A desire for a loud car with a modified muffler is predicted by being a man and higher scores on psychopathy and sadism
More details
Hide details
Management and Organizational Studies, The University of Western Ontario, London, Canada
Submission date: 2022-10-01
Final revision date: 2023-02-10
Acceptance date: 2023-03-08
Online publication date: 2023-04-14
Corresponding author
Julie Aitken Schermer   

Management and Organizational Studies, The University of Western Ontario, London, Canada
Although people are familiar with loud automobiles, equipped with modified mufflers to increase the volume, it is unclear who is most attracted to these vehicles.

Participants and procedure:
A sample of 529 (52% men) undergraduate business students were surveyed and were asked if they viewed their car as an extension of themselves, how much they thought loud cars were “cool”, and if they would make their car louder with muf-fler modifications. Cronbach’s α of the three car items was .76; therefore an aggregate was generated. Also a self-report measure of the dark tetrad was completed.

Using linear regression, the car aggregate was predicted by being a man and having higher scores on psychopathy and sad-ism, with the model accounting for approximately 29% of the variance.

As car modifications are illegal in some countries, these findings may be of interest to those heading campaigns to halt these activities.

Brodsky, W., Olivier, D., & Chekaluk, E. (2018). Music genre induced driver aggression: a case of media delin-quency and risk-promoting popular culture. Music and Science, 1, 1–17.
Campbell, J., Schermer, J. A., Villani, V. C., Nguyen, B., Vickers, L., & Vernon, P. A. (2009). A behavioural genetic study of the dark triad of personality and moral development. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 12, 132–136.
DeWall, C. N., Buffardi, L. E., Bonser, I., & Campbell, W. K. (2011). Narcissism and implicit attention seeking: Evi-dence from linguistic analyses of social networking and online presentation. Personality and Individual Differ-ences, 51, 57–62.
Dinić, B. M., Milosavljević, M., & Mandarić, J. (2021). Effects of Dark Tetrad traits on utilitarian moral judgement: The role of personal involvement and familiarity with the victim. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 24, 48–58.
Feder, K., Marro, L., McNamee, J., & Michaud, D. (2019). Prevalence of loud leisure noise activities among a representative sample of Canadians aged 6-79 years. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 146, 3934.
Galić, Z. (2016). Conditional reasoning test for aggression: Further evidence about incremental validity. Interna-tional Journal of Selection and Assessment, 24, 24–33.
Karageorghis, C. I., Kuan, G., Payre, W., Mouchlianitis, E., Howard. L. W., Reed, N., & Parkes, A. M. (2021). Psy-chological and psychophysiological effects of music intensity and lyrics on simulated urban driving. Transpor-tation Research Part F: Psychology and Behaviour, 81, 329–341.
Kowalski, C. M., Rogoza, R., Saklofske, D. H., & Schermer, J. A. (2021). Dark triads, tetrads, tents, and cores: Why navigate (research) the jungle of dark personality models without a compass (criterion)? Acta Psychologica, 221, 103455.
Međedović, J., & Kovačević, U. (2021). Sadism as a key dark trait in the link between football fandom and criminal attitudes. Journal of Individual Differences, 42, 9–18.
Moshagen, M., Hilbig, B. E., & Zettler, I. (2018). The dark core of personality. Psychological Review, 125, 656–688.
Paulhus, D. L., Buckels, E. E., Trapnell, P. D., & Jones, D. N. (2021). Screening for dark personalities: The Short Dark Tetrad (SD4). European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 37, 208–222.
Pazhoohi, F., & Klingstone, A. (2022). Larger vehicles are perceived as more aggressive, angry, dominant, and masculine. Current Psychology, 41, 4195–4199.
Petrides, K. V., Vernon, P. A., Schermer, J. A., & Veselka, L. (2011). Trait emotional intelligence and the dark triad traits of personality. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 14, 35–41.
Schönbrodt, F. D., & Perugini, M. (2013). At what sample size do correlations stabilize? Journal of Research in Per-sonality, 47, 609–612.
Trahair, C., MacDonald, K. B., Furnham, A., & Schermer, J. A. (2022). Altruism and the dark triad. Current Issues in Personality Psychology, 10, 234–239
Wehner, C., Ziegler, M., Kichhof, S., & Lämmle, L. (2022). Bringing light into the dark: Associations of fire interest and fire setting with the Dark Tetrad. Frontiers in Psychology, 13, 876575.
Yoshida, J., & Igata, T. (2012). Dependence of loudness evaluation by drivers on vehicle styling. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 132, 3866.
Copyright: © Institute of Psychology, University of Gdansk This is an Open Access journal, all articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) License (, allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and to remix, transform, and build upon the material, provided the original work is properly cited and states its license.