Applying behavioural economics in the design of travel information systems.
43rd Universities Transport Study Group Conference, Milton Keynes, UK, 5th-7th January, 2011.
Providing information about transport-related attributes such as travel time, travel costs or carbon emissions might be seen not only as a service to the public, but as also an instrument to change their travel behaviour. While rational man theory suggests that individuals base choices on the attributes of the choice set (information content), the way information is being presented (information context) has also a strong effect on travellers’ behaviour. “Choice architecture”, through the design and incorporation of small features in the environment of choice making (‘nudges’), could help individuals to overcome cognitive biases, and to highlight the better choices for them - without restricting their freedom of choice. This paper sketches a few of the more interesting among insights from behavioural economics, and suggests examples of how
they might be useful for influencing travel behaviour through the design of travel information and help promoting desired travel options.
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