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The Road to Rage

            Almost every day the media reports another horrible incident involving aggressive .
             driving or in its most extreme form, road rage. Speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, .
             following too closely, yelling and gesturing are actions that characterize the aggressive .
             driver. Studies show an increase in these kinds of incidents over the past several years. .
             Examining the phenomenon of aggressive driving, psychologists Lawton and Nutter .
             (2002) survey a large collection of data to compare the levels and expression of anger .
             in everyday and driving situations in hopes of testing the beliefs about aggression on the .
             road. .
             Lawton and Nutter (2002) posted a survey questionnaire on the internet over a .
             three month period that consisted of 15 short scenarios that were developed in order to .
             compare them as closely as possible to non-driving scenarios. The questionnaire .
             consisted of four research questions that produced moderate reported anger overall. The .
             scenarios provoked mild anger or slight annoyance. Repeated measures MANOVA .
             revealed a significant interaction of level of anger, expression of aggression, and context, .
             as well as showing an interaction of gender by expression. Reports also show levels of .
             anger associated with the driving scenarios were not significantly different from those .
             associated with everyday situations. .
             The findings of this study were confirmed by using more objective measures of .
             aggression which suggests that these strategies could also be used to target aggressive .
             behavior. The study also concluded that there is no gender difference of self-reported .
             anger in either context. .
             However, this type of research can be susceptible to flawed information since the .
             survey was done electronically. Responders could have answered the questions .
             dishonestly and could have given false information as to their identity, though changing .
             attributions may help in a range of contexts such as reducing workplace hostility or .

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