Tuesday, April 22, 2008

We Might Be Cavemen, But We're Still Better Drivers

According to a British shrink, we're all still Fred Flintstone when we get behind the wheel. He's got rocks in his head.

Male drivers have more crashes because deep down they are still cavemen, a psychologist claims.

The brain has failed to evolve from the time of aggressive hunter-gatherers who thought only of finding food and mating, says Professor Geoffrey Beattie.

This "Fred Flintstone" impulse explains why men commit the vast majority of traffic offences including speeding, dangerous driving and drink-driving and account for 94 per cent of prosecutions resulting from road casualties.

Professor Beattie, who is Manchester University's Head of Psychological Sciences and resident psychologist on TV's Big Brother, examined the effect of evolution on differences in driving behaviour between men and women.

He concludes that young men in particular still exhibit the risk-taking instincts of cavemen when driving in modern-day Britain.

"Our 21st Century skulls contain essentially stone-age brains," he says in a report to be considered on Wednesday by the House of Commons Transport Committee.

"The human brain evolved to meet the requirements of the huntergatherer that existed for 99 per cent of our evolution as a species.
We in the knuckle-dragging community don't take kindly to such offenses.
It says men are more competitive and likely to react aggressively on instinct to perceived invasions of their personal space by other drivers - particularly when tailgated or cut up when overtaken.

Women, on the other hand, are better able to empathise and see others' point of view so they are less likely to respond to hostility.
Sure, but they still can't parallel park.

No comments: