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True or False: People who drive red cars get pulled over more often?

Posted on March 1, 2016

88 red cars get pulled over more often False.

Every time my wife and I contemplate buying a different vehicle, we spend a lot of time walking around car dealerships and examining our many options. The first thing I usually notice when looking for a new car is the price tag. My reaction is often one of sheer horror—followed by disbelief—and this question: can that really be the correct price for this vehicle? Shortly after the sticker shock wears off, I take a good look at the color and ask myself: is this a color I can tolerate for the next five or even ten years? Inevitably, we come to a shiny red car and I have to sit in it, just for fun. I’ve always believed the old saying that red cars get pulled over more often for speeding. Just sitting idly in the showroom, they look fast. It turns out that there has not been a lot of research examining whether the color of vehicles impacts the frequency at which the drivers of those vehicles get stopped and/or ticketed. However, the little research that is available suggests that this is just an old wives’ tale or urban legend. Newman and Willis (1993) conducted the only published study I could find looking at car color and the chance of getting a speeding ticket. These authors monitored speeding tickets over a twenty-two month period and compared the frequency of tickets by car color to the frequency of cars on the road with those colors. They found that red cars get ticketed about the same amount as gray and brown cars. About ninety-five percent of the tickets in this study were the result of using radar, and many times when radar is used the speed is already obtained before an officer notices the color of the car. Some think that red cars give the appearance of going faster; there really is no good scientific evidence for this either. So go ahead and buy the bright shiny red car without fear of being pulled over and ticketed more often.      


Newman, M. and Willis, F. Bright cars and speeding tickets. Journal of Applied Social Psychology (1993), Vol 23, pp. 79-83.

True or False: “Only” children are more selfish, bossy, and spoiled?

Posted on February 11, 2016

Fasle.87 only children are spoiled

It is a common misconception that only children (sometimes referred to as “onlies”) are spoiled, selfish, and rotten little brats. To most people it makes perfect sense, and it may even be somewhat logical. When parents have only one child, that child gets all the attention, all the toys, all the affection, and all the coolest birthday presents; they don’t even have any competition selecting which cartoons they are going to watch on Saturday morning. How could they not be self-centered? There has been tremendous growth in the number of single child family units in the past five to ten years. There has also been a fair amount of research looking into whether only children are indeed spoiled and selfish compared to other children with siblings. It appears that they are not. Mancillas (2006) published a very good review article on the topic in the Journal of Counseling and Development stating, “There is clearly a need to correct the negative bias and stereotypes about only children, not only to benefit children and families but to ensure that mental health professionals, researchers, educators, and policy makers articulate an accurate understanding of only children and their families ….” Many children are spoiled and bossy at various times in their lives. I’m a father of three children, and I have to say that it has been my experience that every child (at least mine—and all my friends’ children) at some point thinks everything should revolve around them. This commonly happens in a child’s early years, but I’ve also heard that this can be the case during the teenage years as well, as shocking as that may sound. Everything I’ve ever read and been taught suggests that how a child acts and behaves is much more a result of parenting style than number of siblings or birth order.


Mancillas, A. Challenging the stereotypes about only children: A review of the literature and implications for practice. Journal of Counseling and Development (2006), Vol 84, pp. 268-275.