Exploring the influence of attitudes, social comparison and image and prestige among non-cyclists to predict intention to cycle in Mexico City

Magda Cepeda Zorrilla*, Frances Hodgson, Ann Jopson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


People face a number of different barriers when choosing to cycle for commuting purposes. This study examined the role of psycho-social factors predicting the intention to cycle to commute in Mexico City. An extended version of the theory of planned behaviour was developed and utilized with a sample of 401 infrequent and non-cyclists in Mexico City. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis was applied, and after identifying five factors, a structural equation model was estimated to find the relationships among the variables. The results indicated that cycling attributes, attitudes to cycling, social comparison and social image and prestige were the most important factors influencing intention to cycle. The results show positive attitudes towards cycling characterized by evaluations of cycling to commute such as considering it good, enjoyable or beneficial were more likely to demonstrate an intention to commute by bicycle. The same effect on intention was found when cycling is considered important as a mode for commuting. They also show that affective motives combined with attitudes explained 33.5% of the variance (adjusted R2 0.335) in intention to cycle. Social image increased the explanation of the intention to cycle by just 1%, (adjusted R2 0.346). Examination of the individual means for social comparison orientation items showed strong beliefs linking bicycle use with other people thinking they are poor nonetheless the findings for social comparison should be treated with caution as the strength of this model construct was very low. Although the results from this study are specific to Mexico City, they indicate areas of interest to transportation planners in other regions, especially in those cities where intention to cycle is linked to its perceived image and there is political ambition to instigate positive cycling cultures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-342
Number of pages16
JournalTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd


  • Attitudes
  • Cycling
  • Latent variable model
  • Perception
  • Social image

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Applied Psychology


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