Those who commute to and from work every day might have noticed how the people who own a high-end vehicle also tend to be among the most obnoxious of drivers.
And it looks like this is more than just a random observation as a University of Helsinki study implies.
Car Ownership & Attitude
According to social psychology professor and lead study author Jan-Erik Lonnqvist, men who demonstrated a list of negative attitudes were found to be more likely to drive expensive cars.
These include vehicles from luxury car brands like Mercedez-Benz, Audi, BMW, Lexus, and Jaguar. The researchers related being unempathetic, stubborn, and argumentative to owning these high-status cars.
On the flipside though, people, whether women or men, who tend to be thoughtful or conscientious, were also likely to gravitate to the same kinds of cars.
The authors also touched on previous studies, which say that wealthy individuals were also susceptible to breaking traffic laws.This is reportedly because they feel some form of entitlement to do so.
Meanwhile, their responsible counterparts might do the opposite because they want to be perceived as reliable.
An Issue of Identity
As a result of the study’s rather negative findings about a certain group of people, Lonnqvist reports that he’s already gotten some backlash from luxury car drivers.
As the professor shared, they wanted him to know that they are not the angry people that the study implied.
That said Lonnqvist also pointed out another interesting issue about the topic. He particularly focused on how BMW and Audi owners see their cars as an ‘important identity issue’.
He also expressed they wanted to delve deeper into what personality traits expensive car owners have given the findings of another study, which pointed out that narcissists have a preference for products that exhibit their uniqueness.
A More Sustainable Status Symbol
In conclusion, Lonnqvist suggested a better, more sustainable way for wealthy people to flaunt their status.
He mentioned how going for an electric vehicle instead is now becoming a sort of status symbol. In turn, SUVs, which tend to have higher emissions, aren’t seen as ideal anymore.
Proof of this is the current popularity of Tesla cars with the Model 3 electric hatchback model being cited as the best selling luxury car in 2018 in the United States.