Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bumper sticker mentality

The Post:
Watch out for cars with bumper stickers.

That's the surprising conclusion of a recent study by Colorado State University social psychologist William Szlemko. Drivers of cars with bumper stickers, window decals, personalized license plates and other "territorial markers" not only get mad when someone cuts in their lane or is slow to respond to a changed traffic light, but they are far more likely than those who do not personalize their cars to use their vehicles to express rage — by honking, tailgating and other aggressive behavior. . . .

It doesn't seem to matter whether the messages on the stickers are about peace and love ("Visualize World Peace," "My Kid Is an Honor Student") or angry and in your face ("Don't Mess With Texas," "My Kid Beat Up Your Honor Student"). . . .

Szlemko and his colleagues in Fort Collins found that people who personalize their cars acknowledge that they are aggressive drivers but usually do not realize that they are reporting much higher levels of aggression than people whose cars do not bear visible markers.

"The more markers a car has, the more aggressively the person tends to drive when provoked," Szlemko said. "Just the presence of territory markers predicts the tendency to be an aggressive driver."
Fave comment:
Can't wait for the study about bloggers. For some, it's like screaming into space. Blogging is much more anonymous than a bumper sticker, but is still a venue to vent and spew venom.

What kind of latent pyschological issues do we have? If you're thinking "none", you are so wrong.
So, so wrong.

Update: Who the hell needs a bumper sticker to mark his territory anyway? I just pee in my car.

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