A new scientific research published paper has stated that self-centred men “are much more likely to own a high-status car such as an Audi, BMW or Mercedes.”

Those are also the same personality traits that explain why they can be such aggressive and unethical drivers.

The paper, entitled “Not only assholes drive Mercedes. Besides disagreeable men, also conscientious people drive high‐status cars,” was published in the International Journal of Psychology by the Swedish School of Social Science at the University of Helsinki.

Jan-Erik Lönnqvist, professor of social psychology, has concluded that owners of German luxury cars are more likely to drive recklessly and ignore traffic laws.

“I had noticed that the ones most likely to run a red light, not give way to pedestrians, and generally drive recklessly and too fast were often the ones driving fast German cars.”

Lönnqvist authored the report after studying 1,892 car owners to measure openness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, and to determine whether wealth and personality traits affect driving habits.

His conclusions »

Self-centred men who are argumentative, stubborn, disagreeable and unempathetic are much more likely to own a high-status car such as an Audi, BMW, or Mercedes. … These personality traits explain the desire to own high-status products, and the same traits also explain why such people break traffic regulations more frequently than others.

Yle News »

However, Lönnqvist said he was surprised his research also found that other types of personalities are drawn to high-end vehicles – the conscientious. He described this group as talented, reliable, well-organised people who are thriving at their careers.

“The link is presumably explained by the importance they attach to high quality. All makes of car have a specific image, and by driving a reliable car they are sending out the message that they themselves are reliable,” the professor reasoned.

Another notable finding in the study was that the conscientious personality type who drove top shelf vehicles included both men and women, while the drivers of fancy cars who had self-centred personality traits were exclusively male.

More » Press ReleaseToronto Star (paywall), FastCompany