Friday, 23 September 2016

Angry birds

Research has revealed that women experience more road rage than men

Are you an irritable driver when you get behind the wheel? Find yourself yelling at traffic, cursing at the cars that won't let you in, ready to tear your hair out at slow pedestrians?

Research has revealed that women are, on average, 12% more angrier drivers than men when they get behind the wheel.

Patrick Fagan, behavioural psychologist from Goldsmiths University London, conducted a 'sense test' experiment with 1,000 drivers to provoke different emotional responses in different driving situations. The experiment measured the drivers emotional intelligence behind the wheel by monitoring how sight, touch, smell and sound responded when challenged.

The research commissioned by Hyundai Motor UK found that driving brings out our natural 'defence instincts' from our hunter-gatherer days. In the test scenarios where women were beeped at, shouted at, or had a back-seat driver in their ear, these defence instincts kicked in and they responded 12% angrier than men.

The study found that when anger rises in a driver, they feel out of control. The other most dominant driving emotion, however, is happiness- linked to a sense of freedom.

Regarding the results, Fagan commented: "Psychologically, women score higher than men on emotional and verbal intelligence, and on the personality trait of neuroticism. Evolutionary theory suggests our early female ancestors had to develop an acute sense of danger for anything that threatened them and their young if their cave was undefended while men were out hunting. That 'early warning system' instinct is still relevant today, and women drivers tend to be more sensitive to negative stimuli, so get angry and frustrated quicker."

Are you an angry driver? Let us know on Twitter @theladymagazine #LadyNews

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