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Psychological Aspects of Risk and Aggression among Motorcyclists - "Mad Max" Syndrome

DOI: 10.2478/v10059-010-0010-6

Keywords: motorcyclists, Mad Max syndrome, aggression on road, road accidents

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Abstract:

The primary objective of this study was the psychological examination of a group of Polish motorcyclists against a group of students and graduates of Technical Universities. This work poses a question regarding the differences in temperament, aggression and the level of risk between motorcyclists and the control group. The second question was whether it was possible to create a typology of Polish motorcyclists taking into account the variables describing risk, temperament and aggression. This study used the Pavlovian Temperamental Scale (Strelau, Zawadzki, 1998), Stimulating-Instrumental Risk Inventory, SIRI 2001 (Zale kiewicz 2001), Multifactor Risky Behavior Scale (Studenski 2004), Unhealthy behavior Inventory (Makarowski 2008) and the Buss and Perry Aggression Questionnaire (1992). The tests were performed on 267 motorcyclists and 188 students and graduates of Technical Universities. A number of important differences was observed between the motorcyclists and the control group. Motorcyclists had a higher level of mobility of nervous processes and higher degree of excitation at the lower level of inhibitory processes. In terms of the measured level of risk they also had a higher level of stimulating, instrumental and unhealthy risk, at the lower levels of physical, social, ethical and financial risk in relation to the control group. Cluster and confirmation analyses showed the existence of three sub-groups of motorcyclists: prevaricators, ones with a Mad Max syndrome, and adventurers. The confirmation analysis was carried out on an additional group of 243 motorcyclists.

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