Fig. 1: Mr. Bean mockingly waving his first class ticket. Despite logging my fair share of miles, I have never witnessed a real-life "air rage" incident. But honestly, who doesn't feel enraged after flying these days? Tiny seats, your knees shoved into your armpits, and paying $8 for a soggy sandwich would make almost anyone crack. Knowing that the lucky few who can afford a first-class ticket are sitting in (relative) luxury just feet away makes it even more unbearable. And, sure enough, these researchers claim that airline reported air rage incidents are nearly four times as likely on flights with first class seating. Not only that, but making passengers walk through first class to get to their crappy economy seats makes it even worse:
"Finally, our hypothesis that situational inequality—boarding from the front of the plane—would predict greater incidence of air rage in first class was supported: front boarding of planes predicted 11.86 greater odds of a first class air rage incident than boarding from the middle..."
The authors go on to claim that this is an example of how everyday inequality is leading to anti-social behavior. Whether or not that's true, this study has actually made me dread boarding a plane even more than I already was. Physical and situational inequality on airplanes predicts air rage. "We suggest that physical and situational inequality are built into people’s everyday environments—such as the modern airplane—and that exposure to these forms of inequality can trigger antisocial behavior. Analyses reveal that air rage is more common in economy class on airplanes, where inequality is physically present, and in both economy and first class when inequality is situationally salient. We extend research demonstrating that the salience of inequality decreases prosocial behavior by higher class individuals, showing that temporary exposure to physical and situational inequality predicts antisocial behavior among individuals in both higher and lower classes. Moreover, we explore a novel predictor of inequality-induced antisocial behavior—the design of physical environments—augmenting research on macrostructural forms of inequality." Related content: NCBI ROFL: Cunnilingus increases duration of copulation in the Indian flying fox. NCBI ROFL: College students' perceived risk and anxiety after reading airplane crash news. NCBI ROFL: Bionic insect cyborgs: 90% insect, 10% robot, 100% terrifying.