Psychologist Explains Why a Messy Car Makes You Unhappy – Interview

Psychologist Explains Why a Messy Car Makes You Unhappy – Interview

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New Study Uses Brain Activity to Uncover the Connection People Have with Their Cars and How the Condition of Their Vehicles Affects Their Well-Being!

 Study participants underwent EEG testing to uncover how people emotionally respond to common scenarios in the car: dashboard indicator lights, dirty or disorganized cars, or external damage like cracked windshields or flat tires.

The emotional impact of the car we drive is surprisingly strong according to a new biometric study of vehicle owners conducted by HCD Research for Jiffy Lube.  In a first-of-its-kind study that combines neuroscience and quantitative research techniques, researchers evaluated participants’ emotional responses to stimuli of negative scenarios in a car’s interior as well as exterior.

A dirty vehicle elicited the strongest negative emotional response by participants, but it also caused participants to feel embarrassment and disgust about themselves…feelings that can linger outside their vehicle. Additionally, dashboard warning lights caused participants to feel out of control, which can contribute to higher levels of stress and nervousness throughout the day.

When participants imagined themselves in clean, well-maintained vehicles more than half reported feeling comfort and happiness.  Join me in a recent interview with Dr. Michelle Niedziela, a behavioral neuroscience expert, as she shares her reasoning and insights from the study and how our well-being revolves around the condition of our vehicle.  

See the entire interview here:


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About: Dr. Michelle Niedziela, PhD is a behavioral neuroscience expert in neuropsychology, psychology and consumer science. She is an author of several papers published in related professional journals. Michelle obtained a PhD and masters in neuroscience and biopsychology from Purdue University and a BS in psychology from Florida State University.

She has experience from academia (Monell Chemical Senses Center) and industry (Johnson & Johnson, Mars Chocolate) in R&D of innovation technologies and methodologies for consumer research. As VP of Research and Innovation at HCD Research, Michelle focuses on integrating applied consumer neuroscience tools with traditional methods used to measure consumer response.

About HCD Research – Jiffy Lube Biometric Study: Jiffy Lube a leader in vehicle maintenance for more than 40 years, set out to dissect the evolving relationships people have with their cars and how the state of their vehicles affects those relationships.

The HCD Research® Company is a research firm that specializes in the integration of traditional, psychological, behavioral, & neuroscientific tools to better understand consumers. HCD Research employs innovative research tools, comprehensive data collection techniques, and well-honed interpretive skills to meet market research objectives.

Interview courtesy of Jiffy Lube


Cynthia Tait

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