As a cooperative species, we usually respond positively to other people, but we may be treating cyclists badly on the roads because we see them as being not quite human. That’s the finding of research conducted at the Queensland University of Technology.
Earlier traffic research had concluded that motorists often admit to aggressive behavior towards cyclists and discriminate against them because they regard them as a minority group. In the study, participants were asked to rate cyclists on ape-human and insect-human scales represented in diagrams similar to the classic evolution of man progression.
Interestingly, being a cyclist yourself only has a moderate chance of improving your attitude towards other cyclists. Researchers found that 30 percent of cyclists rated other cyclists as being not completely human while 55 percent of non-cyclists shared that opinion.