Sunitiyoso, Y., Avineri, E. and Chatterjee, K.
Role of minority influence on the diffusion of compliance with a demand management measure.
In: Kitamura, R., Yoshii, T. and Yamamoto, T., eds.
The Expanding Sphere of Travel Behaviour Research.
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 643-672.
This study utilizes an agent-based approach to simulate behaviours of individuals. It is aimed to obtain some informed insights about the role of social interaction, social learning, and social influence on travellers’ decision making to comply with a policy measure. A multi-agent model which incorporates these social aspects is developed. The social interaction includes consideration of various interaction domains (e.g. neighbourhood, workplaces, or non-work activity clubs) and two sequential processes of interaction: meeting and communicating. In the social learning and influence, an investigation of the role of minority influence on the spread of compliance with a policy measure becomes a primary consideration. Aspect like inertia in decision making is also considered. An explorative behavioural survey has been conducted to obtain initial information regarding mechanisms of social interaction and social learning. Based on the survey, parameters and initial values of variables required for the simulation model have been estimated. The survey suggests that some individuals may be influenced by other people, who are relatively close to them, regarding travel-related decision. These close persons of an individual may have an opinion/expectation which can be important for the individual. Both empirical and theoretical findings are combined to develop a multi-agent simulation model. The results of simulation experiments suggest that the model is able to provide some informed insights about the spread of compliance with a ‘soft’ measure from an individual to other individuals and the diffusion from a group to other groups. Social interaction has been shown to have a major role in spreading compliance with the measure. The role of minority influence on eliciting compliance has been demonstrated in the experiments. A small number of influential individuals with consistency of choice on complying with the measure were able to diffuse their choice to others. Also, a group that consists of influential agents was able to diffuse their compliance to other individuals from different groups. The results have also shown that a social club domain with a high frequency of repeated interactions between its members have an important role on the spread of compliance. Overall, the study has fulfilled its objectives and has also shown how we can incorporate social aspects, such as social interaction, social learning, and social influence, into modelling travellers’ change of behaviour.
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