Do people change behind the wheel? A comparison of anger and aggression on and off the road

The question of whether “we drive as we live” or whether “we are transformed behind the wheel” generates discussion at all levels from the scholarly to the popular. To shed light on this issue, this study measured the personality traits of general anger and driving anger and four modes of expression common to both contexts (verbal, physical, displaced and adaptive) in a sample of 198 drivers. The results showed a moderate correlation between the two measured traits and indicated that each mode of expression correlated better with its equivalent mode in the other context than it did with the other modes of expression. Next, three hypotheses about the multivariate relationship were tested through five path models. These models confirmed that general anger and driving anger, although related to each other, are two different traits: a propensity to general anger and a propensity to driving anger. However, it was observed that when someone experiences anger, either on or off the road, it is expressed in the same way, given that each mode of expression behind the wheel is associated to both the propensity to driving anger and the equivalent mode of expression in a general context. Finally, the study’s implications are discussed.

Language

  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01505364
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 10 2014 2:41PM