Study: Do you love your really loud car? Chances are you’re a psychopath!

May 3, 2024

Ever get cut off by a boisterously souped-up car and call the driver a psycho? You may have been right, new research claims, reports the New York Post.

Miffed by a seemingly-growing number of modified mufflers and beefed-up engines wreaking aural havoc on the road, one put-upon psychology professor couldn’t help but wonder: “Who really wants to make this kind of noise?”

“Every day we come across these loud cars and pickup trucks and motorcycles that are backfiring and I get startled,” Julie Aitken Schermer of Western University in London, Ontario told the Canadian Broadcasting Company, adding, “My dog [gets] startled. I see the animals run away that are in the trees and squirrels on the ground.”

 What Schermer found can be acutely summarized in the title of her pioneering 2023 report: “A desire for a loud car with a modified muffler is predicted by being a man and higher scores on psychopathy and sadism.”

She interviewed and administered personality tests to 529 young people—a majority of them men—about noisy cars, muffler mods, and if driving one made them feel “cool.”

The findings were like an after-market chrome tailpipe to the face: “We found that it was sadism and psychopathy predicting who wants to modify their mufflers, who feels more connected to their vehicle, and they think loud cars are really cool,” she said.

“It seems to be this callous disregard for other people’s feelings and their reactions. That’s the psychopathy coming out and it’s also they probably get a kick out of enjoying watching people get startled,” she explained.

In New York City, these vehicles make so much of a public and quality of life disturbance, that an exhausted-from-exhaust local government is launching specialized noise cameras to crack down on inconsiderate drivers.

Schermer admitted that not all loud car lovers share traits with a very dangerous sect of criminals. Plenty do, however.

“The personality profile I found with loud mufflers are also the same personality profile of people who illegally commit arson,” she said.

Research contact: @nypost