Self Esteem and Driving Style

Purpose: The mystery of driver psychology has intrigued everyone who has sat behind a steering wheel and thought about that guy tailgaiting behind them. This week, Scientific AmeriKen will probe into the mind of drivers in attempt to correlate driving styles with self esteem.

Hypothesis: Because low self esteem is the marker of a person who does not feel secure with themself, then it is the hypothesis of this experiment that those who are deemed by society as "bad drivers" are those who are lacking in self esteem. The basis of this assumption is that the person will attempt to fullfill their need for self-esteem by taking an automobile to the limits of their control to gain a sense of power.

Equipment: Need for this experiment is a copy of the ISE (index of self esteem). In addition several questions were added on to the questionaire for the purpose of gathering information about driving style. (click here for test form)

Procedure: The first step is to administer a questionaire to each participant. Make sure that the participant is allowed to take the test in privacy, collect the test when the participant is done, and tally results.

Results: For Scoring the ISE, problem numbers 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 14, 15, 18, 21, 22, 23, and 25 are reverse scored, the total is then added up. This test is reverse scored, therefore scores above 30 are said to have a clinically significant self esteem problem, while scores below 30 are said to be normal..
Result of ISE
Average Score
Above speed limit on average
Number of tickets per person on average
Above 30
Below 30

Conclusion: Based on the results it appears that no correlation can be deduced. It would seem that those high self esteem people who drive fast are just lucky enough to be ticket free, perhaps because they have enough self esteem to argue out of tickets. In all, this study lacks the numbers required to make a solid correlation between the two, as demostrated by the weak results. Though more experimentation may occur on the subject of self esteem, this study does share a glimpse into the mind of the driver.

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