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Effects of Critical Incidents on Car Users' Predicted Satisfaction with Public Transport
Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Service Research Center. Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, The Service and Market Oriented Transport Research Group.
Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Service Research Center. Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, The Service and Market Oriented Transport Research Group.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7006-9906
Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Service Research Center. Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, The Service and Market Oriented Transport Research Group.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7475-680X
2011 (English)In: Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, ISSN 1369-8478, 138-146 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The present study examines the hypothesis that car users’ affective forecasts of satisfaction with public transport are biased by a focusing illusion. In Study 1, 54 car users with a stated intent to change travel mode read descriptions of a positive, a negative or a neutral critical incident. They were asked to predict their satisfaction with public transport if the incident occurred. In Study 2, 38 car users with no stated intent to change travel mode read descriptions of a positive or a negative critical incident. They were asked to predict their satisfaction with the service if the incident occurred. The results from Studies 1 and 2 showed that focus on a negative critical incident significantly generated lower predicted satisfaction. Thus, the study show that predicted satisfaction is altered when car users focus on negative critical incidents.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. 138-146 p.
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-4968DOI: 10.1016/j.trf.2010.11.005ISI: 000288637300006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-4968DiVA: diva2:278291
Available from: 2009-11-25 Created: 2009-11-25 Last updated: 2015-01-29Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Affective Forecasting: Predicting Future Satisfaction with Public Transport
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Affective Forecasting: Predicting Future Satisfaction with Public Transport
2009 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Affective forecasting refers to the process of predicting future emotions in response to future events. The overall aim of the present thesis was to investigate, by applying the framework of Affective forecasting, how car users predict their satisfaction with public transport services. Study 1, Part 1 revealed a satisfaction gap between users and non-users of public transport, whereby non-users reported lower satisfaction than users, in overall satisfaction as well as in two quality factors resulting from a factor analysis of a major survey on satisfaction with public transport. It was hypothesized that non-users were biased in their satisfaction reports, something which was subsequently investigated in Study 1, Part 2, where a field experiment revealed that car users suffer from an impact bias in their predictions about future satisfaction with public transport due to being more satisfied with the services after a trial period than they initially predicted they would. Addressing the question of whether or not a focusing illusion is the psychological mechanism responsible for the impact bias, two experiments containing critical incidents were conducted during Study 2, in order to investigate whether or not car users exaggerate the impact of specific incidents upon their future satisfaction with public transport. For car users with a stated intention to change their current travel mode, in Study 2, Part 1, as well as for car users with no stated intention to change their travel mode, in Study 2, Part 2, the negative critical incident generated lower predicted satisfaction with public transport, in support of the hypothesis that the impact bias in car users’ predictions about future satisfaction with public transport is caused by a focusing illusion.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstad University, 2009. 20 p.
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2009:50
Keyword
affective forecasting, predicted satisfaction, impact bias, focusing illusion, public transport
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-4868 (URN)978-91-7063-273-0 (ISBN)
Presentation
2009-12-08, 11D 121, Karlstads universitet, Karlstad, 10:15 (Norwegian)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-11-25 Created: 2009-10-23 Last updated: 2012-10-23Bibliographically approved
2. Affective Forecasting in Travel Mode Choice
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Affective Forecasting in Travel Mode Choice
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The general aim of this thesis was to investigate affective forecasting in the context of public transport.

Paper I, Study 1 revealed that non-users of public transport were less satisfied with the services than users. It was hypothesised that non-users were biased in their satisfaction ratings, a claim that was subsequently investigated in Paper I, Study 2, where a field experiment revealed that car users suffer from an impact bias, due to being more satisfied with the services after a trial period than they predicted they would be. To address the question of whether a focusing illusion is the psychological mechanism responsible for this bias, two experiments containing critical incidents were conducted in Paper II. These experiments investigated whether car users exaggerate the impact that specific incidents have on their future satisfaction with public transport. A negative critical incident generated lower predicted satisfaction with public transport, both for car users with a stated intention to change their current travel mode (in Paper II, Study 1) and for car users with no stated intention to change their travel mode (in Paper II, Study 2), which support the hypothesis that the impact bias in car users’ predictions about future satisfaction with public transport is caused by a focusing illusion. Paper III showed that car users misremember their satisfaction with public transport as a result of their recollections of satisfaction with public transport being lower than their on-line experienced satisfaction. Additionally, the desire to repeat the public transport experience is explained only by remembered satisfaction, not by on-line experienced satisfaction. Paper IV investigated whether a defocusing technique would counteract the focusing illusion by introducing a broader context, thereby generating higher predicted satisfaction. A generic defocusing technique, conducted in Paper IV, Study 1, did not generate higher predicted satisfaction, whereas a self-relevant defocusing technique conducted in Paper IV, Study 2 generated higher predicted satisfaction with public transport. Additionally, it was found that car-use habit accounts for the level of predicted satisfaction regardless of defocusing; the stronger the car-use habit, the lower the predicted satisfaction.

The conclusions from this thesis are that non-users of public transport rate the services lower than users do, and that car users become more satisfied when using the services than they predicted. These mispredictions are a result of over-focusing on a limited range of aspects in public transport (i.e., a focusing illusion). Car users’ desire to repeat the public transport experience is influenced by their inaccurate memories of the services and not by their actual experiences. However, defocusing techniques may help car users make more accurate predictions about future satisfaction with public transport; this could facilitate a mode switch from using the car to using public transport services more often. Switching to a more sustainable transport mode could be beneficial for the individual and for society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstad University, 2011. 33 p.
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2011:58
Keyword
Affective Forecasting, Satisfaction, Focusing Illusion, Defocusing, Public Transport, Travel Mode Choice
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-8685 (URN)978-91-7063-396-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-12-09, Erlandersalen, 11D 227, Karlstads universitet, Karlstad, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-11-21 Created: 2011-10-26 Last updated: 2011-11-21Bibliographically approved

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