Women More Likely To See Red

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Are you calm behind the wheel or do you suffer from road rage? Well, your gender *might* have something to do with it!

Recent research has found that women are more prone to road rage than men. The study of 1,000 UK drivers by Hyundai revealed that women are, on average, 12% angrier than men when they’re behind the wheel.

The experiment was conducted by Patrick Fagan, a behavioural psychologist from Goldsmiths University London, and he believes that  driving sparks defence instincts from when humans were hunter-gatherers!

They tested how our senses reacted to different driving scenarios, looking at sound, sight, smell, touch and taste, and how these provoke emotional responses. Their testing involved facial coding technology, eye tracking analysis, galvanic skin response and a heartrate monitor to record how specific stimuli impact our emotions when we’re driving.

The study found there are two dominant emotions. Firstly, happiness which was linked to a sense of freedom when driving, and secondly, anger when drivers feel out of control.

These evolutionary traits kicked in more aggressively during the test when women were either undertaken, shouted at, beeped at, had to deal with a back-seat driver or were faced with a road user who failed to indicate. In all test scenarios, women were more likely to respond with anger than male drivers.

Patrick Fagan 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.”

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