How perceptions mediate the effects of the built environment on travel behavior?

Liang Ma, Jason Cao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


This study provides a better understand the mechanism underlying the built environment-behavior connection by systematically exploring the relationships between the objective (actual) environment and people’s perceptions of the environment, and their relative effects on travel behavior using the Stimuli-Organism-Response framework. Based on data for the Twin Cities, this study explores (1) How do perceptions mediate the effects of the objective environment on travel behavior? (2) How do travel attitudes influence the effects of perceptions on travel behavior? Among the eight empirical models tested here, six are consistent with the framework: objective built environment affects travel behavior through its influence on perceptions. Moreover, the framework fits walking and bicycling behavior better than transit and driving behavior. Furthermore, travel attitudes greatly moderate the influences of perceptions on travel behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-197
Number of pages23
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


  • Mediation
  • Perceptions
  • The built environment
  • Travel behavior


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