Waygood, O. and Avineri, E.
The effect of loss framing on the perceived difference of CO2 amounts: Implications for advanced travel information systems (ATIS).
43rd Universities Transport Study Group Conference, Milton Keynes, UK, 5th-7th January, 2011.
The provision of information on carbon dioxide (CO2) generated by transport to the traveller can be seen as an instrument to increase the likelihood of more sustainable choices being made by individuals. However, little attention has been paid to the design of such information. Loss framing is one technique that could potentially highlight desirable choices, and affect motivation, intention and travel choice behaviour, but its application has not been studied in the context of CO2 information. Loss framing refers to semantically restructuring (framing) a choice so that the tendency for people to avoid losses (loss aversion) guides them to a particular choice. Although loss framing has been found effective in fields like health and home energy use, those considerations had personal impact and dealt with familiar information. Unfortunately, CO2 is a relatively new concept which most people likely don’t have experience with and the effects of climate change have external costs rather than personal ‘loss’ and therefore sustainable mobility choices could be seen as a social dilemma. Therefore, it is not clear whether loss framing would be affective in altering an individual’s perceptions. In order to test that, a survey was developed to examine the effect of loss framing on perceived differences between travel-related CO2 amounts. The findings imply that loss framing could be used to highlight differences in CO2 amounts and thus influence
decisions through the design of travel-related choices. Advanced Traveller Information Systems (ATIS) designers would structure the presentation of information so that the less (socially) desirable choices had their increased CO2 (the loss) highlighted.
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