Aroma of the essential oil of peppermint reduces aggressive driving behaviour in healthy adults

Mark Moss*, Anna Turner, Jasmine Ho, Sophie Swinburne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
58 Downloads (Pure)


Aggressive driving is of increasing concern in modern society. This study investigated the potential for the presence of an ambient aroma to reduce aggressive responses in a simulated driving situation. Previous literature has demonstrated the beneficial effect of peppermint (Mentha piperita) aroma on driver alertness and we aimed to identify any impact on aggressive driver behaviour. Fifty volunteers were randomly assigned to one of two conditions (peppermint essential oil aroma and no aroma). Aggressive driving behaviours were measured in a virtual reality driving simulator. The analysis indicated that the peppermint aroma significantly reduced aggressive driving behaviours. The presence of the aroma also produced medium sized effects on some aspects of mood from pre-test levels. These results provide support for the use of ambient aromas for the modification of driving behaviours. It is proposed that applying peppermint into daily driving may be a beneficial for reducing driver aggression.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2865
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental
Issue number2
Early online date17 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023


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