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Psychological resistance against attempts to reduce private car use

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  • Tertoolen, Gerard
  • van Kreveld, Dik
  • Verstraten, Ben
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    Abstract

    The aim of the research was to investigate the effects of information, feedback and commitment on car use and attitudes related to car use. In a field experiment () users of private automobiles in The Netherlands monitored their travel behavior for four consecutive two-week periods. The participants received information and individual feedback about the effects of their car use on the environment and/or on their own finances. Information on public transport applicable to their situation was provided as well. Moreover, a subset of the participants committed themselves to reduce their mileage. Separate and combined effects of self-monitoring, environmental feedback, financial feedback, and commitment were analyzed. Effects on travel behavior turned out to be absent. Effects on attitudes were in some cases opposite to what was expected from a theoretical point of view as well as what was considered desirable from a policy point of view. The underlying psychological processes are discussed in terms of the social dilemma, dissonance reduction and reactance. Consequences for information campaigns are discussed.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice.

    Volume (Year): 32 (1998)
    Issue (Month): 3 (April)
    Pages: 171-181

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:32:y:1998:i:3:p:171-181

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    Cited by:
    1. Stradling, Stephen & Carreno, Michael & Rye, Tom & Noble, Allyson, 2007. "Passenger perceptions and the ideal urban bus journey experience," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 283-292, July.
    2. Wang, Tingting & Chen, Cynthia, 2012. "Attitudes, mode switching behavior, and the built environment: A longitudinal study in the Puget Sound Region," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(10), pages 1594-1607.
    3. Keemin Sohn & Jiyoung Yun, 2009. "Separation of car-dependent commuters from normal-choice riders in mode-choice analysis," Transportation, Springer, vol. 36(4), pages 423-436, July.
    4. Kopnina, Helen, 2011. "Kids and cars: Environmental attitudes in children," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 573-578, August.
    5. Thøgersen, John, 2006. "Understanding repetitive travel mode choices in a stable context: A panel study approach," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 621-638, October.
    6. Tørnblad, Silje H. & Kallbekken, Steffen & Korneliussen, Kristine & Mideksa, Torben K., 2014. "Using mobility management to reduce private car use: Results from a natural field experiment in Norway," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 9-15.
    7. Anable, Jillian, 2005. "'Complacent Car Addicts' or 'Aspiring Environmentalists'? Identifying travel behaviour segments using attitude theory," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 65-78, January.
    8. John Thøgersen & Berit Møller, 2008. "Breaking car use habits: The effectiveness of a free one-month travelcard," Transportation, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 329-345, May.
    9. Graham-Rowe, Ella & Skippon, Stephen & Gardner, Benjamin & Abraham, Charles, 2011. "Can we reduce car use and, if so, how? A review of available evidence," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 45(5), pages 401-418, June.
    10. Poudenx, Pascal, 2008. "The effect of transportation policies on energy consumption and greenhouse gas emission from urban passenger transportation," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 901-909, July.
    11. Schmitt, Lorelei & Currie, Graham & Delbosc, Alexa, 2013. "Measuring the impact of unfamiliar transit travel using a university access survey," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 301-307.
    12. Steg, Linda, 2005. "Car use: lust and must. Instrumental, symbolic and affective motives for car use," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 39(2-3), pages 147-162.
    13. Mario Cools & Elke Moons & Brecht Janssens & Geert Wets, 2009. "Shifting towards environment-friendly modes: profiling travelers using Q-methodology," Transportation, Springer, vol. 36(4), pages 437-453, July.
    14. Alessandro Innocenti & Patrizia Lattarulo & Maria Grazia Pazienza, 2009. "Heuristics and Biases in Travel Mode Choice," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 027, University of Siena.
    15. Beirão, Gabriela & Sarsfield Cabral, J.A., 2007. "Understanding attitudes towards public transport and private car: A qualitative study," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 478-489, November.
    16. Redmond, Lothlorien, 2000. "Identifying and Analyzing Travel-Related Attitudinal, Personality, and Lifestyle Clusters in the San Francisco Bay Area," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt0317h7v4, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    17. Rajan, Sudhir Chella, 2006. "Climate change dilemma: technology, social change or both?: An examination of long-term transport policy choices in the United States," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 664-679, April.
    18. Ory, David T. & Mokhtarian, Patricia L., 2005. "When is getting there half the fun? Modeling the liking for travel," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 39(2-3), pages 97-123.
    19. Aileen Lam, 2013. "Projections of future emissions and energy use from passenger cars as a result of policies in the EU with a dynamic model of technological change," 4CMR Working Paper Series 005, University of Cambridge, Department of Land Economy, Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research.
    20. Innocenti, Alessandro & Lattarulo, Patrizia & Pazienza, Maria Grazia, 2013. "Car stickiness: Heuristics and biases in travel choice," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 158-168.
    21. Steg, Linda & Geurs, Karst & Ras, Michiel, 2001. "The effects of motivational factors on car use: a multidisciplinary modelling approach," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 789-806, November.
    22. Guiver, J.W., 2007. "Modal talk: Discourse analysis of how people talk about bus and car travel," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 233-248, March.
    23. Stradling, Stephen G. & Anable, Jillian & Carreno, Michael, 2007. "Performance, importance and user disgruntlement: A six-step method for measuring satisfaction with travel modes," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 98-106, January.
    24. Cecilia Jakobsson & Satoshi Fujii & Tommy Gärling, 2002. "Effects of economic disincentives on private car use," Transportation, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 349-370, November.

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