‘A grandiose sense of self worth’: BMW drivers are ‘most likely’ to be psychopaths
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The study asked drivers of all makes to complete a 12-question survey that highlighted the extent to which they displayed psychopathic traits. And owners of the ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’ scored highest, averaging 12.1 out of a possible 36 points – almost double the average.
Traits measured included “a grandiose sense of self-worth”, “superficial charm” and “a lack of remorse or guilt” in addition to how likely people are to display abnormal or anti-social behaviour.
Fiat owners came in third with an average score of 7.0, while mild-mannered Skoda drivers were least likely to be psychopaths, with a score of just 3.2.
“The popularity of true crime documentaries has resulted in a worldwide fascination with psychopaths,” said Dan Glick, MD of Scrap Car Comparison.
“So, we were curious to discover whether there was any correlation between the car you drive and where you might sit on the psychopath scale.”
The survey also examined colour choice, fuel types and number plates to find psychopathic patterns.
And owners of personalised number plates scored double the level of those who have normal plates on their cars.
Electric car owners scored a worrying 16 out of 36 on the psychopathic scale, while those who plumped for gold coloured cars registered 12.7 compared to red car owners who scored just 4.9.
“While our findings might back up some existing stereotypes of drivers who are unsafe on the road, it’s worth noting that none of the levels seen in our study were any cause for concern.
“And while certain TV shows or films might trivialise what it means to be a psychopath, it is a condition that should be taken seriously,” said Glick.
All the drivers surveyed can take some solace in the fact that scores between 0-18 actually indicate that no psychopathy is present in real terms, while scoring between 19-26 show it as ‘possible’.
Scoring over 27 means there are traits present that display the subject is ‘likely’ to have psychopathic tendencies.
BMW and Audi drivers are often criticised for failing to use their indicators.
Perhaps the most worrying indicator, however, is that psychopaths are defined by Psychology Today as being manipulative, pathological liars with little remorse or guilt and a “callous lack of empathy”.
However, as the study suggested, it is unlikely these traits are linked to owners of the cars mentioned.
Still, other UK drivers certainly aren’t fans of the German brands.
Another survey by vehicle finance firm MoneyBarn earlier this year found that out of 4,000 respondents, 39.1 percent had a problem with BMW drivers, making them the least popular on the nation’s roads.
That’s in comparison to just 7.9 percent for white van drivers.
But according to Tim Schwarz, Moneybarn’s Head of Marketing: “There’s a common misconception that all people who drive a specific brand, such as BMW or Audi, are worse drivers.
“However it’s all subjective and what you drive doesn’t make you a better or worse driver!”
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