, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 71–85 | Cite as

Measuring tradeoffs in carpool driving arrangement preferences

  • Irwin P. Levin


In each of two experiments evaluations were obtained of alternative carpooling situations varying in driving arrangement, size of carpool, distance traveled, and amount of time to pick up and deliver passengers. College students in Experiment I rated each situation in terms of comfort, economy, convenience and overall desirability. Shared driving emerged as the most desirable driving arrangement, and results suggested that this was due to a tradeoff of the perceived economic advantages of being the driver and the perceived greater comfort and convenience of being a rider. Driving all the time was the least preferred arrangement for females, and riding all the time was the least preferred arrangement for males. Desirability ratings decreased as carpool size increased, and this was interpreted to indicate that perceived economic advantages of large pools were outweighed by large perceived decreases in comfort and convenience. The major results of Experiment I were replicated in Experiment II, using university employees who were either currently in carpools or seeking to find carpools. Results are discussed in terms of the practical implications of the findings concerning driving arrangement and carpool size preferences, and in terms of the usefulness of controlled experimental designs for understanding the processes-underlying ride-sharing attitudes and behavior.


College Student Experiment Evaluation Practical Implication Prefer Arrangement Major Result 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anderson, N. H. (1974). “Information integration theory: A brief survey,” in D. H. Krantz, R. C. Atkinson, R. D. Luce, and P. Suppes, eds., Contemporary Developments in Mathematical Psychology, Vol. 2. San Francisco: Freeman.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, N. H. (1979). “Algebraic rules in psychological measurement,” American Scientist 67:555–563.Google Scholar
  3. Brunso, J. M. (1980). “Carpool Coordinator Demonstration Project: Final Report,” Preliminary Research Report 171, New York State Department of Transportation, Albany, N.Y.Google Scholar
  4. Hartgen, D. J. (1977). “Ridesharing Behavior: A Review of Recent Findings,” Preliminary Research Report 130, New York State Department of Transportation, Albany, N.Y.Google Scholar
  5. Horowitz, A. D. and Sheth, J. N. (1976). “Ridesharing to Work: A Psychosocial Analysis,” Research Publication GMR-2216, General Motors Research Laboratories, Warren, MI.Google Scholar
  6. Lerman, S. R. and Louviere, J. J. (1978). “Using functional measurement to identify the form of utility functions in travel demand models,” Transportation Research Record 673:78–86.Google Scholar
  7. Levin, I. P. (1975). “Information integration in numerical judgments and decision processes, ” Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 104:39–53.Google Scholar
  8. Levin, I.P. and Gray, M. J. (1979). “Evaluation of interpersonal influences in the formation and promotion of carpools,” Transportation Research Record 724:35–39.Google Scholar
  9. Levin, I. P. and Herring, R. D. (1981). “Functional measurement of qualitative variables in mode choice: Ratings of economy, safety and desirability of flying versus driving,” Transportation Research 15A:207–214.Google Scholar
  10. Levin, I. P. and Louviere, J. J. (1981). “Psychological contributions to travel demand modeling,” in I. Altman, P. B. Everett; and J. F. Wohlwill, eds., Human Behavior and the Environment: Current Theory and Research, Vol. 5 (forthcoming).Google Scholar
  11. Levin, I. P., Mosell, M. K., Lamka, C. M., Savage, B. E. and Gray, M. J. (1977). “Measurement of psychological factors and their role in travel behavior,” Transportation Research Record 649:1–7.Google Scholar
  12. Margolin, J. B., Misch, M. R. and Dobson, R. (1976). “Incentives and disincentives to ridesharing behavior: A progress report,” Transportation Research Record 592:41–44.Google Scholar
  13. Meyer, R. J., Levin, I. P. and Louviere, J. J. (1978). “Functional analysis of mode choice,” Transportation Research Record 673:1–7.Google Scholar
  14. Mosell, M. K., Lamka, C. M., Gray, M. J. and Levin, I. P. (1978). “How do I get there from here? Attitudes toward different modes of transportation,” Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science 85:18–20.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irwin P. Levin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyThe University of IowaIowa CityU.S.A.

Personalised recommendations