Car versus public transportation? (1995)
Van Vugt, M., Meertens, R., & Van Lange, P.(1995). Car versus public transportation? The role of social value orientations in a real-life social dilemma. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 25, 358-378.
Abstract: This research evaluates the role of social value orientations (i.e., preferences for distribution of outcomes for the self and others) in decisions as how to commute. It was proposed that the commuting situation could be viewed either as an environ- mental issue, reflecting the decision structure of an N-person Prisoner’s Dilemma, or as an accessibility problem, reflecting the decision structure of an N-person Chicken Dilemma. On the basis of interdependence theory (Kelley & Thibaut, 1978) it was predicted that people who are primarily concerned with the collective welfare - prosocial individuals - would prefer commuting by public transportation when other commuters were expected to go by public transportation. On the other hand, it was hypothesized that people who are primarily concerned with their own well-being - proself individuals - would prefer commuting by public transportation when others were expected to go by car. The obtained findings were consistent with these ex- pectations. Practical and theoretical implications regarding the link between social value orientations and environmentally relevant behavior will be discussed.