Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
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The relationships between transportation and well-being are of increasing interest to researchers, practitioners, and policymakers. Stakeholders seeking to improve quality of life and traffic safety require valid and reliable ways of gauging the emotional states of travelers. Psychological scales exist for measuring subjective well-being (SWB), but these instruments have rarely been applied to the travel domain. The Satisfaction with Travel Scale (STS) is a nine-item measure of travel-related hedonic SWB, capturing core affect (emotions) and cognitive evaluations of overall satisfaction associated with personal transportation. Although the STS has been used in an increasing number of studies, questions remain regarding its structure and validity. This research utilized a survey of 654 commuters in the Portland, Oregon, area to investigate the measurement properties of a slightly modified version of the STS. Confirmatory factor analysis suggested a three-factor structure—composed of positive deactivation, positive activation, and cognitive evaluation—that matches some previous results and SWB theory; a model with a single second-order factor also fit the data. Tests of measurement invariance across three travel modes (automobile, transit, and walk/bicycle) found that the STS exhibited configural and perhaps weak factorial invariance; non-motorized commuters tended to have more positive scores. Future research can continue to refine the STS items and wordings, test the scale in various geographic and travel contexts, and examine relationships between SWB and travel behavior.
Patrick A. Singleton, Validating the satisfaction with travel scale as a measure of hedonic subjective well-being for commuting in a U.S. city, Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour 60 (2019), 399 – 414.