Anticipated changes to quality of life and the impact of divergent social normative information: a field experiment on sustainable transportation behaviour.




Kormos, Christine

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This study evaluated anticipated changes to quality of life (QoL) from a reduction in private vehicle use, and the impact of social normative information on willingness to change transportation behaviour. Staff and students at the University of Victoria completed transport journals for a month, and participants in the low or high social norm condition received divergent information about the percentage of others who had switched to sustainable commuting. Unexpectedly, message content did not predict behavioural change, but mere receipt of a message, versus the control condition, did predict change. The results suggest that sustainable transport campaigns should highlight others‟ cooperation, regardless of their rate of cooperation, and target commuting behavior. Also, participants expected decreases to individually relevant QoL items and improvements to collectively relevant QoL items under a hypothetical reduction in private vehicle use. The findings may be employed by policy-makers to increase acceptance of transportation policies.



Local transit, Automobiles, Environmental aspects, Transportation, University of Victoria (B.C.)