One of the main concerns of individuals who criticized the U.S. decision to engage in the second Gulf War in Iraq is that the Bush administration may not have been able to foresee important potential future consequences of this ac-

tion, such as heightened Muslim anger at the United States, protracted civil unrest in Iraq, and lack of credibility with the United Nations (U.N.) for initiating war contrary to U.N. consensus. Certainly some types of aggressive behavior in some situations (such as engaging in a war) are the result of careful consideration of likely consequences to the aggressor and to others. But a lot of the time, aggression occurs more spontaneously, when the aggressor lacks the time, ability, or motivation to think about what may happen as a result of her or his action. For example, a study of car crashes on the Washington, D.C. Capital Beltway in 1993 and 1994 found that aggressive driving caused about 50% of the crashes. Of the aggressive-driving crashes, 18% were caused by a “sideswipe cut-off,” which occurs when one vehicle hits another while changing lanes, typically related to frequent lane changes and traffic congestion (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1996). Aggressive driving often occurs when one driver perceives that another driver dominated or attacked her or him and the driver spontaneously reacts by moving their car in a way that endangers the other car. In doing so, the driver is often so focused on “getting him back” or “not letting her win” that the driver fails to think about the damage that could come to their car, to themselves, and to others on the road. In focus groups conducted with Capital Beltway drivers in 1997, 75% of aggressive drivers said that they always or often compete with other drivers; one driver described driving on the Beltway as a “competitive sport” (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1998). This type of aggression is termed impulsive, as it occurs relatively quickly, with very little, if any, thought.