Impacts of the built environment and travel behaviour on attitudes: Theories underpinning the reverse causality hypothesis

Bert van Wee, Jonas De Vos, Kees Maat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The importance of attitudes in the relationship between travel behaviour (TB) and the built environment (BE) has been the subject of debate in the literature for about two decades. In line with the Theory of Planned Behaviour, attitudes – which affect behaviour – are generally assumed to be constant. However, it is plausible that attitudes can change, both directly, or indirectly, through the impact of the built environment on travel behaviour, a process which is referred to as reverse causality (RC). Based on literature from social psychology, this paper provides a conceptual model for the explanation of attitude changes. It also reviews the literature in the area of BE and TB concluding that two explanations dominate: a change in attitudes due to new experiences which can be underpinned by learning theories, and a change in attitudes due to mismatches between attitudes and behaviour which can be explained by cognitive dissonance theories. The literature also suggests a few additional explanations, while we also suggest explanations not provided in travel behaviour literature. Finally, we present an agenda for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102540
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Transport Geography
Volume80
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Attitudes
  • Built environment
  • Cognitive dissonance theory
  • Learning theories
  • Research agenda
  • Travel behaviour

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