Start Me Up - A Practical Guide to Understanding Your Vehicle

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When you first arrive at the location of your test, the testing officer will need to check your driver licence to verify your identity and see if you have any special requirements on your licence. The testing officer will hold on to your licence during the test. The testing officer will do a pre-drive check of the car you have provided for the test. They will check that:. Before the test, the testing officer will run through some basic instructions for the test and ask you if you have any questions. If you have difficulty speaking or understanding English, we recommend you bring an interpreter with you.

Before your restricted or full licence practical test, your testing officer may ask for your permission to have an observer accompany you on your test. You can decline the request, but remember that the observer would be there to observe the testing officer and not you. A testing officer undertakes many tasks during the test including directing the applicant around the route, observing and marking driving behaviour and keeping an eye on safety. Because of this it is unlikely they will have time to engage in conversation with you.

Taking your practical driving test

Please do not be offended by this. The testing officer may attach a small video camera to the front windscreen at the beginning of your practical test. It also assists in investigating complaints where the test result is disputed. Skip to main content Skip to main navigation. You get the idea. The point is to test different hypotheses to determine which craving is driving your routine. Are you craving the cookie itself, or a break from work?

In which case the apple should work just as well. Or is it because you want the burst of energy the cookie provides? And so the coffee should suffice. Or, are you wandering up to the cafeteria as an excuse to socialize, and the cookie is just a convenient excuse? As you test four or five different rewards, you can use an old trick to look for patterns: After each activity, jot down on a piece of paper the first three things that come to mind when you get back to your desk.

Then, set an alarm on your watch or computer for 15 minutes. When it goes off, ask yourself: do you still feel the urge for that cookie? First, it forces a momentary awareness of what you are thinking or feeling. Just as Mandy, the nail biter in Chapter 3, carried around a note card filled with hash marks to force her into awareness of her habitual urges, so writing three words forces a moment of attention.

At the end of the experiment, when you review your notes, it will be much easier to remember what you were thinking and feeling at that precise instant, because your scribbled words will trigger a wave of recollection. And why the minute alarm? By experimenting with different rewards, you can isolate what you are actually craving, which is essential in redesigning the habit.

About a decade ago, a psychologist at the University of Western Ontario tried to answer a question that had bewildered social scientists for years: Why do some eyewitnesses of crimes misremember what they see, while other recall events accurately? The recollections of eyewitnesses, of course, are incredibly important. And yet studies indicate that eyewitnesses often misremember what they observe. They insist that the thief was a man, for instance, when she was wearing a skirt; or that the crime occurred at dusk, even though police reports say it happened at in the afternoon.

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Dozens of studies have examined this phenomena, trying to determine why some people are better eyewitnesses than others. Researchers theorized that some people simply have better memories, or that a crime that occurs in a familiar place is easier to recall. The psychologist at the University of Western Ontario took a different approach.

She wondered if researchers were making a mistake by focusing on what questioners and witnesses had said, rather than how they were saying it.

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She suspected there were subtle cues that were influencing the questioning process. Then, she removed any information that would distract her from those elements.

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She held a tape measure to the screen to measure their distance from each other. And once she started studying these specific elements, patterns leapt out. She saw that witnesses who misremembered facts usually were questioned by cops who used a gentle, friendly tone. When witnesses smiled more, or sat closer to the person asking the questions, they were more likely to misremember.

Perhaps it was because, subconsciously, those friendship cues triggered a habit to please the questioner. But the importance of this experiment is that those same tapes had been watched by dozens of other researchers. Lots of smart people had seen the same patterns, but no one had recognized them before.

Because there was too much information in each tape to see a subtle cue. Once the psychologist decided to focus on only three categories of behavior, however, and eliminate the extraneous information, the patterns leapt out.

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  4. Our lives are the same way. The reason why it is so hard to identify the cues that trigger our habits is because there is too much information bombarding us as our behaviors unfold. Ask yourself, do you eat breakfast at a certain time each day because you are hungry?

    Or because the clock says ? Or because your kids have started eating?

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    When you automatically turn your car left while driving to work, what triggers that behavior? A street sign? A particular tree?

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    The knowledge that this is, in fact, the correct route? All of them together? To identify a cue amid the noise, we can use the same system as the psychologist: Identify categories of behaviors ahead of time to scrutinize in order to see patterns. Luckily, science offers some help in this regard. Experiments have shown that almost all habitual cues fit into one of five categories:. Who else is around? What action preceded the urge? I sat down because the meeting is about to start. Three days in, it was pretty clear which cue was triggering my cookie habit — I felt an urge to get a snack at a certain time of day. The reward I was seeking was a temporary distraction — the kind that comes from gossiping with a friend. And the habit, I now knew, was triggered between and You can change to a better routine by planning for the cue, and choosing a behavior that delivers the reward you are craving. What you need is a plan. In the prologue, we learned that a habit is a choice that we deliberately make at some point, and then stop thinking about, but continue doing, often every day.

    To re-engineer that formula, we need to begin making choices again. And the easiest way to do this, according to study after study, is to have a plan. Take, for instance, my cookie-in-the-afternoon habit. By using this framework, I learned that my cue was roughly in the afternoon. I knew that my routine was to go to the cafeteria, buy a cookie and chat with friends.