This report addressed the topic aggression in driving and related areas of research. A range of different subject areas are reviewed including theories of aggression, factors contributing to aggressive driving behaviour, the measurement of aggression, the characteristics of driver groups at high risk of crash involvement, strategies for combating aggression in driving and the identification of a number of research issues.
Approaches to the Study of Aggression
There are a number of different theoretical approaches to the study of aggression. However, none are considered to be complete explanations but reflect the orientation and requirements of the researchers who developed them.
Biological theories consider aggressive behaviour to be innate, although specific responses can be modified by experience. In the psychoanalytic tradition, the frustration-aggression hypothesis proposes that the origin of aggressive behaviour is to be found in external factors.
Finally, social learning approaches argue that aggression is a learned response through observation or imitation of socially relevant others. Aggression is the result of the norms, rewards, punishments and models to which individuals have been exposed.
Although these three approaches differ in the emphasis they place on the role of biological (genetic inheritance and evolutionary) processes and experience (learning through exposure to environmental factors), they generally assume that aggressive behaviour is the combined result of these factors.