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Transferring insights into commuter behavior dynamics from laboratory experiments to field surveys


  • Mahmassani, Hani S.
  • Jou, Rong-Chang


The principal objective of this paper is to perform a comparative analysis and interpretation of commuter behavior revealed in field surveys and laboratory experiments. The experimental studies have provided valuable insights into complex human decision behavior, but they were primarily intended to develop the underlying theoretical constructs, and were based primarily on simulated traffic situations. The transferability of these insights to commuter behavior in real traffic systems has not been sufficiently established, and remains to be accomplished as the next logical step towards the operational use of such models of commuter behavior. Thus, in this paper, comparisons between the field survey results and the experiments involving real commuters in a simulated traffic system are performed to confirm and better interpret the models and the conclusions resulting from such experiments. Such informal tests of external validity are very important from a methodological standpoint as laboratory and stated preference experiments continue to play an increasingly important role in travel behavior research, especially in connection with the introduction of new technologies.

Suggested Citation

  • Mahmassani, Hani S. & Jou, Rong-Chang, 2000. "Transferring insights into commuter behavior dynamics from laboratory experiments to field surveys," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 243-260, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:34:y:2000:i:4:p:243-260

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    Cited by:

    1. Anthony Ziegelmeyer & Frédéric Koessler & Kene Boun My & Laurent Denant-Boèmont, 2008. "Road Traffic Congestion and Public Information: An Experimental Investigation," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 42(1), pages 43-82, January.
    2. Xuan Di & Henry X. Liu & Shanjiang Zhu & David Levinson, 2014. "Indifference Bands for Route Switching," Working Papers 000123, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    3. Sunitiyoso, Yos & Avineri, Erel & Chatterjee, Kiron, 2011. "The effect of social interactions on travel behaviour: An exploratory study using a laboratory experiment," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 332-344, May.
    4. A. de Palma & F. Marchal, 2000. "Dynamic traffic analysis with static data: some guidelines with an application to Paris," THEMA Working Papers 2000-55, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    5. Chidambaram, Bhuvanachithra & Janssen, Marco A. & Rommel, Jens & Zikos, Dimitrios, 2014. "Commuters’ mode choice as a coordination problem: A framed field experiment on traffic policy in Hyderabad, India," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 9-22.
    6. Soriguera, Francesc, 2014. "On the value of highway travel time information systems," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 294-310.
    7. Guohui Zhang & Zhong Wang & Khali Persad & C. Walton, 2014. "Enhanced traffic information dissemination to facilitate toll road utilization: a nested logit model of a stated preference survey in Texas," Transportation, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 231-249, March.
    8. Chao Chen & Caspar Chorus & Eric Molin & Bert Wee, 2016. "Effects of task complexity and time pressure on activity-travel choices: heteroscedastic logit model and activity-travel simulator experiment," Transportation, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 455-472, May.
    9. Di, Xuan & Liu, Henry X., 2016. "Boundedly rational route choice behavior: A review of models and methodologies," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 142-179.
    10. repec:kap:transp:v:44:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s11116-016-9699-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Kumar, Amit & Peeta, Srinivas, 2015. "A day-to-day dynamical model for the evolution of path flows under disequilibrium of traffic networks with fixed demand," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 235-256.
    12. Jian Li & Kaan Ozbay & Bekir Bartin, 2015. "Effects of Hurricanes Irene and Sandy in New Jersey: traffic patterns and highway disruptions during evacuations," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 78(3), pages 2081-2107, September.
    13. André De Palma & Cédric Fontan & Asad J. Khattak, 2004. "Analyzing work departure time variability in Brussels," Reflets et perspectives de la vie économique, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(4), pages 89-110.

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