Public Acceptability

A. Nilsson; V. Medugorac; J. Hiratsuka (chair); S. Dreyer; A.M. Nordlund. Location: A901

The Gothenburg Congestion Tax: Attitude Changes Before and After the Implementation

A. Nilsson, J. Martinsson, C. B. Jakobsson, G. Schuitema,& M. Thorson

Attitudes and beliefs concerning the Gothenburg congestion tax were investigated in a three- wave panel study, twice before and once after the implementation. Participants were approximately 5000 respondents living in the Gothenburg area. A very large part of the variance of the attitudes towards the taxes was explained by policy specific beliefs. Environmental outcomes (positively) and value expressive beliefs (negatively) were the strongest predictors to attitudes towards the tax. The policy specific beliefs mediated the effects of values on attitudes towards the tax. Attitudes were more positive after the implementation compared to before. Respondents perceived the system as easier to use and experienced less negative individual outcomes after the implementation compared to before. The most important predictors (before the implementation) of the change in attitudes after the implementation were value expressive beliefs (negatively), Environmental outcomes, and procedural fairness (positively). The results are discussed in relation to previous similar implementations and to cognitive dissonance theory.

Effect of value priming on fairness evaluation of parking policy

V. Medugorac, J. de Groot, & A. Udall

In 2013 Bristol has introduced a Residents Parking Scheme (RPS) in order to reduce traffic congestion. Residents of some neighbourhoods opposed this plan. Literature proposes that acceptability of environmental policies is connected to fairness judgments, namely distributive and procedural fairness. Question on what basis do people form fairness judgments is not yet clear, but in this paper we hypothesize that these judgments are based on values. Specifically, we propose that people endorsing self-enhancement values are more likely to make distributive justice judgments, while those holding self-transcendence values are more prone to procedural justice judgments. In order to test this claim a scenario based experiment for testing the effects of value activation on acceptability of RPS was employed in the city area where RPS has not been fully installed. The experiment used a mixed subjects design. Values of self-enhancement vs. self-transcendence were activated in a between subjects design. After that the participants were asked to rate eight scenarios varying with regard to three within subject conditions – distributive justice (low vs. high), outcome (self vs. others.) and procedural justice (low vs. high). Study was conducted on a total of 103 participants using convenience sampling procedures. Theoretical and practical implications will be considered.

Testing VBN theory in Japan: Influence of values, beliefs and norms on acceptability of a car pricing policy and intention to reduce car use

J. Hiratsuka, G. Perlaviciute, & L. Steg

The VBN (value-belief-norm) theory of environmentalism postulates that there are causal relations between values, environmental beliefs, personal norms and environmental behaviour. The theory has been supported in explaining acceptability of policies and intention to act pro-environmentally in European countries and Latin America (Argentina), but has hardly been tested in Asia. Is the VBN theory predictive of pro-environmental beliefs and attitudes in such collectivistic cultures too? This study tests the VBN theory in Japan, and demonstrates that the stronger people endorse biospheric, and to a lesser extent altruistic, values, the more they believe that car use has negative environmental impacts, the more they think they should reduce their car use, the more they support a car pricing policy and intend to reduce car use when the policy is implemented, whereas hedonic, and to a lesser extent egoistic, values are correlated negatively with these beliefs, norms and behaviours. Furthermore, the expected mediation effects of beliefs, but not of norms, were found in the relationships between variables in the VBN theory. Values not only directly affected adjacent beliefs, but also affected other beliefs and norms further in the causal chain, supporting the VBN theory.

Acceptability, Acceptance, and Support of Environmental Policies: How can we operationally define and measure these constructs?

S. J. Dreyer

Understanding the acceptability, acceptance, and support for environmental policies is important because of the positive impact policies can have on the environment. Without acceptability, acceptance and/or support of the public, policies are unlikely to pass through legislative processes, or remain standing when challenged. Past literature has used these terms interchangeably and definitions offered do not always agree. Without widely accepted operational definitions, researchers run the risk of overestimating or underestimating these constructs with survey instruments that lack precision. In this talk, a conceptual model that differentiates acceptability, acceptance, and support on two dimensions, a temporal dimension and an attitudinal/behavioral dimension, is introduced. The constructs are operationally defined based upon these dimensions. Empirical results of three related studies will be discussed which substantiate the theoretical distinction between acceptance and support. These studies show that levels of acceptance are higher than that of support, most likely because of the additional behavioral component of support. This is found across different types of response formats, as well as using a single item vs. multiple items for measurement. In addition, perceptions of the policy such as perceived fairness and effectiveness and an individual’s economic ideology are shown to be predictors of policy acceptance and support.

Acceptability of electric/hybrid vehicle aimed measures: A question of norm activation, perceived justice and effectiveness

A. M. Nordlund, K. Westin, & J. Jansson

It is known from research that attitudinal factors are of importance when it comes to choices related to environmentally related perceptions and behavior, acceptability of travel demand management measures, and the adoption of an alternative fuel vehicle. Today the electric/hybrid vehicle is developing into a stronger alternative to the petrol driven car, and nations develop measures aimed at increasing the purchase and use of these vehicles. However, less is known about the acceptability of such measures and and how attitudinal factors influence. This survey study was conducted on a sample of car owners in Sweden (n=1192). In the study a Structural Equation Model (SEM) is tested, in which the norm activation process and the perceived justice and effectiveness of such electric/hybrid vehicle aimed measures was tested. The results support the proposed model in general, and show that sub-groups (with regards to fuel use; petrol, alternative fuel such as gas/ethanol, and electricity) differ in the strength of different proposed paths, and also in which of the values and beliefs that have an impact on the level of acceptability. This study and its results may aid in the development of policy measures in the work toward a sustainable transportation system.