Currently, car use is mainly explained through cognitive and rationalistic behaviour models, and consequently, the instrumental function of car use is stressed. However, car use seems not only to be determined by instrumental motives such as travel costs, time and safety. Besides, affective and social motives, like feelings of sensation, power, and superiority, seem to play an important role. Although almost anyone recognises these affective motives for car use, the supposed significance of these motives has hardly been validated by empirical research. Results are presented of two studies aimed at identifying the relative importance of affective motives for car use. The first study revealed that affective motives are better elucidated when indirect methods are used, whereby the aim of the research task is not too apparent, for these methods prevent the occurrence of rationalisation processes and socially desirable response patterns. The second study, which is currently being performed, is aimed at examining the influence of affective motives on present car use and on policy evaluations. First, we check to what extent car use can be explained by instrumental, social and affective motives. Second, we examine whether specific target groups for policy measures can be distinguished based on these motives. Third, we examine whether instrumental, social and affective motives correlate with judgements on the acceptability and effectiveness of policy measures aimed at reducing car use. We conclude with policy implications of the study, and recommend how insights gained in this study can be applied in practice. For the covering abstract see IRRD E104586.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 13-27
  • Serial:
    • Volume: P430

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00790406
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • ISBN: 0-86050-321-6
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Apr 11 2000 12:00AM