According to researchers at the University of Chicago, people have stronger reactions to being slighted than to being treated with generosity, which is why traffic troubles can cause some people to detonate in anger.
"For instance in driving, if you are kind and let someone go in front of you, that driver may be considerate in response. But if you cut someone off, that person may react very aggressively, and this could escalate to road rage," said University of Chicago psychology professor Boaz Keysar. "Small slights could escalate to unbelievable, irrational feuds."
Intermittent explosive disorder is "characterized by recurrent episodes of angry and potentially violent outbursts ~ seen in cases of road rage or spousal abuse," wrote Ronald Kessler of Harvard Medical School and his colleagues.
Intermittent explosive disorder "has been found to be much more common than previously thought," they wrote in the Archives of General Psychiatry.Attacks resulting from the disorder "are out of proportion to the social stressors triggering them" and aren't related to other mental disorders, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
"People with this disorder overreact to situations with uncontrollable rage, feel a sense of relief during the angry outburst, and then feel remorseful about their actions," Kessler and colleagues wrote.
Click here for the LiveScience article.