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Two Pieces of the Same Puzzle? Script-Based Car Choice Habits Between the Influence of Socialization and Past Behavior

Authors

  • CHRISTIAN A. KLÖCKNER,

    Corresponding author
    1. Section for Risk Psychology, Environment, and Safety (RIPENSA), Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
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  • ELLEN MATTHIES

    1. Section for Risk Psychology, Environment, and Safety (RIPENSA), Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
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Christian Klöckner, NTNU–Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Psychological Institute, RIPENSA, NO-7491, Trondheim, Norway. E-mail: Christian.Klockner@svt.ntnu.no

Abstract

This paper presents 2 online studies that were conducted on students' travel-mode choice to determine the theoretical status of a script-based habit construct. Study 1 (N = 3,755) showed that habits mediate the influence of 3 aspects of travel-mode socialization: (a) frequency of parents' use of public transportation; (b) experiencing acquisition of driver's license as initiation to adulthood; and (c) multi-mobility of peer group. Study 2 (N = 430) demonstrated in a cross-lagged panel design that car choice habits are directly influenced only by past behavior and not by personal norms or perceived behavioral control. Taken together, both studies suggest that habits do include socialization influences, but that these influences must be mediated through the intermediate step of past behavior.

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