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Learning about the unobservable [Elektronisk resurs] The role of attitudes, measurement errors, norms and perceptions in user behaviour.

Lorenzo Varela, Juan Manuel, 1987- (författare)
Susilo, Yusak, 1976- (preses)
Jonsson, R. Daniel, 1972- (preses)
Börjesson, Maria, 1974- (preses)
Rasouli, Soora (opponent)
CTS (medarbetare)
KTH Skolan för arkitektur och samhällsbyggnad (ABE) (utgivare)
Publicerad: Stockholm : Kungliga Tekniska högskolan, 2019
Engelska 48
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  • E-bokAvhandling(Diss. (sammanfattning) Stockholm : Kungliga Tekniska högskolan, 2019)
Sammanfattning Ämnesord
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  • Unobservable factors are important to understand user behaviour. Moreover, they contain information to help design services that willsolve today’s challenges. Yet, we have barely scratched the surface ofthe underlying mechanisms ruling user behaviour. For decades, userbehaviour analysis has focused on the capabilities of observable variables,as well as assumptions of regular preferences and rational behaviourto explain user choices; and amalgamated unobservable factorsinto ”black-box” variables. As a response, the field of behaviouraleconomics has produced an array of so-called choice anomalies, wherepeople seem not to be fully rational. Furthermore, as a consequence of the ”digital revolution”, nowwe harvest data on an unprecedented scale -both in quantity andresolution- that is nurturing the golden age of analytics. This explosionof analytics contributes to reveal fascinating patterns of humanbehaviour and shows that when users face difficult choices, predictionsbased only on observable variables result in wider gaps between observedand predicted behaviour, than predictions including observableand unobservable factors. Impacts of the ”digital revolution” are not limited to data and analyticsbut they have filtered through the whole tissue of society. Forinstance, telecommunications allow users to telework, and telework allowsusers to change their travel patterns, which in turn contributes toincrease the overall system complexity. In addition to the new worlddynamics facilitated by Information and Communications Technology,megatrends such as hyper-urbanization or increase demand of personalisedtransport services are imposing pressures on transport networksat a furious pace, which also contributes to increase the complexity ofthe choices needed in order to navigate the networks efficiently. In an effort to alleviate these pressures, new mobility services suchas electric and autonomous vehicles; bicycle and car sharing schemes;mobility as a service; vacuum rail systems or even flying cars are evolving. Each of these services entails a different set of observable variableslike travel time and cost, but also a completely different set of unobservableones such as expectations, normative beliefs or perceptionsthat will impact user behaviour. Hence, a good understanding of theimpact of underlying, unobservable, factors -especially when servicesare radically different from what users know and have experienced inthe past- will help us to predict user behaviour in uncharted scenarios. Unobservable factors are elusive by nature, hence to incorporatethem into our models is an arduous task. Furthermore, there is evidence showing that the importance of these factors might differ across time and space, as user preferences, perceptions, normative beliefs, etc.are influenced by local conditions and cultures. As a consequence, we have witnessed a surge of interest in behavioural economics over the past two decades, due to its ability to increase the explanatory and predictive power of models based on economic theory by adding a more psychologically plausible foundation. This thesis contributes to the existing body of literature in TransportScience in the areas of user perceptions, measurement errors, and the influence of attitudes and social norms in the adoption of new mobility solutions. The work builds on the behavioural economics theoretical framework, underpinned by economic theory, discrete choice analysis -rational behaviour and random utility maximization-, as well as social and cognitive psychology. Methodological contributions include a framework to systematically test differences in user preferences for a set of public transport modes, relating to observed and unobserved attributes; and a framework to assess the magnitude of unobservable measurement errors in the input variables of large-scale travel demand models. On an empirical dimension, findings support the existence of a ”rail factor”, the impact of modelling assumptions on parameter estimates of hybrid choice models, the presence of larger measurement errors in the cost variables than in the time variables, -which in turn translates into diluted parameters that under-estimate the response to pricing interventions-, and that the model with the best fit does not guarantee better parameter estimates. Therefore, I expect this thesis to be of interest not only to modellers, but also to decision makers; and that its findings will contribute to the design of the mobility solutions that users need and desire, but also that will benefit society as a whole. 

Ämnesord

Engineering and Technology  (hsv)
Civil Engineering  (hsv)
Transport Systems and Logistics  (hsv)
Teknik och teknologier  (hsv)
Samhällsbyggnadsteknik  (hsv)
Transportteknik och logistik  (hsv)
Social Sciences  (hsv)
Economics and Business  (hsv)
Economics  (hsv)
Samhällsvetenskap  (hsv)
Ekonomi och näringsliv  (hsv)
Nationalekonomi  (hsv)
Transportvetenskap  (kth)
Transport Science  (kth)

Genre

government publication  (marcgt)

Indexterm och SAB-rubrik

Attitudes
Measurement errors
Discrete choice analysis
Latent variables
Model misspecification
Normative beliefs
Rail factor
User perceptions
Social norms
Value of travel time savings
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