They wash and wax them, go on and on about them - some even adorn them with furry dice. But men who admit to loving their cars and seeing them as an 'extension of themselves’ are more likely to be aggressive drivers, according to astudy
. We know men tend to be more aggressive drivers and we know men tend to see their cars as an extension of themselves more than women.
'It explains much,' said Ayalla Ruvio, lead author of the study and assistant professor of marketing at Temple University Fox School of Business. He said such drivers may view cars and the road space they occupy as their territory and will seek to maintain control over it and defend it as necessary.
The study, published in the Journal of Psychology & Marketing, looked at the influence of personality, attitudes and values gathered from 134 surveys of men and women with an average age of 23.5. Then 298 people were asked about risk attraction, impulsiveness, driving as a hedonistic activity and perceptions about time pressures.
It found that people who perceive their car as a reflection of their self-identity are more likely to behave aggressively on the road and break the law. Increased materialism, or the importance of one's possessions, was also linked to increased aggressive driving tendencies. The study also found that people with compulsive tendencies were more likely to drive aggressively with disregard for potential consequences.
Professor Ruvio added the implications of this study could be seen in numerous cultural contexts because of the strong link between cars and identity. Many men still see their cars as status symbols and use their cars to impress others.