Stability of Transport-Related Attitudes Over Time

The Stability of Transport-Related Attitudes Over Time: A Case Study During COVID-19

Principal Investigator: Deborah Salon, Associate Professor, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning
Project Duration: 9 months
​Project Budget (Federal UTC Funds): 
Project Budget (Cost-share):
Arizona State University


The usefulness of attitudes in travel demand forecasting requires predictability. Since travel demand models aim to simulate future populations, research would be impracticable if the characteristics of the populations were subject to substantial unpredictable variation over time. We investigate the stability of individuals’ attitudes using waves of the COVID Future survey answered 3.5–9.5 months apart. Both individual attitudinal statements and factor-analyzed attitudes demonstrate moderate stability. This stability is mostly consistent across different sub-populations, although certain groups such as young people displayed lower levels of stability than the general population. Attitudes about home environment and lifestyle were particularly stable, while those about pandemic-specific topics such as remote work or disease risk were more unstable. We conclude that attitudes generally display stability, although the presence of significant life disruptions likely produces temporary instability. We also demonstrate that the stability of attitudes can have an effect on the stability of intended future actions.

Research Products and Implementation

Scope of Work

​Final Report