What cognitive mechanisms predict travel mode choice? A systematic review with meta-analysis

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - car, technology - emissions, ridership - behaviour, ridership - mode choice, ridership - perceptions, ridership - attitudes, policy, planning - promotion


Travel mode, systematic review, meta-analysis, car use, transport policy


Reduced private car use can limit greenhouse gas emissions and improve public health. It is unclear, however, how promotion of alternative transport choices can be optimised. A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted to identify potentially modifiable cognitive mechanisms that have been related to car use and use of alternative transport modes. A qualitative synthesis of measures of potentially modifiable mechanisms based on 43 studies yielded 26 conceptually distinct mechanism categories. Meta-analyses of associations between these mechanisms and car use/non-use generated 205 effects sizes (Pearson’s r) from 35 studies. The strongest correlates of car use were intentions, perceived behavioural control, attitudes and habit. The strongest correlates of alternative transportation choices were intentions, perceived behavioural control and attitudes. Implications for researchers and policy implementation are discussed.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Taylor&Francis, copyright remains with them.