Trafficking in cognition: applying cognitive psychology to driving
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AbstractThis paper summarises a Presidential Address to the Division of Traffic and Transportation Psychology at the 2002 International Congress of Applied Psychology. It considers whether traffic psychology is a distinct area of psychology, and concludes that the range of psychological approaches that understanding drivers and traffic requires is too pervasive for it to be so. The difficulties and shortcomings of various attempts to apply cognitive psychology to driving and traffic are explored, with respect to perceptual, motor and skilled aspects of the driving task. Examples are given of how ‘understanding driving’ poses theoretical challenges to mainstream cognitive psychology that have yet to be satisfactorily resolved.

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