Why might people in convertibles be less aggressive? (and it’s not because it’s sunny outside)

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A field study examined the relation between anonymity and aggressive driving behavior. A confederate driver pulled in front of the cars of 60 subjects at a stoplight. When the light turned green, the confederate driver remained stationary and recorded the subject’s horn-honking behavior within a 12-second time period. Thirty subjects were driving convertibles or 4x4s with the tops down (identifiable condition), and 30 subjects were driving convertibles or 4x4s with the tops up (anonymous condition). Subjects in the anonymous condition displayed significantly shorter horn-honking latencies, longer horn-honking durations, and more frequent horn honks than did subjects in the identifiable condition. Results are discussed within the framework of deindividuation theory.
Source: “ANONYMITY AND AGGRESSIVE DRIVING BEHAVIOR: A FIELD STUDY” from Journal of Social Behavior and Personality

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