What kind of person buys an expensive car? "The answers were unambiguous: self-centered 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." That's straight from the press release regarding one of two recent studies that find, per CNN, "drivers of expensive cars are the worst." The other study found that those driving pricey vehicles were less likely to stop for pedestrians trying to cross a road; for every additional $1,000 of vehicle worth, a driver was 3% less likely to do so. Researchers filmed volunteers crossing a road hundreds of times to come up with their results; they theorize drivers of flashy cars were less able to empathize with pedestrians, perhaps feeling "a sense of superiority over other road users."
Researchers for the other study, which was done in Finland, surveyed 1,892 drivers, who answered questions about their car, wealth, and own personality traits, which were then analyzed. The team found that self-centered men were among the most likely to own a high-status vehicle. The other group that was most likely, interestingly, was highly conscientious people of both genders. The study's lead author thinks that this group, which he describes as "respectable, ambitious, reliable and well-organized," is likely attracted to the way the car reflects on them. "By driving a reliable car they are sending out the message that they themselves are reliable." (Read more study stories.)