, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 267–297 | Cite as

Using ordered attitudinal indicators in a latent variable choice model: a study of the impact of security on rail travel behaviour

  • Andrew Daly
  • Stephane Hess
  • Bhanu Patruni
  • Dimitris Potoglou
  • Charlene RohrEmail author


There is growing interest in the use of models that recognise the role of individuals’ attitudes and perceptions in choice behaviour. Rather than relying on simple linear approaches or a potentially bias-inducing deterministic approach based on incorporating stated attitudinal indicators directly in the choice model, researchers have recently recognised the latent nature of attitudes. The uptake of such latent attitude models in applied work has however been slow, while a number of overly simplistic assumptions are also commonly made. In this article, we present an application of jointly estimated attitudinal and choice models to a real-world transport study, looking at the role of latent attitudes in a rail travel context. Our results show the impact that concern with privacy, liberty and security, and distrust of business, technology and authority have on the desire for rail travel in the face of increased security measures, as well as for universal security checks. Alongside demonstrating the applicability of the model in applied work, we also address a number of theoretical issues. We first show the equivalence of two different normalisations discussed in the literature. Unlike many other latent attitude studies, we explicitly recognise the repeated choice nature of the data. Finally, the main methodological contribution comes in replacing the typically used continuous model for attitudinal response by an ordered logit structure which more correctly accounts for the ordinal nature of the indicators.


Attitudes Latent variables model Discrete choice Stated choice Privacy, security and liberty Rail travel 



We are grateful for the advice of Moshe Ben-Akiva, particularly concerning the specification of the alternative normalisations of the model. Responsibility for any errors or interpretations remains the responsibility of the authors alone. Stephane Hess also acknowledges the support of the Leverhulme Trust in the form of a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship.


  1. Ashok, K., Dillon, W.R., Yuan, S.: Extending discrete choice models to incorporate attitudinal and other latent variables. J. Mark. Res. 39(1), 31–46 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. BBC (2006) Extracts from MI5 chief’s speech (Interview of Eliza Manningham-Buller) May 2008
  3. Ben-Akiva, M., Walker, J., Bernardino, A.T., Gopinath, D.A., Morikawa, T., Polydoropoulou, A.: Integration of Choice and Latent Variable Models. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (1999)Google Scholar
  4. Bhat, C.R., Guo, J.Y.: A comprehensive analysis of built environment characteristics on household residential choice and auto ownership levels. Transp. Res. B 41(5), 506–526 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bolduc D., Daziano R.A.: On the estimation of hybrid choice models. Paper presented at the international choice modelling conference, Harrogate (2008)Google Scholar
  6. Bolduc, D., Ben-Akiva, M., Walker, J., Michaud, A.: Hybrid choice models with logit kernel: applicability to large scale models. In: Lee-Gosselin, M., Doherty, S. (eds.) Integrated land-use and transportation models: behavioural foundations, pp. 275–302. Elsevier, Oxford (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Choo, S., Mokhtarian, P.L.: What type of vehicle do people drive? The role of attitude and lifestyle in influencing vehicle type choice. Transp. Res. A 38, 201–222 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Clarke, P: DAC Peter Clark’s speech on counter terrorism. Metropolitan Police. May 2008 (2007)
  9. Cozens, P.M., Neale, R.H., Whitaker, J., Hillier, D.: Investigating perceptions of personal security on the valley lines network in South Wales. World Transp. Policy Pract. 8(1), 19–29 (2002)Google Scholar
  10. Doornik, J.A.: Ox: An Object-Oriented Matrix Language. Timberlake Consultants Press, London (2001)Google Scholar
  11. Elrod, T.: Choice map: inferring a product-market maps from panel data. Mark. Sci. 7(1), 21–40 (1988)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Elrod, T., Keane, M.P.: A factor-analytic probit model for representing the market structure in panel data. J. Mark. Res. 32(1), 1–16 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gärling, T.: Behavioral assumptions overlooked in travel-choice modelling. In: Ortuzar, J., Jara-Diaz, S., Hensher, D. (eds.) Transport Modelling, pp. 3–18. Pergamon, Oxford (1998)Google Scholar
  14. Golob, T.: Joint models of attitudes and behaviour in evaluation of the San Diego I-15 congestion pricing project. Transp. Res. A 35, 495–514 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Golob, T.F.: Structural equation modeling for travel behavior research. Transp. Res. B 37(1), 1–25 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Golob, T.F., Bunch, D.S., Brownstone, D.: A vehicle use forecasting model based on revealed and stated vehicle type choice and utilization data. J. Transp. Econ. Policy 31, 69–92 (1997)Google Scholar
  17. Greene, D.L., Hensher, D.: Modelling Ordered Choices: A Primer. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2010)Google Scholar
  18. Johansson, V.M., Heldt, T., Johansson, P.: The effects of attitudes and personality traits on mode choice. Transp. Res. A 40(6), 507–525 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kumaraguru, P., Cranor, L.F.: Privacy Indexes: A Survey of Westin’s Studies. Institute for Software Research International, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh (2005)Google Scholar
  20. Louis Harris, & Associates, Westin, A.F.: Equifax-Harris Consumer Privacy Survey. Technical Report Conducted for Equifax Inc. 1, 005 Adults of the U.S. Public. Louis Harris & Associates, New York (1994)Google Scholar
  21. Morikawa, T., Ben-Akiva, M., McFadden, D.: Discrete choice models incorporating revealed preferences and psychometric data. In: Franses, P.H., Montgomery, A.L. (eds.) Econometric Models in Marketing. Advances in Econometrics, vol. 16, 16th edn, pp. 29–55. Elsevier, Amsterdam (2002)Google Scholar
  22. Potoglou, D., Robinson, N., Kim, C.W., Burge, P., Warnes, R.: Quantifying individuals’ trade-offs between privacy, liberty and security: the case of rail travel in UK. Transp. Res. A 44(3), 169–181 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Srinivasan, S., Bhat, C.R., Holguin-Veras, J.: Empirical analysis of the impact of security perception on intercity mode choice. Transp. Res. Rec. 2006, 9–15 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Temme, D., Paulssen, M., Dannewald, T.: Incorporating latent variables into discrete choice models—a simulation estimation approach using SEM software. Bus. Res. 1(2), 220–237 (2008)Google Scholar
  25. UK Dept. for Transport: Responsibilities of Transport Security’s Land Transport Division Nov 2008 (2006)
  26. UK Dept. for Transport: Summary report of the ‘LUNR’ passenger screening trials Dec 2008 (2008)
  27. Walker, J., Ben-Akiva, M.: Generalized random utility model. Math. Soc. Sci. 43(3), 303–343 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Yañez, M.F., Raveau, S., Ortúzar, J. de D.: Inclusion of latent variables in mixed logit models: modelling and forecasting. Trans. Res. Part A 44, 744–753 (2010)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Daly
    • 1
    • 2
  • Stephane Hess
    • 2
  • Bhanu Patruni
    • 1
  • Dimitris Potoglou
    • 1
    • 3
  • Charlene Rohr
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.RAND EuropeCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Institute for Transport StudiesUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK
  3. 3.OTB Research InstituteDelft University of TechnologyDelftNetherlands

Personalised recommendations