Romain Crastes dit Sourd – Effect of respondent engagement on data quality in travel behaviour and retrospective mobility surveys

Romain Crastes dit Sourd (together with Chiara Calastri) has published a Chapter in Mobility and Travel Behaviour Across the Life Course. This new book synthesises quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods to contribute to conceptual, methodological and empirical advancements in the field of transport research.

The Chapter aims to investigate through a quantitative analysis the difference between survey engagement of respondents and real-life behavioural patterns in transport surveys without relying on respondent or task-level characteristics.

This analysis is performed over an exceptionally rich revealed preference dataset made up of various survey components. More precisely, in addition of a background survey, respondents were asked to complete:

  1. A life course calendar, which was used to retrospectively obtain data about events and activities occurred during the life of respondents.
  2. A name generator and a name interpreter, for which respondents were asked to indicate those people with whom they interact outside of work as well as their gender, age, location and their frequency of interaction via various modes.
  3. A travel diary based on a smartphone app where respondents indicated, for each trip that they performed, the mode and purpose of their trip as well as who was with them during the trip and during the activity related to the trip (work, leisure, sport, etc).

We attempt to answer the question: do people who report more life-course events, more trips and more social contacts have a more ‘hectic’ lifestyle or are they simply more engaged in the survey and making sure no piece of information is forgotten? We here use the word ‘hectic’ interchangeably with ‘active’, simply to convey the idea of a busy lifestyle, rich in terms of activities, events and interactions. The wealth of information collected allows us to link these different components to identify patterns of disengagement by the means of an Integrated Choice and Latent Variable model. Strong evidences of survey disengagement are found.

Link to the Chapter:

Link to the book:

Link to the data collection paper: