THE PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY AND PSYCHOLOGY OF ROAD RAGE: STATE ANGER AND THE OUTWARD EXPRESSION OF ANGER
Haines, J., Hill, K., Thomasson, T. and Williams, C.L., University of Tasmania, Australia
The first of two studies examined the psychophysiological and psychological responses to road rage using a staged, personalised guided imagery methodology. It was determined that road rage was associated with both increased psychophysiological arousal and negative psychological response while driving and increased arousal in non-driving situations suggesting a pervasive and generalised anger response. The second study examined the nature of the anger response associated with road rage. Rather than being a manifestation of trait anger, it was demonstrated that the experience of high levels of state anger and the tendency to outwardly express angry feelings increased psychophysiological arousal and psychological response in aggressive driving situations. The results are discussed in relation to the management of road rage and the use of the methodology as an assessment tool.