Incorporating Mental Representations in Discrete Choice Models of Travel Behaviour: Modelling Approach and Empirical Application

34 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2014

See all articles by Theo A. Arentze

Theo A. Arentze

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) - Urban Planning Group

Benedict G. C. Dellaert

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE); Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Caspar Chorus

Delft University of Technology - Department of Transport and Logistics

Date Written: November 30, 2013

Abstract

We introduce an extension of the discrete choice model to take into account individuals’ mental representation of a choice problem. We argue that, especially in daily activity and travel choices, the activated needs of an individual have an influence on the benefits he or she pursues in the choice of an alternative. The benefits in turn determine which attributes are considered in evaluating choice alternatives taking into account mental costs. The extended model considers the formation of a mental representation of a choice problem as an integral part of the choice process. We show how formation of a mental representation and making a choice can be modelled jointly in an integrated RUM framework. We further show how the integrated model can be estimated based on combined observations of mental representations and choice outcomes using maximum likelihood estimation. A comparative analysis shows that observations of the mental representations may significantly improve predictions and enhance our insights in situation-dependent motivations underlying preferences. We illustrate the approach using a dataset that involves measurements of mental representations and choice behaviour in the area of transport mode choice.

Keywords: discrete choice model, need activation, mental representation, mental effort, travel behavior, maximum likelihood estimation

JEL Classification: -

Suggested Citation

Arentze, Theo A. and Dellaert, Benedict G. C. and Chorus, Caspar, Incorporating Mental Representations in Discrete Choice Models of Travel Behaviour: Modelling Approach and Empirical Application (November 30, 2013). Netspar Discussion Paper No. 11/2013-075, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2398346 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2398346

Theo A. Arentze

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) - Urban Planning Group ( email )

Eindhoven
Netherlands

Benedict G. C. Dellaert (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam, NL 3062 PA
Netherlands

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

Caspar Chorus

Delft University of Technology - Department of Transport and Logistics ( email )

Jaffalaan 5
NL-2628BX
Delft
Netherlands

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