Stop Bugging Us

Written by
29 April 2019

Are cyclists human? This question has moved from the lips of SUV drivers to the minds of researchers from Monash University, QUT and the University of Melbourne, who put together their magnum opus, Dehumanization of cyclists predicts self-reported aggressive behaviour toward them.

This study, surprisingly the first in its field, sought to find whether drivers who scream “how dare you momentarily make me touch-brake, you parasite” are simply acting out or harbour suspicions that the figure beneath the cycling helmet actually might be a dugong with a weekend hobby.

In the study, participants were given either the famous ape-to-man silhouette path of evolution — or the far more accurate cockroach-to-man evolution chart that the lamestream media won’t show you — and were then asked to put on a scale where they thought cyclists rated.

Shockingly, 55 per cent of non-cyclists and 30 per cent of cyclists rated cyclists as not completely human. Participants were also recorded as saying to themselves, “wait, are the researchers serious with this question?,” “I think I’m going to circle the middle one as a joke,” and “I can’t actually believe they’re serious with this question”.

Sobering, sobering stuff.

The QUT researchers came away with a solution. We should stop saying cyclists, because it’s dehumanising. Instead, we should say “people who ride bikes”. If I said to you, “hey look at that cyclist,” how can you be expected to know I’m gesturing towards a human and not a salamander? We can take this one step further. Let’s stop saying “university researchers”.

From now on, they are “people who waste Taxpayers’ money”.

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James Bolt

James Bolt is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs

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