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The Psychology of Bumper Stickers

Society & Culture  (tags: bumper stickers, driving, mindset, character traits, psychology )

- 3630 days ago -
A new study by Colorado State University in Fort Collins concluded that bumper stickers are drivers' equivalents of animal territorial markings. Whether the sticker proclaims "Back off!" or "Vote for McCain" or "Praise Jesus," the message is the same.

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RC deWinter (418)
Monday June 16, 2008, 2:48 am
Have you noticed what these researchers found - that the more bumper stickers and individual markings (including vanity license plates) a car has - the more territorial, angry and impatient the driver is likely to be? I must confess that in the middle of the back of my Grand Am - but not on the bumper, on the area below the trunk lock - I sport a small yellow sticker that reads CRONE in black letters. I must also confess that I was a somewhat aggressive driver years before I bought that sticker in Omaha, of all places, and put it on the car.

Linda H (199)
Monday June 16, 2008, 2:58 am
Hey,Cate! Thanks for the warning. Down here there are some cares covered with all kinds of things. It is so good to have you back!

pebble s (56)
Monday June 16, 2008, 3:13 am
Thanks Cate for the great story. Good to see you again, you've been missed.

Kathy C (354)
Monday June 16, 2008, 3:53 am
If not for the fact they make the car look trashy, I'd have several on mine:) A great big one stating I break for animals & kids:) All others beware:)
In God We trust, All others Cash:)
Noted with great thanks Cate

Hans L (958)
Monday June 16, 2008, 3:57 am
Dear Cate!
Interesting story!
I am changing the climate is realy funny! And so true!
The most true bumper sticker i have ever seen was on the
back of a wonderful brandnew Porsche 911 TURBO telling the people....
EURE ARMUT KOTZT MICH AN! Your poverty pisses me off!!
I dont know how often that poor guy had flat tires but i can guess at least once a month....At least he was true like the guys who are changing the climate in their full size SUV! Interersting that Jesus loves you tells us the same....


Katie S (79)
Monday June 16, 2008, 4:11 am
Our car has lots of stickers but I'm the one who put them on, not the driver!

Pauline Houzard (107)
Monday June 16, 2008, 6:49 am
Great Story Cate, keep them comming!

Gayle M (444)
Monday June 16, 2008, 7:16 am
Hmm, I wonder if my magnetic "wind power" is classified as a bumper sticker? Actually my most careful driving takes place when I put my "rescue" ribbons on the care as I transport animals !

Joycey B (750)
Monday June 16, 2008, 7:59 am
Another great and different story. So glad your back. Thanks Cate.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Monday June 16, 2008, 8:56 am

Good stuff, Cate. I'll be driving much more cautiously around those vehicles with "Baby on Board" stickers now! LOL

Past Member (0)
Monday June 16, 2008, 9:56 am
love your stories cate, keep um coming... i have no stickers but now i understand all those crazies... hehehe...:)

Timothy Brown (1)
Monday June 16, 2008, 10:02 am
Very interesting concept of blending personal space with territory.

Estella Ameigh (22)
Monday June 16, 2008, 10:57 am
Interesting. Don't have any stickers on my car, but husband has a watch
out for motorcycles sticker on his truck. Please drive careful out there
our lives depend on it.

Marian E (152)
Monday June 16, 2008, 1:31 pm

Interesting, neither my husband nor myself put bumper stickers
on our vehicles. Maybe we just aren't territorial.

Thanks Cate.

. (0)
Monday June 16, 2008, 1:39 pm
i don't have any butr i like to read them

Past Member (0)
Monday June 16, 2008, 1:39 pm
Fun and interesting read, thanks Cate. I don't do the bumper sticker thing. I've been pulled over more than you'd believe for telling the world that I listen to the Grateful Dead and hug trees. I've found other other ways to express myself...T-SHIRTS ROCK!!! :)

Gail L (30)
Monday June 16, 2008, 1:57 pm
Noted. Enjoy having you back with your stories.

Elle J (276)
Monday June 16, 2008, 2:10 pm
I have a personalized license plate because it is easy to remember. I drive defensively and I practice road courtesy always. The only bumper stickers I will put on my car are of a political nature. There are some states I have worked in where the voting public actually equates the number of yard signs and bumber stickers they see for a candidate's chances to win. I know it sounds silly but in some states it is traditional. As a political consultant, it is my job to get the candidate I represent and consult with elected and if that is what it takes, so be it.

