The Psychology of Long Car Rides

Last Friday, I drove up to Ohio State for a Province meeting, held for various Sigma Chi chapters in the Ohio-area.  It’s about a 2 hour drive up to OSU, so I hoped in the car with some friends after work on Friday evening and we made our way up. 

I love long car rides because it gives you time to stop and reflect on life in general.  It’s the ideal time for me to re-evaluate what I am doing in life, what I am trying to do, and how I am going to achieve it.  As I was letting my mind drift and wander, I began to think about Psychology.  I have been reading a lot about Psychology lately, particularly on how to pick up non-verbalized cues through body language.  It’s amazing how much we communicate through body language rather than words.  I’ve heard some say that 85% of our communication is through body language, but don’t know how accurate that statistic is.

Eye movement, in particular, is a great indication of understanding someones inner thought process.  The eyes are the window panes to someones inner soul and subconscience.  By watching someone’s eye movements when you talk to them, you can see which hemisphere of their brain is processing information.  The left side of the brain is in charge of the processes of language, math, logic, and sequential order.  While, the right is more geared towards visual imagery, spatial abilities, and processes intuitively. 

When it comes to motor movement, the hemisphere in charge is criss-crossed.  The left hemisphere controlls the actions of the right side, while as the right hemisphere controlls the actions of the left.  If you are right handed, it is an indication that you have a preference for the left hemisphere of your brain (language, math, logic) while left handed people have a preference for the right hemisphere (spatial recognition, recalling information)  *note* this is not an exact tell-tale, just a good indication.  Read more info here.

This is very useful to know when talking to people because it serves as an indication for what kind of thought process is going on in their head.  When you are talking to someone and their eye quickly dart up to the right (their left) then they are accessing the right hemisphere of their brain in recalling some information.  If they dart up to the left (their right) they are using the left hemisphere and are trying to visually construct something.  It’s the method I use for telling if people are lieing to me or not.  The more I’ve read about it, the more focused I’ve become on tuning in to reading eye movement.

So how does this relate to long car rides?  The more I read about communication through body language, the more intune I’ve become with analyzing my eye movement in regards to my own thought process.  On the ride up to OSU, I began to think about if whether the side of the car you chose to sit on on the ride up shows any indication of things you day dream about.  If your seated behind the driver on the left side, your eyes would be more prone to drift out the window towards the left, thus accessing the right hemisphere of your brain and vice versa for had you been sitting on the right side of the car.  Would you be more prone to recall various memories if you were seated on the left?  If seated on the right side of the car, would you be more likely use the left hemisphere thought process of your brain, constructing the ideal utopia or your latest invention idea?

According to some recent research, scientists have discovered that by directing a patients eye movement, they can greatly affect their cognitive thought process.  This leads me to believe that which side of the car you chose to sit on does affect your consequenting day dreaming thought process, although my understanding of Psycology is fairly limited.  I’ll post an update when I find more information.

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