Travel theft, stolen luggage, police corruption and many travel problems are minimized with situation awareness that stops target fixation.

For years, I have been searching for a method of teaching tourists, travelers and naive souls situational awareness. The number of tourists robbed is sad, and I used to think, "Tourists are dumb, they just don't pay attention."

Tourists and travelers are not dumb, but many are so busying paying attention, they missed the big picture. The problem is tunnel vision caused by "target fixation."

Target Fixation

Is Having Tunnel Vision, Looking Straight Ahead Stupid?

Maybe we can afford to look straight ahead in the USA where the sidewalks are flat and the police are safe. However, outside the USA we need to adapt, learn and change. The plot outside the USA is radically different.

Jason Bourne, in the film, "The Bourne Supremacy (2004)," has the skills needed for adventure travel, including situational awareness.

I now have learned that the reason people have almost no situational awareness, as if their peripheral vision has shut off, is probably due to target fixation.

Generally, travelers who are robbed often or involved in other risky situations have a very narrow understanding of the whole situation. They pay too much attention to one problem, fixated on the target of their awareness, and fail to observe many real problems.

Target Fixation Defined: Target fixation is a process by which the brain is focused so intently on an observed object that awareness of other obstacles or hazards can diminish. Also, in an avoidance scenario, the observer can become so fixated on the target that they will forget to take the necessary action to avoid it, thus colliding with the object.

Did you read the whole article? Many were distracted by the photo, their mind wandered, and we wonder why they get robbed, lose money, and even marry the wrong man or woman?

Make an active, mental choice to not allow your mind to fixate too long, especially for irrelevant things, such as loud noises, cars, traffic or people arguing around you. Understand whole situations before you analyze the details.

I hope to publish a 10-20 minute video showing how walk down the streets of the world safely. One must make hundreds of small adjustments to stay safe.

Thank you,
Andy Lee Graham

3 comments

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Scriptwriter from wrote 1 comment

Please do get the video made,there are way too many target fixated tourist getting hurt.
I lived in Detroit many years ago, and to show you how target fixation can be used to your advantage I was coming back from an after hours place with my GF. We were stopped by a guy with a knife who hoped to mug us. My GF pulled up her T-shirt and flashed her tits, and I hit the guy. I still have his knife but sadly not the GF.

Jerry

Gadget from has written 4 comments

That is using Target Fixation in reverse, good move.

Bill99 from has written 4 comments

I also had this problem in Phoenix. I was driving and stopped at a light when a low rider car with 4/5 punks in it stopped closely next to . They started to demand I get out of the car and leave my money as they flashed their knives.

The old saying then came into play, dont bring a knife to a gun fight.

Its legal to carry a loaded weapon in plain sight in AZ. I had my .38 next to me on the passenger seat, in a holster. I picked it up and pointed it at them and let them know I was ready to use it.

The driver floored it through the still red light.

I do not like to carry a gun around but until laws change I will protect myself. Also for any who may question if I know what Im doing, yes, Im a former Nam Marine.

I saw a mugging in Rome once and helped the lady after they ran off with her purse until the police showed up.
No one else had made a move, they were to far away for me to run after.
She was carrying her purse like a lot of women do, swinging it in her hand as she walked.

Andy, make the movie and try to see it gets out everywhere you can. Great idea.

Oh, I suspect I would be a good victim if the lady in the pic was near my line of sight.

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