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Open AccessArticle

Travel Behavior Change in Older Travelers: Understanding Critical Reactions to Incidents Encountered in Public Transport

Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Gösta Ekman Laboratory, Stockholm SE-106 91, Sweden
Academic Editor: Brian Caulfield
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(11), 14741-14763; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121114741
Received: 7 July 2015 / Revised: 6 November 2015 / Accepted: 9 November 2015 / Published: 18 November 2015
Accessibility of travel may be better understood if psychological factors underlying change in travel behavior are known. This paper examines older (65+) travelers’ motives for changing their travel behavior. These changes are grounded in critical incidents earlier encountered in public-transport travel. A scientific framework is developed based on cognitive and behavioral theory. In 29 individual interviews, travelers’ critical reactions (i.e., cognitive, emotional, and/or behavioral) to 77 critical incidents were examined. By applying critical incident technique (CIT), five reaction themes were identified that had generated travel-behavior change: firm restrictions, unpredictability, unfair treatment, complicated trips, and earlier adverse experiences. To improve older travelers’ access to public transport, key findings were: (a) service must be designed so as to strengthen the feeling of being in control throughout the journey; (b) extended personal service would increase predictability in the travel chain and decrease travel complexity; consequently, (c) when designing new services and making effective accessibility interventions, policy makers should consider and utilize underlying psychological factors that could direct traveler behavior. View Full-Text
Keywords: older persons; critical incidents; critical reactions; travel behavior change older persons; critical incidents; critical reactions; travel behavior change
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Sundling, C. Travel Behavior Change in Older Travelers: Understanding Critical Reactions to Incidents Encountered in Public Transport. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 14741-14763.

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