, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 855–872 | Cite as

The influence of personality on acceptability of sustainable transport policies

  • Junghwa Kim
  • Jan-Dirk Schmöcker
  • Cecilia Jakobsson Bergstad
  • Satoshi Fujii
  • Tommy Gärling


Previous research has shown that fairness, infringement on freedom, and perceived effectiveness are determinants of transport pricing acceptability. In the present study we investigate determinants of acceptability of environmental (carbon) taxation for which trust in government and environmental concern are additional determinants. Carbon taxation is an extension of fuel taxes and may thus be viewed as transport pricing. Our main focus is on the role played by personality traits. Structural equation modeling reveals that acceptability is related to the personality traits extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. Extraverted individuals have higher levels of trust in government which leads to higher acceptability. Also correlations between agreeableness and conscientiousness as well as environmental problem awareness and personal norm are observed. We discuss strategies for effective marketing of transportation policies considering how acceptability is related to personality traits.


Personality Acceptability Transport policy Transport pricing Sustainable transport 


  1. Allport, G.W.: Personality: A Psychological Interpretation. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York (1937)Google Scholar
  2. Ashton, M.C., Lee, K., Paunonen, S.V.: What is the central feature of extraversion? Social attention versus reward sensitivity. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 83, 245–252 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Balderjahn, I.: Personality variables and environmental attitudes as predictors of ecologically responsible consumption pattern. J. Bus. Res. 17, 51–56 (1988)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brown, M.W., Cudeck, R.: Single sample cross-validation indices for covariance structures. Multivar. Behav. Res. 24, 445–455 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 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. Part A 38(3), 201–222 (2004)Google Scholar
  6. Choocharukuland, K., Fujii, S.: Psychological factors influencing behavioral intention of private car use in future work trip. J. East. Soc. Transp. Stud. 7, 211–222 (2007)Google Scholar
  7. Classen, S., Nichols, A.L., McPeek, R., Breiner, J.F.: Personality as a predictor of driving performance: an exploratory study. Transp. Res. Part F: Traffic Psychol. Behav. 14(5), 381–389 (2011)Google Scholar
  8. Costa Jr, P.T., McCrae, R.R.: Still stable after all these years: personality as a key to some issues in adulthood and old age. In: Baltes, P.B., Brim Jr, O.G. (eds.) Life Span Development and Behavior, vol. 3, pp. 65–102. Academic Press, New York (1980)Google Scholar
  9. Costa Jr, P.T., McCrae, R.R.: Personality stability and its implications for clinical psychology. Clin. Psychol. Rev. 6, 407–423 (1986)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Costa Jr, P.T., McCrae, R.R.: Personality continuity and the changes of adult life. In: Storandt, M., VandenBos, G.R. (eds.) The adult years: continuity and change. American  Psychological Association, Inc., Washington (1989)Google Scholar
  11. Costa Jr, P.T., McCrae, R.R.: Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) and NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) Manual. Psychological Assessment Resources, Odessa (1992)Google Scholar
  12. Donnellan, M.B., Lucas, R.E.: Age differences in the big five across the life span: evidence from two national samples. Psychol. Aging 23(3), 558–566 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Duckworth, A.L., Peterson, C., Matthews, M.D., Kelly, D.R.: Perseverance and passion for long-term goals. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 92(6), 1087–1101 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Eysenck, H.J., Eysenck, S.B.G.: Eysenck Personality Questionnaire. Educational and Industrial Testing Service, San Diego (1975)Google Scholar
  15. Eysenck, S.B.G., Eysenck, H.J., Barrett, P.: A revised version of the psychoticism scale. Pers. Individ. Differ. 6, 21–29 (1985)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Eriksson, L., Garvill, J., Nordlund, A.M.: Acceptability of travel demand management measures: the importance of problem awareness, personal norm, freedom, and fairness. J. Environ. Psychol. 26, 15–26 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Eriksson, L., Garvill, J., Nordlund, A.M.: Acceptability of single and combined transport policy measures: the importance of environmental and policy specific beliefs. Transp. Res. Part A 42, 1117–1128 (2008)Google Scholar
  18. Fiske, D.W.: Consistency of the factorial structures of personality ratings from different sources. J. Abnorm. Soc. Psychol. 44, 329–344 (1949)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fox, J.: Teacher’s corner: structural equation modeling with the SEM package in R. Struct. Equ. Model.: Multidiscip. J. 13(3), 465–486 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Franke, T., Krems, J.F.: Interacting with limited mobility resources: psychological range levels in electric vehicle use. Transp. Res. Part A: Policy Pract. 48, 109–122 (2013)Google Scholar
  21. Fujii, S.: Environmental concern, attitude toward frugality, and ease of behavior as determinants of pro-environmental behavior intentions. J. Environ. Psychol. 26, 262–268 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fullerton, D., Leicester, A., Smith, S.: Environmental Taxes, Report of a Commission on Reforming the Tax System for the 21st Century. University of Oxford, Oxford (2008)Google Scholar
