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A Communicative Approach to Road Rage: Accounts of Driving and Retaliation
Unformatted Document Text:  Road Rage 17 one’s road rage behavior. A cross tabulation indicated that the most common initiating sequence began with a competitive behavior followed by an intimidating behavior, 2 (18) = 27.33, p = .07. For example, one participant stated: “…when this guy swerves into my lane, not even realizing I was there…I then proceed to tailgate him and start honking and going crazy.” Another common initiating sequence involved the use of a competitive behavior which was then reciprocated by another competitive behavior. For example, “My roommate was cut off by an elderly gentleman. He acted like a jerk and cut him off back. The old man nearly crashed.” Furthermore, intimidating behaviors (usually tailgating) were often followed by a benign behavior (usually slow driving or tapping brakes). The second sequence involved the participants’ reaction to the initiating behavior and the other drivers’ reaction to the first reaction of the participant. This sequence often followed the pattern of an intimidating action by the participant, followed by aggressive communication on the part of the other driver. One driver wrote, “…I didn’t break until I was right on the bumper of the other driver’s car. The other driver got extremely upset with me and used an obscene gesture.” The second most common sequence in this turn was a benign behavior by the participant followed by an intimidating behavior by the other driver. For instance one respondent wrote, “…she purposely slowed down to make him go around, instead he got closer, flashed his brights, and honked his horn.” Association between Emotional Reactions and Road Rage Behaviors Research Question 1e asked if there was any association between and emotional reactions and one’s road rage behavior? Analysis of primary emotions and initiating behaviors indicated that for competitive, intimidating and benign behaviors, the participant most often felt rage, although 2 was insignificant (largely due to empty cells) 2 (32) = 21.38 Some participants who encountered competitive behaviors also often felt horror after the initiating incident. After one competitive behavior, one driver stated, “I was very scared and just wanted to get home. Once there I was still pretty shaken up.” Another 2 analysis was computed between the primary emotions of the participants and their first reaction. Results revealed that participants who felt rage most often used competitive, intimidating and aggressive communication, respectively. However, again, 2 was not significant, 2 (42) = 43.87 due largely

Authors: Canary, Daniel., Mikkelson, Alan., Switzer, Frank. and Bailey, Carrie.
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Road Rage 17
one’s road rage behavior. A cross tabulation indicated that the most common initiating sequence began with
a competitive behavior followed by an intimidating behavior,
2
(18) = 27.33, p = .07. For example, one
participant stated: “…when this guy swerves into my lane, not even realizing I was there…I then proceed to
tailgate him and start honking and going crazy.” Another common initiating sequence involved the use of a
competitive behavior which was then reciprocated by another competitive behavior. For example, “My
roommate was cut off by an elderly gentleman. He acted like a jerk and cut him off back. The old man
nearly crashed.” Furthermore, intimidating behaviors (usually tailgating) were often followed by a benign
behavior (usually slow driving or tapping brakes).
The second sequence involved the participants’ reaction to the initiating behavior and the other
drivers’ reaction to the first reaction of the participant. This sequence often followed the pattern of an
intimidating action by the participant, followed by aggressive communication on the part of the other driver.
One driver wrote, “…I didn’t break until I was right on the bumper of the other driver’s car. The other
driver got extremely upset with me and used an obscene gesture.” The second most common sequence in
this turn was a benign behavior by the participant followed by an intimidating behavior by the other driver.
For instance one respondent wrote, “…she purposely slowed down to make him go around, instead he got
closer, flashed his brights, and honked his horn.”
Association between Emotional Reactions and Road Rage Behaviors
Research Question 1e asked if there was any association between and emotional reactions and one’s
road rage behavior? Analysis of primary emotions and initiating behaviors indicated that for competitive,
intimidating and benign behaviors, the participant most often felt rage, although
2
was insignificant (largely
due to empty cells)
2
(32) = 21.38 Some participants who encountered competitive behaviors also often felt
horror after the initiating incident. After one competitive behavior, one driver stated, “I was very scared and
just wanted to get home. Once there I was still pretty shaken up.”
Another
2
analysis was computed between the primary emotions of the participants and their first
reaction. Results revealed that participants who felt rage most often used competitive, intimidating and
aggressive communication, respectively. However, again,
2
was not significant,
2
(42) = 43.87 due largely


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