Journal Article
Car Pride and its Behavioral Implications: An Initial Exploration in Shanghai

Beyond their functional purpose, cars are often considered a status symbol. There may exist a certain level of pride associated with owning and using cars, particularly in regions where motorization is rapidly growing. However, there is little empirical evidence in terms of how car pride is related to different behavioral aspects, such as car ownership and use, especially in the context of developing countries. This paper presents an exploration of car pride and its association with car-related behavior. In this work, car pride is defined as the self-conscious emotion derived from the appraisal of owning and using cars as a positive self-representation. It pertains to both the symbolic and affective functions of the car. Using survey data (n = 1389) from Shanghai, China, we empirically measure car pride as a latent variable based on five Likert-scale statements and test the association of car pride with car use, vehicle preferences, and car ownership. Based on two structural equation models, we show that: (1) car pride is positively correlated with car use; (2) car pride correlates significantly with owning newer, more expensive, and luxury cars, and Shanghai’s more expensive local car licenses; (3) car owners in general have higher car pride than non-owners; and (4) car pride is largely independent of one’s socio-economic characteristics. Although the analysis focuses on Shanghai, the findings of the positive correlation between car pride and behavior are consistent with prior studies in developed countries. These findings highlight the importance of car pride regarding multiple behavioral aspects of car ownership and use and its potential impact on mobility management.

Title
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsZhao Z, Zhao J
JournalTransportation
Keywordscar ownership, car pride, car use, Shanghai, structural equation model
Abstract

Beyond their functional purpose, cars are often considered a status symbol. There may exist a certain level of pride associated with owning and using cars, particularly in regions where motorization is rapidly growing. However, there is little empirical evidence in terms of how car pride is related to different behavioral aspects, such as car ownership and use, especially in the context of developing countries. This paper presents an exploration of car pride and its association with car-related behavior. In this work, car pride is defined as the self-conscious emotion derived from the appraisal of owning and using cars as a positive self-representation. It pertains to both the symbolic and affective functions of the car. Using survey data (n = 1389) from Shanghai, China, we empirically measure car pride as a latent variable based on five Likert-scale statements and test the association of car pride with car use, vehicle preferences, and car ownership. Based on two structural equation models, we show that: (1) car pride is positively correlated with car use; (2) car pride correlates significantly with owning newer, more expensive, and luxury cars, and Shanghai’s more expensive local car licenses; (3) car owners in general have higher car pride than non-owners; and (4) car pride is largely independent of one’s socio-economic characteristics. Although the analysis focuses on Shanghai, the findings of the positive correlation between car pride and behavior are consistent with prior studies in developed countries. These findings highlight the importance of car pride regarding multiple behavioral aspects of car ownership and use and its potential impact on mobility management.

DOI10.1007/s11116-018-9917-0