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The influence of personality on acceptability of sustainable transport policies

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Abstract

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.

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Notes

  1. The term acceptability should be used for hypothetical or not yet implemented schemes whereas for implemented schemes the term acceptance should be used (see Gärling et al. 2008; Schuitema et al. 2010).

  2. Costa and McCrae (1980) developed the NEO Personality Inventory (NEO PI) to measure three broad personality dimensions, Neuroticism, Extraversion, and Openness to experience. In 1983 they realized that their NEO system closely resembled three of the Big-five personality traits, but did not encompass traits in the Agreeableness and Conscientiousness domains. They therefore extended their model with preliminary scales measuring Agreeableness and Conscientiousness. In 1992 Costa and McCrae published the 240-item NEO Personality Inventory Revised. But for many research applications, the NEO PI-R is too lengthy. Therefore, Costa and McCrae (1992) also developed the 60-item NEO-FFI (John and Srivastava 1999). Moreover, when time is limited, researchers may be faced with the choice of using an extremely brief measure of the Big-Five personality traits. Also, Gosling et al. (2003) developed and evaluated 5 and 10-item inventories to meet the need for a very brief measure.

  3. We suspect that one possible reason for this inconsistency is the problem of correctly translate the second item. Although our 1-item factor is clearly a limitation, the following analyses suggest that it is an acceptable measure of Agreeableness.

  4. Goodness-of-Fit-Index (GFI): GFI varies from 0 to 1, but could theoretically yield meaningless negative values. By convention, GFI should be near or greater than 0.9 for the model to be accepted. The model presented meets this criterion. Values of root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) less than 0.08 imply an adequate model fit and values less than 0.05 a good model fit (Brown and Cudeck 1990).

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Kim, J., Schmöcker, JD., Bergstad, C.J. et al. The influence of personality on acceptability of sustainable transport policies. Transportation 41, 855–872 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11116-013-9502-5

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