Ambivalent about travel mode choice? A qualitative investigation of car user and non-car user attitudes

Christin Hoffmann*, Charles Abraham, Mathew P. White, Stephen M. Skippon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Attitudes towards travel mode choice have been regarded as bi-polar evaluations of travel options that remain stable across time and context. Intra-personal attitudes can be variable, becoming more or less salient and changing in strength or valence across decisional contexts. This study draws on theoretical underpinnings of attitudinal ambivalence, which proposes that a person can hold two-dimensional (negative and positive) evaluations about one attitude object simultaneously. The present research aimed to explore attitudinal ambivalence in relation to travel modes and examine the variability of attitudes in different contexts. Thirty semi-structured interviews explored above-average mileage car users’ (n = 15) and non-car users’ (n = 15) experiences of attitudinal ambivalence in relation to various transport modes and under which circumstances. Thematic analysis found support for attitudinal ambivalence and context-dependent attitude variability in relation to travel mode evaluations. Discussions of an a priori questionnaire confirmed the malleability of transport-relevant attitudes. Transport-relevant attitudes are complex and ambivalent. Attitudinal ambivalence and context-dependent attitude variability has implications for transport research design, interventions targeting travel-related attitudes and policies aimed to reduce single-occupancy driving.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-338
Number of pages16
JournalTransportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
Volume141
Early online date8 Oct 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Ambivalence
  • Attitudes
  • Car use
  • Non-car use
  • Travel mode choice

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