. (0)
Monday June 16, 2008, 2:20 pm
Cate! SO good to see you back! Fun article-look forward to more from ya. :)

. (0)
Monday June 16, 2008, 2:41 pm
I don't have bumper sticker either Cate but, its good to see you comming back. yeap it is. noted

Carol W (119)
Monday June 16, 2008, 3:18 pm

LOL Cate.

David Gould (155)
Monday June 16, 2008, 4:26 pm
Very few bumper stickers over here in the UK. We get more comments written in the dust on trucks and the like. I never know what to make of the notice "Baby on Board" seen in so many cars. I have been known to put a family planning leaflet on cars in car parks with this notice in the hope that if people understand what is causing the problem they can take the right action

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Monday June 16, 2008, 4:43 pm

The reason I brought up the "Baby on Board" placard or bumper sticker was because of the following encounter.

In "rush hour" traffic, I was driving with my daughter and needed gas. As I approached the packed lanes at the intersection, I realized there was a station across the street, so I pulled into the left-turn lane. Since it was right on the corner, I needed to get in the far right lane to the drive once I'd executed the turn. When the light changed, I was lucky enough to get through the light the first time. As I moved over to the driveway, however, I heard the screeching of brakes and the non-stop honking of a horn. I proceeded to the gas pumps, only to have a small Asian man pull up and start screaming at me, "Baby on Board!" "Baby on Board!" and pointing at the sign in the rear window of his car. He was even upset enough that he attempted to open my car door and was banging on my windows after I'd locked the doors and rolled them up. It was the scariest experience I've ever had with another motorist.

Apparently, because of the heavy traffic, I did not realize that there were TWO left turn lanes and had accidentally cut him off.

Theresa Vaughn- Miller (2)
Monday June 16, 2008, 5:47 pm
Thank you for the Story Cate good to have you back.... :)

Denice G (45)
Monday June 16, 2008, 7:04 pm
Very interesting. I have one sticker in my back window, I just put it on two days ago. Now I read this article, I'll have to take a closer look at my driving. Your crone sticker sounds good to me.

Melissa Dawson (284)
Monday June 16, 2008, 8:23 pm
Hey! I have several bumper stickers on my car and I am a very "nice" driver... infact, if anything, I would say that I have had people be rude to ME because of my stickers... and I just smile and flip them the peace sign. My brother-in-law got spat at while driving my car because of one of my stickers... "A Woman's Place is in the House, the Senate, and the Oval Office"... and even though I support Hillary, I put that sticker on my car WAY before she was going to run for president.
So very good to have ya back Cate!!!!!!!

Tim Redfern (581)
Monday June 16, 2008, 8:55 pm
A fascinating read, and I believe it's valid,
but to echo Melissa's statements, I think these
researchers are using too wide a brush against
ALL people who have stickers on their car.
I've had some on cars in the past that I put
there to deliberately piss people off, but I
never pissed them off by the way I drove. I
learned to drive on L.A. freeways, and if
you value your life, you drive as defensively
as possible!
btw, several years ago, I saw a sticker that made
me wish I was a woman, just so I could have put it
on my car:
"The only Bush I trust is my own".

Great to have you back amongst us, Cate.
NO ONE seems able to find the stuff you do!

Ken S (38)
Monday June 16, 2008, 11:54 pm
Hi Cate, I followed a Lady in traffic, she had a sticker on her rear window. .MEN ARE LIKE DIAPERS, THEY ARE ALWAYS TRYING TO GET INTO YOUR ARSE, AND ARE FULL OF SHIT.... do think she may have been an aggressive driver? Being a country boy I was not sure.

Michael Sandstrom (306)
Tuesday June 17, 2008, 2:48 am
TY Cate, I want that sticker that says if you do not like the way I drive, get off the side walk :)

Michael Sandstrom (306)
Tuesday June 17, 2008, 2:52 am
Cate, would you send me the "full size" pix, I can't read all of them

Ramona Gehl (141)
Tuesday June 17, 2008, 3:58 am
Hi Cate...I think most of the stickers are pretty humorous and creative! Never really thought about how territorial or aggressive that the driver would be who was sporting them. Thanx for the post!

Past Member (0)
Tuesday June 17, 2008, 8:16 am
Noted. Very interesting! Thank you.

