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Coping with unreliable transportation when collecting children: Examining parents' behavior with cumulative prospect theory

  • Schwanen, Tim
  • Ettema, Dick
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    This paper explores the usefulness of cumulative prospect theory (CPT), an inductive-descriptive model for how people make choices with a priori unknown consequences, in the context of travelers' coping with unreliable transport networks through the estimation of coefficients characterizing CPT's value and weighting functions. Attention is directed toward employed parents' trips to collect their child(ren) from the nursery at the end of workday because of parents' strong sensitivity to the possibility of late arrivals there. Analysis of a stated response experiment about parents' coping with unreliable transport networks en route to the nursery provides further evidence for a series of violations of the axioms underlying expected utility theory (EUT) - a deductive-normative model of decision-making under uncertainty that is widely used in transportation studies. The results also show that linkages exist between respondents' everyday life and their responses in the stated response experiment and, by implication, the shape of CPT's value function. It is therefore concluded that analytical frameworks for describing activity-travel behavior in situations of unreliability, variability and uncertainty should be both psychologically and socially realistic.

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

    Volume (Year): 43 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 5 (June)
    Pages: 511-525

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:43:y:2009:i:5:p:511-525
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