Reactance or acceptance? Reactions towards the introduction of road pricing
We tested the opposite predictions of reactance and dissonance theory, two popular psychological theories, with regard to the responses of car drivers to the introduction of the road pricing. Reactance theory predicts that persons who are convinced that a toll will come are more opposed than less convinced persons. In contrast, dissonance theory expects that convinced persons are more in favour of road pricing than less convinced persons. Aim of the study was to test which theory is more appropriate to explain user reactions towards the toll introduction. We experimentally manipulated the perceived likelihood (low, middle, high and a control condition) of a toll introduction for private cars on German motorways (NÂ =Â 140 car drivers). In accordance with the predictions of dissonance theory, results revealed clearly that convinced persons about a definite introduction of road pricing developed more positive attitudes towards road pricing than less convinced persons, i.e., the strength of conviction about the introduction of road pricing has a strong effect on the attitudinal evaluation of road pricing. The implications are discussed.
Volume (Year): 41 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
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