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A Knowledge-Based Intervention for Promoting Carpooling

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Environment and Behavior, Volume 27, Number 5, p.650-678 (1995)



The use of interesting text, particularly stories, has been shown to be an effective way of transferring information. This is due, in part, to the compatibility of narrative forms of information with human information processing biases. This study tested the impact of a story-based intervention on employees' knowledge and attitudes about, and stated willingness to adopt, carpooling. The story-based intervention was compared to a fact sheet-based intervention and to a control. A total of 645 employees at five sites participated in the study. Results indicate that individuals who received information, whether in story or factual format, felt more comfortable with their carpool knowledge and felt that they had adequate knowledge to guide them in discussions and problem solving regarding carpooling. Furthermore, regardless of the type of intervention, the more interesting text was associated with greater perceived knowledge, greater confidence and comfort with knowledge, and increased willingness to try carpooling. The interventions had no significant impact on attitudes. Implications and suggestions for future research are offered.