Environmental Decision Making and Behaviours: How to People Choose how to Travel to Work?

Abstract (Via Steve Arnold)

The daily commute is an important element of transport and travel behaviour in the UK, and as such is relevant to discussions about the environment and sustainability, as well as social well-being. Economic research on the matter focuses on cost and structural factors, with preferences being given, whilst the psychological literature looks at how preferences are formed from attitudes and values, but tends to underplay the role of structural variables. This paper develops a simple structure of how attitudes, values and behaviours are linked, and tests them with multinomial and ordered regressions using data from Defra’s 2007 Survey of Attitudes and Behaviours in Relation to the Environment. The results found that attitudes towards cars and driving were a significant factor in transport choices, but environmental beliefs were only mildly significant, and only for some travelchoices. Structural variables, here proxied by distance to work, were influential in most travel choices, as was age. Stated environmental behaviours however, were almost entirely insignificant. The results were robust, and suggest that policies aimed at structural or attitudinal change would be more effective than policies aimed at changing people’s environmental values.

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10. July 2010 by Miguel Barbosa
Categories: Curated Readings, Psychology & Sociology | Leave a comment

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