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Title: Attitudes and attitude change in personal travel
Author: Hoffmann, Christin Sylvana
ISNI:       0000 0004 7653 6987
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2018
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High levels of personal car use have negative effects on the environment and on human health. This thesis presents four empirical studies that aimed to develop our knowledge of personal travel choices, focussing on the malleability of attitudes and their sensitivity in relation to specific contexts and goals. The first study (Chapter 2) presents a systematic review and meta-analysis of mechanisms of travel mode choice. The study provides a comprehensive overview of antecedents of car use and non-car use, including sub-group analyses of different contextual factors. Results also highlight the need for standardised measures and consideration of implicit thought processes. The second study (Chapter 3) employs a repertory grid technique to elicit perceptions of seven different transport modes from high mileage car users and non-car users. Comparisons between car users and non-car users highlight potentially effective and ineffective intervention targets. Findings show how sustainable transport might be promoted amongst a portfolio of travel choices. The third study (Chapter 4) utilises qualitative methods to explore the extent to which individuals’ attitude expressions are changeable. The study demonstrates that all participants hold ambivalent and conflicting attitudes, highlighting specific situations in which those attitudes are more likely to be unstable. Two related priming experiments are presented in the final empirical chapter (Chapter 5). Both use survey methodology to investigate whether manipulating the salience of car-use-incongruent goals can lead to more positive attitudes towards and increased willingness to use non-car travel modes. The study confirms that people who are motivated to make changes are a potentially optimal target group for interventions based on subliminal messages. Overall, the research presented in this thesis introduces context sensitivity into the transport literature and offers novel insights into perceptions of a range of travel modes. Recommendations include relevant avenues for future research, findings are discussed in light of implications for transport policy and practice.
Supervisor: Abraham, Charles Sponsor: Shell Global Solutions (UK)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Travel mode choice ; Car use ; Attitudes ; Attitudinal ambivalence ; Systematic-review ; Meta-analysis ; Qualitative study ; Experimental study