Satisfaction and Travel Choices

  • Maya Abou-Zeid
  • Moshe Ben-Akiva


Linkages between activities, travel, and overall subjective well-being (SWB) are analyzed. SWB is broadly defined as the evaluation of the cognitive and affective components of human experiences. Developments in the measurement of subjective well-being (SWB) and the application of SWB research to travel are reviewed, with a particular emphasis on a modelling framework linking SWB to travel attributes and travel behaviour. Empirical evidence from the measurement of SWB in activities and travel has shown that travel plays a role for overall well-being and that the timing at which travel well-being is measured matters due to the dynamic nature of well-being. It is argued that SWB and utility are the same but a distinction needs to be made among the different notions of utility. Consequently, an extended random utility model framework with SWB measures as additional indicators of utility is presented, and an application of this framework to travel mode choice is shown to yield an improved model of travel mode choice.


Public Transport Travel Behaviour Random Utility Random Utility Model Travel Mode Choice 
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.


  1. Abou-Zeid, M. (2009). Measuring and modeling activity and travel well-being. Ph.D. dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  2. Abou-Zeid, M., & Ben-Akiva, M. (2010). A model of travel happiness and mode switching. In S. Hess & A. Daly (Eds.), Choice modelling: The state-of-the-art and the state-of-practice. Proceedings from the inaugural international choice modelling conference (pp. 289–305). London: Emerald.Google Scholar
  3. Abou-Zeid, M., & Ben-Akiva, M. (2011). The effect of social comparisons on commute well-being. Transportation Research Part A, 45, 345–361.Google Scholar
  4. Abou-Zeid, M., & Ben-Akiva, M. (2012). Well-being and activity-based models. Transportation, 39, 1189–1207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Abou-Zeid, M., Witter, R., Bierlaire, M., Kaufmann, V., & Ben-Akiva, M. (2012). Happiness and travel mode switching: Findings from a Swiss public transportation experiment. Transport Policy, 19, 93–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Andrews, F. M., & Withey, S. B. (1976). Social indicators of well-being. New York: Plenum.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Archer, M., Paleti, R., Konduri, K. C., Pendyala, R. M., & Bhat, C. R. (2013). Modeling the connection between activity-travel patterns and subjective well-being. Paper presented at the 92nd annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  8. Ben-Akiva, M., de Palma, A., McFadden, D., Abou-Zeid, M., Chiappori, P.-A., de Lapparent, M., et al. (2012). Process and context in choice models. Marketing Letters, 23, 439–456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ben-Akiva, M., & Lerman, S. (1985). Discrete choice analysis: Theory and application to travel demand. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  10. Ben-Akiva, M., McFadden, D., Train, K., Walker, J., Bhat, C., Bierlaire, M., et al. (2002a). Hybrid choice models: Progress and challenges. Marketing Letters, 13, 163–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ben-Akiva, M., Walker, J., Bernardino, A., Gopinath, D., Morikawa, T., & Polydoropoulou, A. (2002b). Integration of choice and latent variable models. In H. Mahmassani (Ed.), Perpetual motion: Travel behaviour research opportunities and application challenges (pp. 431–470). Amsterdam: Elsevier Science.Google Scholar
  12. Bentham, J. (1789/1948). An introduction to the principle of morals and legislations. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  13. Brock, W. A., & Durlauf, S. N. (2001). Discrete choice with social interactions. Review of Economic Studies, 68, 235–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Bruni, L., & Porta, P. L. (Eds.). (2007). Handbook on the economics of happiness. Aldershot, UK: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  15. Cantor, N., & Sanderson, C. A. (1999). Life task participation and well-being: The importance of taking part in daily life. In D. Kahneman, E. Diener, & N. Schwarz (Eds.), Well-being: The foundations of hedonic psychology (pp. 230–243). New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  16. Chapin, F. (1974). Human activity patterns in the city: Things people do in time and space. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  17. de Palma, A., Picard, N., & Ziegelmeyer, A. (2011). Individual and couple decision behavior under risk: Evidence on the dynamics of power balance. Theory and Decision, 70, 45–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Delbosc, A. (2012). The role of well-being in transport policy. Transport Policy, 23, 25–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Diener, E., Scollon, C. N., & Lucas, R. E. (2003). The evolving concept of subjective well-being: The multifaceted nature of happiness. Advances in Cell Aging and Gerontology, 15, 187–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Dolan, P., & White, M. (2006). Dynamic well-being: Connecting indicators of what people anticipate with indicators of what they experience. Social Indicators Research, 75, 303–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Duarte, A., Garcia, C., Giannarakis, G., Limão, S., Polydoropoulou, A., & Litinas, N. (2010). New approaches in transportation planning: Happiness and transport economics. NETNOMICS, 11, 5–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Duarte, A., Garcia, C., Limão, S., & Polydoropoulou, A. (2009). Experienced and expected happiness in transport mode decision making process. Paper presented at the 88th annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  23. Ettema, D., Gärling, T., Eriksson, L., Friman, M., Olsson, L. E., & Fujii, S. (2011). Satisfaction with travel and subjective well-being: Development and test of a measurement tool. Transportation Research Part F, 14, 167–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ettema, D., Gärling, T., Olsson, L. E., & Friman, M. (2010). Out-of-home activities, daily travel, and subjective well-being. Transportation Research Part A, 44, 723–732.Google Scholar
