Trinkaus -- An Informal Look (Part 2 of 10)

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Trinkaus -- An Informal Look (Part 2 of 10)

A glance at the colorful research of an under-publicized scientist

by Alice Shirrell Kaswell, with research assistance from Rachael Moeller Gorman

This page is but one part of a 10-part series. Click here to see the introduction and index of the article, with links to all the parts.


An Approach to Stop Lights

In the early 1980s, Trinkaus had begun to look, albeit informally, at several of the themes to which he would return time and again. Attaché cases, beverage container return behavior, behavior in a commuter railroad passenger station -- all made their first appearance during this period. 1982 saw the first Trinkaus paper on stop sign compliance. That opened the door to stop lights, and also to parking regulation compliance.

Curiously, the first of Trinkaus’s “Another Look” series -- the 1982 report “Biorhythms: Another Look,” was (so far as we have been able to determine) the very first paper he published about biorhythms. As such, it is a charming anomaly. Each of the subsequent “Another Look”s -- 1983’s “Stop Sign Compliance -- Another Look,” for example -- marked a return to one or another subject on which Trinkaus had already established a solid record of publications.

Trinkaus was to revisit the stop sign question over and again, with “... Another Look” in 1983, “... A Further Look” in 1988, “...A Follow-Up Look) in 1993, and “...A Final Look” in 1997.

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(6) “Stop Sign Compliance: An Informal Look,” J. Trinkaus, Psychological Reports, vol. 50, no. 1, February 1982, p. 288.

[A]n informal longitudinal study was conducted in a suburban metropolitan New York community. Results suggest a decline in the frequency of driver compliance.

(7) “Biorhythms: Another Look,” J. Trinkaus, A. Booke, Psychological Reports, vol. 50, no. 2, April 1982, pp. 396-8.

Analyzed 881 motor vehicle accident reports... A uniform distribution of accidents across stages in biorhythmic cycles was found, casting doubt on the validity of biorhythmic theory.

(8) “Carrying Document Cases: An Informal Look,” J. Trinkaus, Psychological Reports, vol. 51, no. 2, October 1982, p. 430.

Observed people carrying document cases leaving a railroad station during morning rush hour. Observations were made at the 4 major exits, 1 exit/day for 4 days. 500 observations were made each day. About 1 out of 5 people carried such a case, and 71.8% were men. Results suggest that the act of carrying a document case is a status symbol. However, considerations of functional utility also have importance.

(9) “Arcade Video Games: An Informal Look,” J. Trinkaus, Psychological Reports, vol. 52, no. 2, April 1983, p. 586.

Observed the activity at 5 Pac-Man games and 6 Ms. Pac-Man games in a commuter railroad passenger station in New York City during the morning rush hour (0700-0930), lunchtime (1130-1200), and the evening rush hour (1600-1830). 75 30-min nonrepetitive viewings were conducted. During observation, all machines were constantly in use. There were 8 male for every 3 female players; players usually played 2 sessions in the morning and at lunch but 3 sessions in the evening.

(10) “Stop-Light Compliance -- An Informal Look,” J. Trinkaus, Perceptual and Motor Skills, vol. 57, no. 3, December 1983, p. 846.

(11) “Stop Sign Compliance -- Another Look,” Perceptual and Motor Skills, vol. 57, no. 3, December 1983, p. 922.

(12) “Human Communications: An Informal Look,” J. Trinkaus, D. Recht, K. Shyman, Psychological Reports, vol. 53, no. 2, October 1983, p. 374.

Studied whether 750 riders of low-speed self-service elevators were inclined to respond with short utterances when 1 of 2 questions was asked of them: ”Is this car going up?” or ”Is this car going down?” Results indicate that Ss tended to limit their communications...

(13) “Compliance with Parking for Handicapped: An Informal Look,” J. Trinkaus, Perceptual and Motor Skills, vol. 58, no. 1, February 1984, p. 114.

Observed the compliance with handicapped parking regulations at a suburban neighborhood shopping center.... 30 citings of convenience were taken... Findings show that in the absence of police enforcement, general observance of parking restrictions... was normally practiced only when convenient.

(14) “Returnable Beverage Containers: An Informal Look,” J. Trinkaus, Perceptual and Motor Skills, vol. 58, no. 2, April 1984, p. 550.

Observed the practice of patrons, on leaving a 146-seat cafeteria-style pizzeria, in returning bottles and cans for a refund of a state-mandated beverage-container deposit of $.05. 40 convenience viewings were made at the rate of 1/day, and 20 Ss were observed during each period.... Findings suggest that the contention that people are not economic beings is accurate at the $.05-level.

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This page is but one part of a 10-part series. Click here to see the introduction and index of the article, with links to all the parts.

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