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Title: A study of passengers' anxiety on the London Underground to help design its information environment
Authors: Kim, Ji Sun
Advisors: Gustafson-Pearce, O
Lee, H
Keywords: Anxiety;Design information;Customer emotional experience;Cognitive appraisal of emotion;Public transport service
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: Provision of information has been used as a strategy to relive travel-related anxiety. This study is motivated by the successful attempts for reducing the anxiety. Although, passengers’ anxiety about using public transport (PT) has already been discussed, the London Underground passengers’ anxiety has rarely been a target of investigation in the academic literature. Anxiety associated with the Underground use is reported to be greater than other PT modes. Although the existing studies discussing PT passengers’ anxiety have attempted to provide solutions for anxiety reduction, few endeavours have been made to offer them based on the investigated causality between determinants of anxiety and its arousal. Thus, this study fills the gap by identifying antecedents, and verifying their effects on anxiety about the Underground use. This, in turn, furnishes theoretical grounds for designing content of information with an aim to relieve the anxiety in the circumstance that little data exists, which can be utilised for developing information for the purpose. To achieve the goal, two sets of phases have been engaged. First, a questionnaire (N=81) was conducted to identify anxiety triggers. The results revealed that they were other people’s anti-social behaviour, overcrowding, noise, and late-night travel. An expert group interview was carried out to investigate what efforts are made to support passengers in the anxiety inducing situations. Second, examination was performed to understand about the passengers’ anxiety based on theoretical knowledge about anxiety, and to determine its antecedents. A research model was formulated including six factors, perceived invulnerability, perceived physical ability, trust in other passengers (informal social control), confidence in the authorities, safety knowledge, and perceived uncontrollability. The effects were assessed through structural equation modelling, using questionnaire data (N=269). The results uncovered that perceived invulnerability, perceived physical ability, and confidence in the authorities have negative indirect effects on anxiety through perceived uncontrollability, and safety knowledge has a negative direct effect on anxiety. The confirmed anxiety buffering effects of the factors will be suggested to be used for developing content of information to help relieve the arousal. The study contributes to knowledge by identifying the determinants of the passengers’ anxiety, and testing their effects on anxiety, and to produce theoretical support to create service information environment which helps relieve the anxiety.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London
Appears in Collections:Design
Brunel Design School Theses

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