  25. Frey, B., & Stutzer, A. (2002). What can economists learn from happiness research? Journal of Economic Literature, 40, 402–435.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Friman, M., Edvardsson, B., & Gärling, T. (2001). Frequency of negative critical incidents and satisfaction with public transport services. I. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 8, 95–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Friman, M., & Gärling, T. (2001). Frequency of negative critical incidents and satisfaction with public transport services. II. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 8, 105–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Jakobsson Bergstad, C., Gamble, A., Hagman, O., Polk, M., Gärling, T., Ettema, D., et al. (2012). Influences of affect associated with routine out-of-home activities on subjective well-being. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 7, 49–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kahneman, D. (2000). Experienced utility and objective happiness: A moment-based approach. In D. Kahneman & A. Tversky (Eds.), Choices, values, and frames (pp. 673–692). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Kahneman, D., Diener, E., & Schwarz, N. (Eds.). (1999). Well-being: The foundations of hedonic psychology. New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  31. Kahneman, D., Fredrickson, B. L., Schreiber, C. M., & Redelmeier, D. (1993). When more pain is preferred to less: Adding a better end. Psychological Science, 4, 401–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kahneman, D., & Krueger, A. B. (2006). Developments in the measurement of subjective well-being. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 20, 3–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kahneman, D., Krueger, A. B., Schkade, D. A., Schwarz, N., & Stone, A. A. (2004). A survey method for characterizing daily life experience: The day reconstruction method. Science, 306, 1776–1780.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kahneman, D., & Tversky, A. (1979). Prospect theory: An analysis of decision under risk. Econometrica, 47, 263–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kahneman, D., Wakker, P. P., & Sarin, R. (1997). Back to Bentham? Explorations of experienced utility. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 112, 375–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Koslowsky, M., Kluger, A. N., & Reich, M. (1995). Commuting stress: Causes, effects, and methods of coping. New York: Plenum.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Maslow, A. H. (1970). Motivation and personality. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  38. McFadden, D. (1984). Econometric analysis of qualitative response models. In Z. Friliches & M. D. Intriligator (Eds.), Handbook of econometrics II. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science.Google Scholar
  39. McFadden, D. (2005). The new science of pleasure: Consumer behavior and the measurement of well-being. The Frisch Lecture presented at the econometric society world congress, London. Accessed 30 Dec 2012.
  40. Oishi, S., Diener, E. F., Lucas, R. E., & Suh, E. M. (1999). Cross-cultural variations in predictors of life satisfaction: Perspectives from needs and values. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25, 980–990.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Olsson, L. E., Gärling, T., Ettema, D., Friman, M., & Fujii, S. (2012). Happiness and satisfaction with work commute. Social Indicators Research, 111(1), 255–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Ory, D., & Mokhtarian, P. L. (2005). When is getting there half the fun? Modeling the liking for travel. Transportation Research Part A, 39, 97–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Pedersen, T., Friman, M., & Kristensen, P. (2011). The role of predicted, on-line experienced and remembered satisfaction in current choice to use public transport services. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 18, 471–475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Seligman, M. (2002). Authentic happiness: Using the new positive psychology to realize your potential for lasting fulfillment. New York: Free Press/Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
  45. Spinney, J. E. L., Scott, D. M., & Newbold, K. B. (2009). Transport mobility benefits and quality of life: A time-use perspective of elderly Canadians. Transport Policy, 16, 1–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Walker, J., & Ben-Akiva, M. (2002). Generalized random utility model. Mathematical Social Sciences, 43(3), 303–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Wirtz, D., Kruger, J., Scollon, C. N., & Diener, E. (2003). Research report: What to do on spring break? The role of predicted, on-line, and remembered experience in future choice. Psychological Science, 14, 520–524.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringAmerican University of BeirutBeirutLebanon
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

Personalised recommendations