- Defining, Measuring, and Using the Lifestyle Concept in Modal Choice Research
- Transportation research record
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Although there is not a formally stated, agreed-upon definition of "lifestyle," interest in this concept has been growing in travel behavior research. Some studies analyze what might be called lifestyles, but in fact various objective socioeconomic characteristics are combined and referred to as stage of life or household composition. This paper, therefore, provides a structured overview of the lifestyle concept (definitions, measurement methods) and illustrates the usefulness of three lifestyle approaches: (a) the socioeconomic and demographic lifestyle approach, based on socioeconomics and demographics; (b) the sociographic approach, based on attitudes toward the family-work balance and leisure time; and (c) the mechanistic approach, based on holiday and leisure activities. Data from an Internet survey organized in 2007 in Flanders, Belgium, were used in this analysis to indicate how lifestyles were associated with car use and active travel for active leisure activities. Adding lifestyles to the analysis increased the explained variances in modal choices, but other predictors—having a driver’s license, car ownership, and the built environment—were more important. With respect to car use, a mechanistic approach that used behavioral data seemed more appropriate. With respect to active travel, no striking differences were found between the three lifestyle approaches.
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