  23. Gambetta, D.: Can we trust? In: Gambetta, D. (ed.) Trust: Making and Breaking Cooperative Relations, Electronic Edition, Chapter 13, pp. 213–237. Department of Sociology, University of Oxford, Oxford (2000)Google Scholar
  24. Gardner, G.T., Stern, P.C.: Environmental Problem and Human Behavior, 2nd edn. Pearson Custom Publishing, Boston (2002)Google Scholar
  25. Gärling, T., Fujii, S., Gärling, A., Jakobsson, C.: Moderating effects of social value orientation on determinants of proenvironmental behavior intention. J. Environ. Psychol. 23, 1–9 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gärling, T., Jakobsson, C., Loukopoulos, P., Fujii, S.: Acceptability of road pricing. In: Verhoef, E., Bliemer, E., Steg, L., Van Wee, B. (eds.) Pricing in Road Transport: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham (2008)Google Scholar
  27. Gehlert, T., Kramer, C., Nielsen, O.-A., Schlag, B.: Socioeconomic differences in public acceptability and car use adaptation towards urban road pricing. Transp. Policy 18, 685–694 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Goldberg, L.R.: Language and individual differences: the search for universals in personality lexicons. In: Wheeler, L. (ed.) Review of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 2. Sage, Beverly Hills (1981)Google Scholar
  29. Gosling, S.D., Rentfrow, P.J., Swann Jr, W.B.: A very brief measure of the big-five personality domains. J. Res. Pers. 37, 504–528 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hårsman, B., Quigley, J.M.: Political and Public Acceptability of Congestion Pricing: Ideology and Self Interest. Working paper, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, pp. 854–875, Institute of Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley (2010)Google Scholar
  31. Herzog, A.R., Morgan, J.N.: Formal volunteer work among older Americans. In: Bass, S.A., Caro, F.G., Chen, Y.P. (eds.) Achieving a Productive Aging Society, pp. 119–142. Auburn House, Westport Connecticut (1993)Google Scholar
  32. Hiraishi, K., Yamagata, S., Shikishima, C., Ando, J.: Maintenance of genetic variation in personality through control of mental mechanisms: a test of trust, extraversion, and agreeableness. Evol. Human Behav. 29, 79–85 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hirsh, J.B., Dolderman, D.: Personality predictors of consumerism and environmentalism: a preliminary study. Pers. Individ. Differ. 43, 1583–1593 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hirsh, J.B.: Personality and environmental concern. J. Environ. Psychol. 30, 245–248 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hirsh, J.B., Peterson, J.B.: Personality and language use in self-narratives. J. Res. Pers. 43(3), 524–527 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Jakobsson, C., Fujii, S., Gärling, T.: Determinants of private car users acceptability of road pricing. Transp. Policy 7, 133–158 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Johansson, M.B., Heldt, T., Johansson, P.: The effects of attitudes and personality traits on mode choice. Transp. Res. Part A 40(6), 507–525 (2006)Google Scholar
  38. Jensen-Campbell, L.A., Granziano, W.G.: Agreeableness and moderator if interpersonal conflict. J. Pers. 69(2), 323–362 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Jones, P.M.: Urban road pricing: public acceptability and barriers to implementation. In: Button, K.J., Verhoef, E.T. (eds.) Road Pricing, Traffic Congestion and the Environment, Issue of Efficiency and Social Feasibility, pp. 263–284. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham (1998)Google Scholar
  40. John, O.P., Srivastava, S.: The Big-Five Trait Taxonomy: History, Measurement, and Theoretical Perspectives, University of California at Berkeley, Handbook of Personality: Theory and Research, 2nd edn. Guilford, New York (1999)Google Scholar
  41. Jovanović, D., Lipovac, K., Stanojević, P., Stanojević, D.: The effects of personality traits on driving-related anger and aggressive behaviour in traffic among Serbian drivers. Transp. Res. Part F 14(1), 43–53 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kairys, A.: The Perspective: Its Links to Personality Traits, Age, and Gender. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania (2010)Google Scholar
  43. Kim, J., Schmöcker, J.-D., Fujii, S., Noland, B.R.: Attitudes towards road pricing and environmental taxation among U.S. and U.K. students. Transp. Res. Part A: Policy Pract. 48(1), 50–62 (2013)Google Scholar
  44. Koole, S.L., Jager, W., van den Berg, A.E.: On the social nature of personality: effects of extraversion, agreeableness, and feedback about collective resource use on cooperation in a resource dilemma. Pers. Soc. Psychol. Bull. 27, 289–301 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Lepine, J.A., Dyne, L.V.: Voice and cooperative behavior as contrasting forms of contextual performance: evidence of differential relationships with big five personality characteristics and cognitive ability. J. Appl. Psychol. 86(2), 326–336 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. McCrae, R.R.: NEO-PI-R data from 36 cultures. In: McCrae, R.R., Allik, J. (eds.) The Five-Factor Model of Personality Across Cultures. Kluwer, New York (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. McCrae, R.R., Allik, J.: The Five-Factor Model of Personality Across Cultures. Kluwer/Plenum Publishes, New York (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. McCrae, R.R., Costa, P.T.: Validation of the five-factor model of personality across instruments and observers. