A COGNITIVE DISSONANCE APPROACH TO ATTITUDINAL MODELING IN TRAVEL BEHAVIOR RESEARCH

The present study tested implications of the psychological theory of Cognitive Dissonance for travel choice modeling. The theory asserts that after an individual makes a choice between alternatives, he will align his stated attitudes to his choice, upgrading the satisfaction with the attributes of the chosen alternative and downgrading those of the rejected alternative. The theory further asserts that the magnitude of after-the-fact justifications are a function of the importance of the attributes in the decision making process itself. Specific hypotheses covering the relation between travel mode choice and attitudes toward the modes were derived from Cognitive Dissonance Theory. The first two hypotheses refer to individuals for whom there are no constraints on availabilities of travel alternatives; the hypotheses predict certain relations between attitudes, as a function of choices actually made. A third hypothesis relates attitudes to choice through the effect of perceived availability constraints. Employing four published attitudinal data sets related to travel behavior in the Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Ottawa, Canada, metropolitan areas, the hypotheses have been confirmed. The results of the study show that the conceptual framework of the Cognitive Dissonance Theory enriches the interpretation of attitudinal measures in travel choice modeling. Recommendations for transportation planning and for research aimed at developing improved modeling methodologies are given. /Author/

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Paper prepared for presentation at the 57th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C., January 16-20, 1978.
  • Corporate Authors:

    General Motors Corporation

    Research and Development Center, 30500 Mound Road
    Warren, MI  USA  48090
  • Authors:
    • Horowitz, A D
  • Publication Date: 1978-1-10

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 26 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00177312
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: GMR-2620
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 19 1978 12:00AM