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The relationship between instrumental, symbolic and affective factors as predictors of car use: A structural equation modeling approach

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  • Lois, David
  • López-Sáez, Mercedes
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    Abstract

    Traditionally, urban mobility has been studied from the utilitarian or practical viewpoint, focusing on instrumental motivations and ignoring symbolic and affective aspects that may play a relevant role. The purpose of this work is to analyze from a psychosocial perspective the influence of symbolic, affective, and instrumental motivations on the frequency of car use, taking into account diverse reasons for traveling. From a sample of the Spanish population, participants were 284 people (50.3% female), with a driver's license, car owners and residents in cities of various sizes, who completed an anonymous questionnaire. The effect of each type of variable was estimated by a structural equation model. Results indicate that people's affective link with their private vehicle explains 12% of frequency of car use, as a latent variable of different kinds of trips: visiting friends or relatives, going to work or to a study center, going shopping, or to leisure areas. The instrumental advantages associated with cars and thinking that it expresses one's status predict the affective link with the car. These findings corroborate the relevance of the non-instrumental aspects involved in the selection of the means of transportation.

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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 43 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 9-10 (November)
    Pages: 790-799

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:43:y:2009:i:9-10:p:790-799

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    Related research

    Keywords: Car use Motives Instrumental function Symbolic function Affect;

    References

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    1. Cecilia Jakobsson & Satoshi Fujii & Tommy Gärling, 2002. "Effects of economic disincentives on private car use," Transportation, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 349-370, November.
    2. Mokhtarian, Patricia L. & Salomon, Ilan, 2001. "How derived is the demand for travel? Some conceptual and measurement considerations," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 695-719, September.
    3. Dong, Xiaojing & Ben-Akiva, Moshe E. & Bowman, John L. & Walker, Joan L., 2006. "Moving from trip-based to activity-based measures of accessibility," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 163-180, February.
    4. Anable, Jillian & Gatersleben, Birgitta, 2005. "All work and no play? The role of instrumental and affective factors in work and leisure journeys by different travel modes," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 39(2-3), pages 163-181.
    5. Cristian Domarchi & Alejandro Tudela & Angélica González, 2008. "Effect of attitudes, habit and affective appraisal on mode choice: an application to university workers," Transportation, Springer, vol. 35(5), pages 585-599, August.
    6. 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.
    7. Salon, Deborah, 2009. "Neighborhoods, cars, and commuting in New York City: A discrete choice approach," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 180-196, February.
    8. Roger Mackett, 2003. "Why do people use their cars for short trips?," Transportation, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 329-349, August.
    9. Curtis, Carey & Headicar, Peter, 1997. "Targeting travel awareness campaigns : Which individuals are more likely to switch from car to other transport for the journey to work?," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 57-65, January.
    10. Jensen, Mette, 1999. "Passion and heart in transport -- a sociological analysis on transport behaviour," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 19-33, January.
    11. Vega, Amaya & Reynolds-Feighan, Aisling, 2009. "A methodological framework for the study of residential location and travel-to-work mode choice under central and suburban employment destination patterns," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 401-419, May.
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    Cited by:
    1. Jason Cao, 2013. "The association between light rail transit and satisfactions with travel and life: evidence from Twin Cities," Transportation, Springer, vol. 40(5), pages 921-933, September.
    2. Vivien Procher & Colin Vance, 2013. "Who Does the Shopping? – German Time-use Evidence, 1996–2009," Ruhr Economic Papers 0393, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    3. Vivien Procher & Colin Vance, 2013. "Who does the shopping? German time-use evidence, 1996-2009," Schumpeter Discussion Papers SDP13001, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.

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