Research Papers

Roadway Justice - Making Angry Drivers, Happy Drivers

Filename FINAL-PAPER-110-stiudent-and-CMRSC.docx
Filesize 199 KB
Version 1
Date added June 10, 2012
Downloaded 4 times/fois
Category 2012 CMRSC XXII Banff
Tags Session 2B
Author/Auteur James E. W. Roseborough, David L. Wiesenthal


The enforcement of traffic laws by police punishes law violators and reduces the likelihood that other drivers will violate laws via vicarious punishment. The purpose of the current study was to determine the effect of punishment of violators on witnesses and victims' feelings of anger and happiness. A sample of 279 individuals was exposed to four unjust driving behaviours. Participants indicated how angry and happy the behaviours made them feel. Then participants indicated feelings of happiness and anger a second time, after being informed that the violator had been punished. Analyses generally indicated that perceived punishment reduced feelings of anger and increased feelings of happiness. In addition to increasing roadway safety, the current study shows the importance of active police enforcement as it has a positive impact on the emotional states of victims and witnesses of unjust driving behaviour.

James E. W. Roseborough, David L. Wiesenthal