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A Communicative Approach to Road Rage: Accounts of Driving and Retaliation
Unformatted Document Text:  Road Rage 13 damage the other car/driver. Most types of initiating behaviors used the car. Frequencies for these behaviors can be found in Table 1. ________________ Insert Table 1 here ________________ The second main category was Aggressive Communication, which includes both verbal and nonverbal communication. Screaming and yelling obscenities, making threats or accusations, as well as flipping off the other driver, and making other obscene gestures were all coded as aggressive communication. Other Aggressive Acts included throwing objects, spitting, or actual physical violence. Avoidance included not responding at all, locking doors, or leaving the scene. Cooperative acts included apologizing and other integrative behaviors, and attempts to reconcile. Finally, Passive/Aggressive acts included laughing at the other driver, which was usually accompanied by waving. For initiating behaviors and reactions, participants sometimes offered two or three behaviors in conjunction. For example, a person might speed to pass someone (competitive) and while doing so, flip them off (aggressive communication). Behaviors in a sequence by one driver, without any kind of behavioral reaction from the other driver, were coded in one sequence or turn. The turn or sequence then ended when the other driver reacted in some way. Consequently, the turn taking sequence was employed to include all behaviors in the descriptions. Emotional Reactions Emotion reactions were coded twice: (1) after the initiating behavior and before the conclusion of the incident, and (2) after the incident ended. The typology from Shaver, Schwartz, Kirson, and O’Conner (1987) was used to code emotions listed by the respondents. However, the complete typology was not employed, primarily because emotions such as love and joy were not applicable to road rage. Thus, only applicable categories were utilized. Intercoder agreement among the three coders for the emotions reported was 88%, with a kappa of .81. Specifically, nine categories were employed, eight of which are identical to Shaver et al.’s (1987)

Authors: Canary, Daniel., Mikkelson, Alan., Switzer, Frank. and Bailey, Carrie.
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Road Rage 13
damage the other car/driver. Most types of initiating behaviors used the car. Frequencies for these
behaviors can be found in Table 1.
________________
Insert Table 1 here
________________
The second main category was Aggressive Communication, which includes both verbal and
nonverbal communication. Screaming and yelling obscenities, making threats or accusations, as well as
flipping off the other driver, and making other obscene gestures were all coded as aggressive
communication. Other Aggressive Acts included throwing objects, spitting, or actual physical violence.
Avoidance included not responding at all, locking doors, or leaving the scene. Cooperative acts included
apologizing and other integrative behaviors, and attempts to reconcile. Finally, Passive/Aggressive acts
included laughing at the other driver, which was usually accompanied by waving.
For initiating behaviors and reactions, participants sometimes offered two or three behaviors in
conjunction. For example, a person might speed to pass someone (competitive) and while doing so, flip
them off (aggressive communication). Behaviors in a sequence by one driver, without any kind of
behavioral reaction from the other driver, were coded in one sequence or turn. The turn or sequence then
ended when the other driver reacted in some way. Consequently, the turn taking sequence was employed to
include all behaviors in the descriptions.
Emotional Reactions
Emotion reactions were coded twice: (1) after the initiating behavior and before the conclusion of
the incident, and (2) after the incident ended. The typology from Shaver, Schwartz, Kirson, and O’Conner
(1987) was used to code emotions listed by the respondents. However, the complete typology was not
employed, primarily because emotions such as love and joy were not applicable to road rage. Thus, only
applicable categories were utilized. Intercoder agreement among the three coders for the emotions reported
was 88%, with a kappa of .81.
Specifically, nine categories were employed, eight of which are identical to Shaver et al.’s (1987)


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