Complacent Car Addicts or Aspiring Environmentalists? Identifying Travel Behaviour Segments Using Attitude Theory

Jillian Anable

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

728 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)


Using an expanded version of a psychological theory of attitude-behaviour relations, namely the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB), scores on factor analysed multi-dimensional attitude statements were used to segment a population of day trip travellers into potential ‘mode switchers’ using cluster analysis.. Six distinct psychographic groups were extracted each with varying degrees of mode switching potential. Each group represents a unique combination of preferences, worldviews and attitudes, proving that different groups need to be serviced in different ways to optimise the chance of influencing mode choice behaviour. Socio-demographic factors had little bearing on the travel profiles of the segments, suggesting that attitudes largely cut across personal characteristics. The evidence clearly shows that the same behaviour can take place for different reasons and that the same attitudes can lead to different behaviours. This suggests that commonly used a-priori classifications used to segment populations based on demographic variables or simple behavioural measures may oversimplify the structure of the market. Cluster analysis is rarely used in studies of travel behaviour but this study demonstrates its utility in providing a way of extracting naturally occurring, relatively homogenous and meaningful groups to be used in designing targeted hard and ‘soft’ transport policies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-78
Number of pages14
JournalTransport Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005


  • mode choice
  • market segmentation
  • cluster analysis
  • attitudes
  • theory of planned behaviour


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