Melissa Kush (3)
Tuesday June 17, 2008, 9:30 am
I think that covering an old rusted car with bumper stickers is a good idea, you not only hide the rust, you are holding the car together.
That's such an aggressive thought...sorry. :P

Past Member (0)
Tuesday June 17, 2008, 10:42 am
noted and thanks Cate, glad you are back missed ya. (((HUGS)))

Steve H (45)
Tuesday June 17, 2008, 4:16 pm

I have plenty of stickers and I feel it is necessary to stand up and speak out about the war and impeachment etc.

If we don't show people what the issues are and more importantly that we are willing to speak up, how can we expect them to speak up?

One place with lots of good ones is:

We need to be vocal in as many ways as possible and that includes bumper stickers, hats, shirts, flyers, pushing media to report the truth and doing this


Jenny Dooley (830)
Tuesday June 17, 2008, 7:56 pm
Interesting article thanks Cate!

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Tuesday June 17, 2008, 7:56 pm


Thinking about this. (drumming fingers and pondering)

I'd prefer not to ponder points made by someone who is insipid enough to manufacture a profile only to attack a comical news post.

Now, if you'd like me to consider "stupid profile of the year" . . . Sorry, but you (unfortunately) are not the "dumbest f**k". (but you are soon to be deleted)

No Way (0)
Tuesday June 17, 2008, 9:09 pm
No bumper stickers here, but I do have a few animal paw magnets for/from The Animal Rescue Site - Save A Stray, Click Everyday.

Great sticker and philosophy "Vote 'em OUT!"

No Way (0)
Tuesday June 17, 2008, 9:12 pm
To enlarge the bumpers to read, try setting up this page to print. Then enlarge it until you can read the writing! Hey, it's better than nothing!

No Way (0)
Tuesday June 17, 2008, 9:17 pm
One more thing, Northern Sun has some great t-shirts and bumper stickers.

Tim Redfern (581)
Tuesday June 17, 2008, 9:22 pm
As does
Not so much on t-shirts,
but a hysterical collection
of stickers!

Victoria Chapman (53)
Tuesday June 17, 2008, 9:59 pm
Oh my... I wonder where I fit in with my WWF, Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists, ASPCA, Defenders of Wildlife, The Nature Conservancy, et al as well as pagan bumper stickers and Cause Ribbons I interchange on those wonderful magnetic holders says about me? *thinks on this as flashes of the movie Network flash in my brain*

Summer M (6)
Wednesday June 18, 2008, 8:31 am
I have never been a bumper sticker person- I usually think it is tacky, although I do find a few amusing. Interesting theory. MIne is that American are lame drivers period- the whole speed kills crap they try to brainwash you with when only 4% of fatal accidents are attributed to speed, people driving side by side for miles- I don't know about you, but if something happens on the road I want an open window-not 2 cars on either side of me, then there are the indignant people who don't use the passing lane for passing- I remember when you used to get pulled over for staying in the fast lane too long when you weren't passing- now people stay driving side by side the cars in the middle & fast lane for miles- unfreaking-real. And it only seems to get worse- idiot American drivers. I suppose it's not all their fault- it's hard to pull your head out of your ass in this bubble of a country. So I guess even though I currently don't have any bumper stickers- I just might think about it...maybe some reminders to use your turn signals or to let you know that SLOWER TRAFFIC MOVE RIGHT!!!!

Carla H (104)
Wednesday June 18, 2008, 9:17 am
LOL!!! Guilty as charged! I have a couple of stickers on my car, although I am very rarely angry when I am behind the wheel. In fact I would say the exact opposite is true. I can't tell you how many times someone has felt the need to make an obscene gesture of some kind to me because they didn't like my bumper stickers. I just laugh and continue singing at the top of my lungs to the radio. I just ordered a new one that I can't wait to add to the back of my car. It says "Honk if you voted for Bush so I can give you the finger"!!

Annie J (205)
Wednesday June 18, 2008, 11:45 am
I have 3 stickers and a vanity plate, just being myself.
My favorite, "If your gonna ride my ass, at least buy me dinner first" a necessity for driving in Pennsylvania.

Yvonne White (229)
Wednesday June 18, 2008, 2:28 pm
I like stealth driving, at warp speed with my cloaking device... no stickers, semi-vanity plate.. just stay the hell out of my way!;)
However, I applaud Obama stickers & cut off Bu$h ba$tard$!:)

Rob S (112)
Thursday June 19, 2008, 7:23 pm
Yah i,ve had a few in the past,especially on my van"Keep honking,you,re almost in range!".....Good post Cate
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