Urban pedestrianism is increasingly perceived as a dangerous form of travel. While roadway design has been historically scaled to cars instead of people, planning professionals are now re-thinking their approach to make roads more inclusive for all travelers. Scholars, however, have learned harbored fear can trump behavior even under ideal travel conditions. Such fear can adversely impact perceived pedestrian self-efficacy, which is the self-generated internal assessment or belief in a traveler's agentive abilities to navigate the travel environment. The challenge thus becomes twofold: improve the built environment while bolstering traveler confidence. The following study, therefore, employed a qualitative phenomenological research design to ascertain the concerns and perceptions of vulnerable travelers as it pertained to and was affected by travel-specific media. The study employed denizens selected from the Central Florida community of Conway, who were interviewed using a multi-method approach employing a semi-structured interview technique utilizing individual interviews and small focus group sessions. Using Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) as the theoretical framework, the researcher studied and documented the elements contributing to the perceptions of pedestrian travelers. The rationale for this approach is found in the dynamic relationships that exist between the objective travel environment, the perceived travel environment, and travel behavior - all representing the triad of cognition, the external environment, and social stimuli, which encompass Bandura's Triadic Reciprocal Determinism (TRD). The four themes that emerged from the data analysis - communication, safety, cost, and happiness - characterize the experiences of the participants as they watched positively-themed media images modeling civil travel behavior. This research adds to existing literature on the magnitude such themes have on perception, to include latent perceptions harbored by pedestrian commuters concerning dangers - real or imagined - of traveling on local roadways.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Stephens, Daniel, "Effects of Electronic Media Messages on the Perceived Self-Efficacy of Pedestrian Commuters Living in the Unincorporated Central Florida Community of Conway" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 6176.