Defining Psychometric Variables Related to Use of Autonomous Vehicles

Yanbo Ge, Andisheh Ranjbari, Elyse O.’.C. Lewis, Eric Barber, Don Mackenzie

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

10 Scopus citations


With the goal of understanding autonomous vehicle (AV) adoption and use behavior, numerous behavioral studies and surveys have included variables intended to capture individuals’ perceptions of and attitudes toward AVs. However, the selection of questions to measure these psychometric variables appears to be ad hoc and, in many cases, arbitrary. In contrast, this study defines psychometric latent variables (LVs) that are related to the adoption and use of AVs and develops a set of questions to reliably measure them. By considering three psychological concepts (norms, perceptions, and attitudes) and nine qualitative utility constructs that influence individuals’ travel behavior, this study defines a comprehensive list of LVs and identifier questions to support their construction. A factor analysis of a nationwide n = 347 sample was used to obtain a minimum set of relevant LVs and questions to measure them. Ultimately, the factor analysis resulted in a final set of nine LVs specified by 44 questions (four or five questions for each LV). The final set of questions may be used by researchers or survey organizations interested in studying future trends of demand and adoption for AVs or other emerging transportation modes. The approach used in this study may also be employed in other contexts to define psychometric variables of interest and the questions needed to reliably measure them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTransportation Research Record
PublisherSAGE Publications Ltd
Number of pages15
StatePublished - Dec 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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