Sivasubramaniyam, R. D., Charlton, S. G., & Sargisson, R. J. (2021). Super-tailoring: Using self-persuasion to reduce drivers’ car use. Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives, 10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trip.2021.100359
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/14278
Car use is a common travel mode in many societies but it has negative impacts on the environment and public health. There have been various interventions to reduce car use but self-persuasion has not been tested as a potential intervention. Self-persuasion involves asking people to generate arguments in favour of a specific issue. Our goal was to investigate the effectiveness of self-persuasion in changing drivers’ car use attitudes and behaviours. A sample of New Zealand drivers (n = 183) completed two online questionnaires; one immediately after and one at least 2 weeks after the intervention. We randomly assigned the drivers to one of three conditions: self-persuasion (generating arguments on the benefits of reducing car use), direct-persuasion (reading arguments on the benefits of reducing car use), and control (completing a different travel-related task). There were no significant differences between the three groups of drivers on car use intentions for commuting trips, weekly car use for commuting and non-commuting trips, or attitudes towards reducing car use. We attributed the ineffectiveness of self-persuasion to the average quality of arguments generated, the effortful nature of reducing car use, and the COVID-19 situation in New Zealand. Although self-persuasion may not be an appropriate intervention in the travel behaviour domain, future research needs to continue identifying new ways to reduce car use to reduce its detrimental effects.
© 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).