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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

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Lois, David & López-Sáez, Mercedes, 2009. "The relationship between instrumental, symbolic and affective factors as predictors of car use: A structural equation modeling approach," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 43(9-10), pages 790-799, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:43:y:2009:i:9-10:p:790-799
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sultana, Selima, 2015. "Factors associated with students' parking-pass purchase decisions: Evidence from an American University," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 65-75.
    2. repec:zbw:rwirep:0393 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jun Guan Neoh & Maxwell Chipulu & Alasdair Marshall, 2017. "What encourages people to carpool? An evaluation of factors with meta-analysis," Transportation, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 423-447, March.
    4. Vance, Colin & Procher, Vivien, 2013. "Who Does the Shopping? German time-use evidence, 1996-2009," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 125-133.
    5. Macfarlane, Gregory S. & Garrow, Laurie A. & Mokhtarian, Patricia L., 2015. "The influences of past and present residential locations on vehicle ownership decisions," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 186-200.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Schaefers, Tobias, 2013. "Exploring carsharing usage motives: A hierarchical means-end chain analysis," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 69-77.
    9. Clauss, Thomas & Döppe, Sebastian, 2016. "Why do urban travelers select multimodal travel options: A repertory grid analysis," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 93-116.

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