize it is a kid in my class. Normally a timid guy. One of those that all ways smiles cause they don't know what else to do. Well I finally get feed up and break check him (slam on the breaks real fast), and he has to swerve into the other than to avoid hitting me. Now I am thinking this should have got his attention, but it didn't. When I confronted him about this he went from being the aggressive tailgater back to the timid guy who smiles to much.

Now back to the alter ego part. What would drive a timid person to be such an aggressive driver.

...The ego is that part of the id which has been modified by the direct influence of the external world ... The ego represents what may be called reason and common sense, in contrast to the id, which contains the passions ... in its relation to the id it is like a man on horseback, who has to hold in check the superior strength of the horse; with this difference, that the rider tries to do so with his own strength, while the ego uses borrowed forces [Freud, The Ego and the Id (1923)]

According to Freud the external influences would be the reason that would cause this person to act the way they did. In contrast though it is not in this persons nature to act the way they did. So is it the "power" that they gain being in a vehicle that they lack when there not in it that drives them to this state?

On a personal level from an unscientific view. I think it is more that people today are self-absorbed and uncaring of there fellow man that drives them to this state.

posted on Sep, 23 2008 @ 09:13 AM
I suffer from a minor bit of road rage here or there and it has caused me some issues

I'm normally a very nice guy, calm, a man of science

I am shy, A loner

and honestly the issue causes me to spend my life in search of a cure for my road rage

I am embarassed, but this is me after my last accident

I don't even remember , my only recolection is this quiet music and me walking alone down a road sometime but a reporter caught me in the act and I finally saw what I really looked like and I am so ashamed

posted on Sep, 23 2008 @ 09:28 AM
What would trigger this road rage? A song, traffic, another driver directly?

posted on Sep, 23 2008 @ 09:34 AM
on a more serious note, your true self uninhibited by the flight aspect of the fight or flight syndrome

juts like there are big tough guys on the internets sometimes


Gamma Rays

posted on Sep, 23 2008 @ 09:42 AM
I am going to run this idea by my old psych professor after work and see what he thinks about the idea of an alter ego. If I find him today I'll try and get him to post his thoughts here.

posted on Sep, 23 2008 @ 10:43 AM
When I worked in Beverly Hills I would get road rage,spending 2 hrs on the freeway can do that to you,then when you get near destination people around there drive like maniacs,driving on shoulders 90 mph,cutting in front of you,try it for a while you too may become victim

posted on Sep, 23 2008 @ 11:27 AM
I'm not saying I don't get road rage, because I do. Read the OP about me slamming on my breaks. That is a perfect example of road rage. What I was getting at is this; while driving people take on a personality not there own. They become more aggressive, easier to enrage, and the list goes on. Is this a side that is hidden waiting to get out almost like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde or is it simply people don't care anymore? I should say do people not care about other people anymore. Tailgating may not seem like that big of a deal but it is.

1. It takes the attention of the driver off of what is in front and around him/her, and focuses it on the person behind them. This distraction alone can lead to a accident.

2. It puts pressure on the person in front to speed up. This is bad for obvious reasons. If the person being tailgated is a nervous or inexperienced driver higher rates of speed become increasingly dangerous.

3. People's reaction times very. If the person being tailgated has to stop for any reason the person behind them now has mere seconds, if not less, to react.

I have spent hours on the freeway literally. There is a stretch of freeway that has been worked on for almost 5 years now. At times it takes anywhere from 3-4 hours to go 12 miles.

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