Dr. David Palma A. – Providing personalised feedback to investigate the role of social influence on travel behaviour

  • Date:
  • Location: University of Leeds, Institute for Transport Studies (ITS) Room 1.11

Providing personalised feedback to investigate the role of social influence on travel behaviour

Thursday, 2nd November, 11:00-12:00
University of Leeds, Institute for Transport Studies (ITS) Room 1.11

Abstract:

Providing feedback to travellers about their travel behaviour is a popular method to encourage active travel and reduce the use of car. Most past studies that have measured the effect of feedback have ignored its nature and directionality, e.g. they do not make a distinction between individuals who pollute more than the average, from those who pollute less.

We collected data as part of a large survey which involved respondents using a GPS tracking app for two weeks. The sample is divided in three groups: the first group does not receive any feedback, the second group receives feedback only about their own travel behaviour, and the third group receives feedback from their own travel behaviour, as well as from others like them. All feedback was provided at the end of the first week of the survey, allowing us to measure its impact in the second week. We measure the effect of being in each treatment group on several outcomes, such as calories burnt, CO2 emitted and distance travelled by active and motorised modes.

We find significant differences between groups, with bigger reductions in car use among those who drive more and receive information about others. We also find the feedback effects to be asymmetrical with respect to a reference, in such a way that only those who pollute more than others reduce their emissions. In summary, our findings offer additional insight into how people react to different types of feedback, providing a valuable tool for sustainable transport policy.