Is commuting really the least enjoyable thing we do?

New method measures emotional quality of daily experience

"Some of the findings confirm what we already know while others are counter-intuitive. The researchers assessed how people felt during 28 types of activities and found that intimate relations were the most enjoyable, while commuting was the least enjoyable." Full article here (requires registration)

This observation contrasts with Redmond, Lothlorien S. and Patricia L. Mokhtarian (2001) The Positive Utility of the Commute: Modeling Ideal Commute Time and Relative Desired Commute Amount. Transportation 28 (2), 179 - 205 and fails to explain why if people hate commuting so much, they do so much of it. While I suspect few would suggest commuting to be the most enjoyable activity, it really depends on your commute.

Despite Kahneman's Nobel Prize, I think their methods were far more primitive than what is found in the transport and regional science literature (and if not for the NP, unlikely to have been published in Science), and they should have cited some of the prior transportation literature on this.

This issue arises of course because articles in emph>Science are noted widely, and cited broadly, this has emerged in a recent claim by Richard Florida about why cities are better than suburbs and "The Days of Urban Sprawl Are Over".

David Levinson

Network Reliability in Practice

Evolving Transportation Networks

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This page contains a single entry by David Levinson published on July 19, 2008 12:38 PM.

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