TripAware: Emotional and Informational Approaches to Encourage Sustainable Transportation via Mobile Applications


To combat climate change, we need to change user transportation behavior to be less carbon intensive. Prior work on motivating this behavior change has been predominantly qualitative and lacks comparison. This makes it challenging to determine which interventions should be deployed at scale. The behavior change community needs a process to compare interventions against each other in pilot studies before committing deployment resources. We perform the first quantitative comparison, to our knowledge, of behavior change strategies in the transportation behavior domain. Since this is a pilot with a limited recruitment budget, we design a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) using an open source platform. We assign 41 users to three mobile applications: Emotion, Information, Control. The RCT allows us to draw statistically valid inferences that can suggest future avenues for larger-scale studies. We found that Emotion resulted in greater engagement with the application (p=0.006, 0.035, 0.031, 0.040) while Information improved the sustainability of travel behavior (p = 0.043). These exploratory statistical results can motivate the design of future studies to further explore combinations of these approaches for sustainable transportation behavior.

Proceedings of the 6th ACM International Conference on Systems for Energy-Efficient Buildings, Cities, and Transportation