4 years ago

The weapons effect on wheels: Motorists drive more aggressively when there is a gun in the vehicle

In discussions about guns, one factor rarely considered is the fact that merely seeing a gun can increase aggression. This effect—called the “weapons effect”—was first demonstrated in a 1967 study, and has been replicated many times since then. The present experiment used a driving simulator to provide a novel test of the weapons effect. One of the most dangerous activities people engage in is driving a vehicle, and survey studies indicate that driving might be more dangerous if there is a gun in the vehicle. In this experiment, participants (N =60) were randomly assigned to drive a frustrating driving scenario with a gun or a tennis racket in the vehicle's passenger seat. Participants drove more aggressively when there was a gun in the vehicle than when there was a tennis racket in the vehicle. These findings suggest that the mere presence of a gun can make drivers more aggressive.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0022103117302111

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