Apparently, the number of bumper stickers you have on you’re car can predict how likely you are to participate in road rage type behavior, . And it doesn’t even matter what the stickers say. “If You Can Read This Bumper Sticker, Go F**k Yourself” is as much a risk as “My Son’s An Honor Roll Douche.”
According to Psychologist William Szlemko and his colleagues at Colorado State University, bumper stickers act as territorial markers for our cars. In our subconscious monkey brains (damn dirty apes!), the more we personalize and identify with our cars as ‘our space,’ the more likely we are to show aggression when we think that the space is being threatened. It’s not just bumper stickers either. Anything that personalizes the car, such as seat covers, bobble heads and even fuzzy dice can lead to an increased protection instinct.
People who had a larger number of personalized items on or in their car were 16% more likely to engage in road rage, the researchers report in the journal Applied Social Psychology…Szlemko suggests that this territoriality may encourage road rage because drivers are simultaneously in a private space (their car) and a public one (the road). “We think they are forgetting that the public road is not theirs, and are exhibiting territorial behaviour that normally would only be acceptable in personal space,” he says.
Word’s still out on whether V-TEC stickers and ridiculous neon lighted undercarriages cause the same transformation. But seeing them on your car does make me want to kick your ass, so it’s basically the same thing.