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The effect of social comparisons on commute well-being

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  • Abou-Zeid, Maya
  • Ben-Akiva, Moshe
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    Abstract

    We study the effect of social comparisons on travel happiness and behavior. Social comparisons arise from exchanges of information among individuals. We postulate that the social gap resulting from comparisons is a determinant of "comparative happiness" (i.e. happiness arising from comparisons), which in turn affects subsequent behavior. We develop a modeling framework based on the Hybrid Choice Model that captures the indirect effect of social comparisons on travel choices through its effect on comparative happiness. We present an empirical analysis of one component of this framework. Specifically, we study how perceived differences between experienced commute attributes and those communicated by others affect comparative happiness and consequently overall commute satisfaction. We find that greater comparative happiness arising from favorable comparisons of one's commute to that of others (e.g. shorter commute time than others, same mode as others for car commuters, and different mode than others for non-motorized commuters) increases overall commute satisfaction or utility. The empirical model develops only the link between social comparisons and happiness in the comparisons-happiness-behavior chain. It is anticipated that the theoretical framework that considers the entire chain will enhance the behavioral realism of "black box" models that do not account for happiness in the link between comparisons and behavior.

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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 45 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 4 (May)
    Pages: 345-361

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:45:y:2011:i:4:p:345-361

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    Related research

    Keywords: Discrete choice analysis Social comparisons Comparative happiness Travel well-being Commute satisfaction: Travel behavior;

    References

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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Carreira, Rui & Patrício, Lia & Natal Jorge, Renato & Magee, Chris, 2014. "Understanding the travel experience and its impact on attitudes, emotions and loyalty towards the transportation provider–A quantitative study with mid-distance bus trips," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 35-46.
    2. Haruna Suzuki & Satoshi Fujii & Tommy Gärling & Dick Ettema & Lars Olsson & Margareta Friman, 2014. "Rules for aggregated satisfaction with work commutes," Transportation, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 495-506, May.
    3. Maya Abou-Zeid & Moshe Ben-Akiva, 2012. "Well-being and activity-based models," Transportation, Springer, vol. 39(6), pages 1189-1207, November.
    4. Aditjandra, Paulus Teguh & Mulley, Corinne & Nelson, John D., 2013. "The influence of neighbourhood design on travel behaviour: Empirical evidence from North East England," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 54-65.
    5. Cynthia Jacques & Kevin Manaugh & Ahmed El-Geneidy, 2013. "Rescuing the captive [mode] user: an alternative approach to transport market segmentation," Transportation, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 625-645, May.
    6. Manaugh, Kevin & El-Geneidy, Ahmed M., 2013. "Does distance matter? Exploring the links among values, motivations, home location, and satisfaction in walking trips," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 198-208.
    7. Chorus, Caspar G., 2012. "Logsums for utility-maximizers and regret-minimizers, and their relation with desirability and satisfaction," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(7), pages 1003-1012.
    8. Carreira, Rui & Patrício, Lia & Natal Jorge, Renato & Magee, Chris & Van Eikema Hommes, Qi, 2013. "Towards a holistic approach to the travel experience: A qualitative study of bus transportation," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 233-243.

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