Researchers suggest that women have an instinctive “early warning system”, which dates back to our early female ancestors who had a sense of danger for threats. But this finding contradicts previous studies, which shows that men are predominantly affected by road rage. The study, by car manufacturer, Hyundai, involved 1,000 UK drivers, 450 of who were also tracked using a webcam. Participants were “sense tested” to see how sound, sight, smell, touch and taste provoke emotional responses while driving. The results from the sense testing were fed into a specially-created software which gave each participant a unique “Driving Emotion Test” score. The results showed that on an average, women are 12 per cent angrier than men when behind the wheel.
The researchers suggest that driving sparks an ancient defence instinct, dating back to our hunter-gatherer days. These evolutionary traits kicked in during the test when women were undertaken, shouted or beeped at, had to deal with a back-seat driver, or were faced with a road user who didn’t indicate. Patrick Fagan, a behavioural psychologist from Goldsmiths University London who led the study, said, “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.”
But the results from this study conflict with previous research. A number of studies have examined the characteristics of individuals who suffer from road rage. In a study by Smart and Mann, people with road rage were found to be predominantly young (33 years of age on average) and male (96.6 per cent) — findings that have also been reported by other investigators.
Being a mainly male behaviour, other investigators have found that road rage may extend across all age groups with the exception of seniors. — Source: www.dailymail.co.uk