Street signs for kids

I have never met any street sign which encourages someone to DO something. Instead, most street signs ask someone NOT to do something. For instance, they ask pedestrians not to run fast or they ask drivers not to drive fast.

However, at a school in Hong Kong, I finally met a different street sign designed for students. Several yellow people were painted on a street surrounding a tree. Interestingly, they ran by carrying different items including basketball, football, soda, and noodle (?!).

According to a group of psychologists, we behave differently when we are in the promotion-focused mode than when we are in the prevention-focused mode. I hope we see more promotion-focused street signs painted on the road (e.g., please fly drone here, please use mobile phone here, etc.).

Trope, Y., & Liberman, N. (2010). Construal-Level Theory of Psychological Distance. Psychological Review, 117(2), 440–463.

People are capable of thinking about the future, the past, remote locations, another person’s perspective, and counterfactual alternatives. Without denying the uniqueness of each process, it is proposed that they constitute different forms of traversing psychological distance. Psychological distance is egocentric: Its reference point is the self in the here and now, and the different ways in which an object might be removed from that point—in time, in space, in social distance, and in hypotheticality—constitute different distance dimensions. Transcending the self in the here and now entails mental construal, and the farther removed an object is from direct experience, the higher (more abstract) the level of construal of that object. Supporting this analysis, research shows (a) that the various distances are cognitively related to each other, (b) that they similarly influence and are influenced by level of mental construal, and (c) that they similarly affect prediction, preference, and action.