Cycling to work : an integrated approach to human decision making.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
In this study, I explored human decision making from three perspectives – the theory of planned behaviour, the affect heuristic and an embodied perspective. One hundred and forty six participants were recruited in Christchurch city in New Zealand and their commuting habits were investigated. The focus of this study was the choice to commute by bicycle or not. In this study, the participants were assessed for their environmental beliefs or attitudes regarding cycling commuting, their affective reactions to cycling, their risk perception of cycling, their level of support of pro-cycling governmental policies, whether they commuted by bicycle or not, and a physiological measure that is indicative of exposure to foetal testosterone, the second to fourth digit ratio on their hands (2D:4D). The results of a regression analysis revealed that environmental attitude is predictive of the level of support for pro-cycling policies, in line with expectations from the theory of planned behaviour. A regression analysis revealed that affective reactions to cycling, 2D:4D and sex are predictive of risk perception of road cycling, in line with expectations based on the embodied and affect heuristic perspective. In addition, a logistic regression revealed that environmental attitudes, 2D:4D and sex are predictive of bicycle commuting behaviour. These findings suggest a composite decision making model that combines the theory of planned behaviour, the affect heuristic and embodiment may prove useful in understanding environmental decision making. In addition, the findings indicate the importance of embodiment in human decision making.