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Interrupting habitual car use: The importance of car habit strength and moral motivation for personal car use reduction
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2008 (English)In: Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, ISSN 1369-8478, E-ISSN 1873-5517, Vol. 11, no 1, 10-23 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this study, habitual car use was interrupted by means of an intervention attempting to induce a deliberate consideration to reduce personal car use and forming implementation intentions for the planned changes in travel behavior. The importance of car habit strength and of moral motivation for reducing car use was analyzed. The study was conducted as a field experiment where 71 car users were recruited to either an experimental group or a control group. All participants reported car habit strength and moral motivation to reduce car use (i.e. personal norm) by means of a questionnaire, and recorded car use by means of weekly car diaries pre- and post-intervention. Results demonstrate that the intervention did make the choice of travel mode more deliberate since the association between car use and car habit strength were weakened while the relation between car use and personal norm were strengthened after compared to before the intervention. Moreover, as a result of the intervention car users with a strong car habit and a strong personal norm were found to be more likely to reduce car use as compared to those with a weak car habit and a weak personal norm. Hence, a reduction in car use may be facilitated by interrupting habitual car use, specifically if the car user has a strong car habit and a strong moral motivation to reduce personal car use.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2008. Vol. 11, no 1, 10-23 p.
Keyword [en]
Car habit, Moral motivation, Car use reduction
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-3438DOI: 10.1016/j.trf.2007.05.004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-3438DiVA: diva2:142126
Available from: 2008-09-12 Created: 2008-09-12 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Pro-environmental travel behavior: The importance of attitudinal factors, habits, and transport policy measures
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Pro-environmental travel behavior: The importance of attitudinal factors, habits, and transport policy measures
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis was to study determinants of a readiness for pro-environmental travel behavior in households. Four empirical studies were conducted examining reduction in car use (Study I), acceptability of transport policy measures (Study II and III), and behavioral adaptations in response to travel demand management (TDM) measures (Study IV). In Study I, the aim was to interrupt habitual car use by means of a deliberation intervention and to examine the importance of moral motivation (i.e., personal norm) for car use reduction. Results showed that, as a result of the intervention, car use was mainly reduced among car users with a strong car use habit and a strong moral motivation to reduce car use. The aim of Study II was to examine factors important for the acceptability of three TDM measures: raised tax on fossil fuel, improved public transport, and an information campaign. The results demonstrated the importance of general environmental beliefs (i.e., pro-environmental orientation, problem awareness, personal norm, and willingness to reduce car use) and policy specific beliefs (i.e., perceived impact on freedom to choose travel mode and own car use, perceived effectiveness, and perceived fairness) for the acceptability of the measures. Furthermore, personal norm was found to be particularly important for the acceptability of raised tax and the information campaign, whereas problem awareness was more important for the acceptability of improved public transport. Following up on Study II, the purpose of Study III was to examine the acceptability of single and combined transport policy measures, more specifically, raised tax on fossil fuel, improved public transport, subsidies of renewable fuel, a package of raised tax on fossil fuel and improved public transport, and a package of raised tax on fossil fuel and subsidies of renewable fuel. General environmental beliefs (i.e., pro-environmental orientation, problem awareness, personal norm, and willingness to act) and policy specific beliefs (i.e., perceived effectiveness and perceived fairness) were found to be important for the acceptability of the measures. Moreover, personal norm was particularly important for the acceptability of raised tax on fossil fuel and the packages, while problem awareness was more important for the acceptability of improved public transport and subsidies of renewable fuel. The aim of Study IV was to examine the behavioral adaptations, more specifically, the expected car use reduction, in response to three hypothetical TDM measures: raised tax on fossil fuel, improved public transport, and a package of raised tax on fossil fuel and improved public transport. Furthermore, factors important for the expected car use reduction were analyzed. Results showed that a combination of the measures was expected to lead to a larger car use reduction compared to the single measures, and the most commonly chosen reduction strategies were more efficient car use and changing travel mode. Moreover, internal motivational factors, such as personal norm, and the perceived personal impact of the measures were important for expected car use reduction in response to the measures.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, Psykologi, 2008. 52 p.
Keyword
value-belief-norm theory, car habit, policy specific beliefs, car use reduction, acceptability, behavioral adaptations, travel demand management measures, transport policy measures
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1823 (URN)978-91-7264-626-1 (ISBN)
Distributor:
Institutionen för psykologi, 90187, Umeå
Public defence
2008-10-03, MA121, MIT-huset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-09-12 Created: 2008-09-12 Last updated: 2010-12-08Bibliographically approved

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