Comments on: The utility of switching lanes http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2014/04/11/the-utility-of-switching-lanes/ A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: OneAlan http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2014/04/11/the-utility-of-switching-lanes/comment-page-1/#comment-49791 Tue, 22 Apr 2014 00:59:10 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=23346#comment-49791 http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07  /28/life-in-the-slow-lane-trivial/

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By: squarecat http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2014/04/11/the-utility-of-switching-lanes/comment-page-1/#comment-49787 Mon, 21 Apr 2014 19:38:49 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=23346#comment-49787 All hail Lord Dopamine!

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By: realist50 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2014/04/11/the-utility-of-switching-lanes/comment-page-1/#comment-49776 Fri, 18 Apr 2014 02:40:48 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=23346#comment-49776 I agree with Felix’s point about preferring to keep moving as well as Sanity-Monger’s point about reinforcement, which I’d extend more broadly.

It’s not surprising that human nature defaults to “get there faster by moving into the faster lane” because that is generally the correct decision-making process when in in free-flowing, non-congested traffic. Stuck behind a left-turner? Hop over a lane to the right and go around them. Behind someone going 5 mph under the speed limit? Pass them and then get back in the same lane if need be. Congestion changes that situation, but people’s minds are conditioned to follow the more intuitive path of keeping moving, which does tend to work when traffic isn’t congested.

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By: Sanity-Monger http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2014/04/11/the-utility-of-switching-lanes/comment-page-1/#comment-49766 Wed, 16 Apr 2014 15:22:54 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=23346#comment-49766 There’s also some positive reinforcement at work. Just like at the casino, where every once in a while the bet pays off, changing lanes helps once in a while, sometimes by quite a lot (if the accident is in fact in the lane you’re sitting in). So when weighing whether to change lanes, you have to consider the possibility that this could be that rare instance where changing lanes will actually help. Of course, you’ve probably got equally good odds that the accident is in some other lane, but it seems we remember the times when our bet payed off and forget when it didn’t.

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By: Publius http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2014/04/11/the-utility-of-switching-lanes/comment-page-1/#comment-49754 Mon, 14 Apr 2014 21:21:15 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=23346#comment-49754 “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly ….”

-Blaise Pascal, Pensee’s

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By: TFF17 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2014/04/11/the-utility-of-switching-lanes/comment-page-1/#comment-49750 Mon, 14 Apr 2014 15:54:41 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=23346#comment-49750 “I’ll find myself five full miles stuck behind a car going 50″

I bet you tail them uncomfortably close. That’s a pretty sure way of causing somebody to slow down 5-10 mph.

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By: walstir http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2014/04/11/the-utility-of-switching-lanes/comment-page-1/#comment-49738 Sun, 13 Apr 2014 17:03:10 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=23346#comment-49738 Ever watch people repeatedly pushing the pedestrian walk button or the elevator call button? Lots of people cannot stand still and do nothing – even when there is nothing that they can do.

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By: A-V http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2014/04/11/the-utility-of-switching-lanes/comment-page-1/#comment-49734 Sun, 13 Apr 2014 10:50:29 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=23346#comment-49734 Re. negative externalities from the rational choice

Collective collisions – in tunnels, etc. where drivers do not have agency to switch lanes…

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By: rpenm http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2014/04/11/the-utility-of-switching-lanes/comment-page-1/#comment-49733 Fri, 11 Apr 2014 23:07:54 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=23346#comment-49733 So does the aggregate private utility gain exceed the negative externalities (slower traffic, higher accident rate) generated by lane-switching ?

What are the implications for autonomous vehicles? Will this pro-agency preference depress demand for self-driving cars?

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By: askpang http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2014/04/11/the-utility-of-switching-lanes/comment-page-1/#comment-49732 Fri, 11 Apr 2014 20:05:06 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=23346#comment-49732 In his book The Rise of American Air Power, historian Michael Sherry relates that morale surveys of fighter pilots and bomber pilots revealed that fighter pilots tended to be more positive about their jobs, even though their mortality rates were higher. But because they didn’t have to essentially fly in a straight line and draw flak, they FELT like they were more in control of their lives and destinies, and this was a stronger determinant of their job satisfaction than the actual odds of getting shot down.

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