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 52, 81–90 (1987)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Milfont, T.L., Sibley, C.G.: The big five personality traits and environmental engagement: associations at the individual and societal level. J. Environ. Psychol. 32, 187–195 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Nilsson, M., Kuller, R.: Travel behaviour and environmental concern. Transp. Res. Part D 5, 211–234 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Nisbet, E.K., Zelenski, J.M., Murphy, S.A.: The nature relatedness scale: linking individuals’ connection with nature to environmental concern and behavior. Environ. Behav. 41, 715–740 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Norman, W.T.: 2800 personal Trait Descriptions; Normative Operating Characteristics for a University Population. University of Michigan, Department of Psychology, Ann Arbor (1967)Google Scholar
  53. Oluyinka, O.A.: Psychosocial analysis of environmental attitude of residents in a Nigeria urban city. Afr. J. Basic Appl. Sci. 3(4), 190–197 (2011)Google Scholar
  54. Pettus, A.M., Giles, M.B.: Personality characteristics and environmental attitudes. Popul. Environ. 9(3), 127–137 (1987)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Prevedouros, P.D.: Associations of personality characteristics with transport behavior and residence location decisions. Transp. Res. Part A 26(5), 381–391 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Roberts, B.W., Walton, K.E., Viechtbauer, W.: Patterns of mean-level change in personality traits across the life course: a meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. Psychol. Bull. 132, 1–25 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Rozario, M., Lewis, I., White, K.M.: An examination of the factors that influence drivers’ willingness to use hand-held mobile phones. Transp. Res. Part F 13(6), 365–376 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Schade, J.: European research results on transport pricing acceptability. In: Schade, J., Schlag, B. (eds.) Acceptability of Transport Pricing Strategies. Elsevier, Oxford (2003)Google Scholar
  59. Schade, J., Schlag, B.: Public acceptability of traffic demand management in Europe. Traffic Eng. Control 41(8), 314–318 (2000)Google Scholar
  60. Schade, J., Schlag, B.: Acceptability of Transport Pricing Strategies. Elsevier, Oxford (2003)Google Scholar
  61. Schmöcker, J.-D., Pettersson, P., Fujii, S.: Comparative analysis of proximal and distal determinants for the acceptance of coercive charging policies in the U.K. and Japan. Int. J. Sustain. Transp. 6(3), 156–173 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Schmitt, D.P., Allik, J., Mccrae, R.R., Benet-Martinez, V.: The geographic distribution of big five personal traits: patterns and profiles of human self-description across 56 nations. J. Cross-Culture Psychol. 38(2), 173–212 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Schuitema, G., Steg, L., Forward, S.: Explaining differences in acceptability before and acceptance after the implementation of a congestion charge in Stockholm. Transp. Res. Part A: Policy Pract. 44, 99–109 (2010)Google Scholar
  64. Smith, G.M.: Usefulness of peer ratings of personality in educational research. Educ. Psychol. Meas. 27, 967–984 (1967)Google Scholar
  65. Soto, C.J., John, O.P., Gosling, S.D., Potter, J.: Age differences in personality traits from 10 to 65: big five domains and facets in a large cross-sectional sample. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 100, 330–348 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Steg, L.: Factors influencing the acceptability and effectiveness of transport pricing. In: Schade, J., Schlag, B. (eds.) Acceptability of Transport Pricing Strategies. Elsevier, Oxford (2003)Google Scholar
  67. Swami, V., Chamorro-Premuzic, T., Snelgar, R., Furnham, A.: Egoistic, altruistic, and biospheric environmental concerns: a path analytic investigation of their determinants. Scand. J. Psychol. 51(2), 139–145 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Tsao, W.-C., Chang, H.-R.: Exploring the impact of personality traits on online shopping behavior. Afr. J Bus. Manag. 4(9), 1800–1812 (2010)Google Scholar
  69. Tooby, J., Cosmides, L.: The psychological foundations of culture. In: Barkow, J., Cosmides, L., Tooby, J. (eds.) Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation-of Culture. Oxford University, New York (1992)Google Scholar
  70. Yik, M.S.M., Russell, J.A., Ahn, C.-K., Dols, J.M.F., Suzuki, N.: Relating the five-factor model of personality to a circumplex model of affect. A five- language study. In: McCrae, R.R., Allik, J. (eds.) The Five-Factor Model of Personality Across Cultures. Kluwer, New York (2002)Google Scholar
  71. Zimbardo, P.G., Boyd, J.N.: Putting time in perspective: a valid, reliable individual differences metric. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 77, 1271–1288 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Zuckerman, M., Kolin, E.A., Price, L., Zoob, I.: Development of a sensation seeking scale. J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 28, 477–482 (1964)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Junghwa Kim
    • 1
  • Jan-Dirk Schmöcker
    • 1
  • Cecilia Jakobsson Bergstad
    • 2
  • Satoshi Fujii
    • 1
  • Tommy Gärling
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Urban ManagementKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyGöteborg UniversityGöteborgSweden
  3. 3.SAMOT Vinn Excellence Center in Public TransportKarlstad UniversityKarlstadSweden

Personalised recommendations