Territorial markings as a predictor of driver aggression and road rage

William J. Szlemko, Jacob A. Benfield, Paul A. Bell, Jerry L. Deffenbacher, Lucy Troup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Aggressive driving has received substantial media coverage during the past decade.We report 3 studies testing a territorial explanation of aggressive driving. Altman(1975) described attachment to, personalization of, and defense of primary territories (e.g., home) as being greater than for public territories (e.g., sunbathing spot on a beach). Aggressive driving may occur when social norms for defending a primary territory (i.e., one’s automobile) become confused with less aggressive norms for defending a public territory (i.e., the road). Both number of territory markers (e.g.,bumper stickers, decals) and attachment to the vehicle were significant predictors of aggressive driving. Mere presence of a territory marker predicts increased use of the vehicle to express anger and decreased use of adaptive/constructive expressions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1664-1688
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume38
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

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Sunbathing
Rage
Automobiles
Anger
Aggression
Social Norms

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Szlemko, William J. ; Benfield, Jacob A. ; Bell, Paul A. ; Deffenbacher, Jerry L. ; Troup, Lucy. / Territorial markings as a predictor of driver aggression and road rage. In: Journal of Applied Social Psychology. 2008 ; Vol. 38, No. 6. pp. 1664-1688.
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Territorial markings as a predictor of driver aggression and road rage. / Szlemko, William J.; Benfield, Jacob A.; Bell, Paul A.; Deffenbacher, Jerry L.; Troup, Lucy.

In: Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Vol. 38, No. 6, 2008, p. 1664-1688.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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