In the past few days while I was running at the streets of Campina Grande city, Paraiba, Brazil. I observed some behavioral traits in some drivers. The traits were linked with some kind of coward behavior - superficially talking. And with some further research and reviews in literature I can talk more scientifically about what is happening with these drivers.
First, I often run near the place dedicated to pedestrians and, of course, near the cars and others vehicles too. The problem is when I run at the back or in front of the cars. When I see (front) the drivers, the behavior is maintain the distance, but when I’m with my back to them, the drivers honk and approximate their cars next to me.
This way of perception, in my opinion, is a cowardly behavior. The place I’m running, of course, is not designated to do so, and the drivers have their reason to approximate me. If the runner is a female, an elderly, or a child, would the behavior be the same?
Searching for an article that could explain this cognitive process, I read “An experimental study of Apparent Behavior” from Heider and Simmel (1944) published in The American Journal of Psychology.
Watch the video with the minor ‘opportunistic’ triangle.
In humans, the explicit behavior is frequent if you consider the roman chariots with drivers, ready to die one in front of others, e. g. Not generalizing, but currently the motorized drivers are like the chariot drivers’, in some circumstances of irresponsibility. Many cases are reported in specialized literature considering health, security and administrative professions.
In dogs, I’ve watched some videos that show how these animals could behave in the presence or absence of humans seeing what they’re doing. The cowardly behavior to others species is called opportunistic behavior, as in Brazilian ants (Espírito-Santo et al., 2012, http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/609106).
Could we apply this opportunistic behavior to the drivers? I don’t think so. We could base our everyday-life in rules to keep the system in order. Moreover with preference to no predation and no other ecological relation, and based in these ecological relations to understanding the behavior of man with rules. We could suggest: weaken the culture of the ‘one height, two measurements’.
Post dedicated to Prof. Cesar Ades.