In my Ph.D. research I focused on understanding and explaining human response to aircraft noise. I contributed to this field by translating several sociological and psychological theories of noise reaction to advanced and testable statistical models. For example, I used structural equation modelling to operationalize and empirically verify the theory of psychological stress as a model of noise perception and appraisal.
During my Ph.D. I made the shift from variable-centered methods (Multiple Regression and Structural Equation Models) to person-centered methods (Q-methodology and latent class analysis). Using these latter methods I studied how subjects from their own viewpoints attributed various meanings to aircraft noise. The discourse resonance theory, which puts forward the innovative idea that noise policy discursively constrains noise appraisal, lied at the basis of this work. Later, I also used this theory to investigate the ways in which people’s views on air travel and sustainability are shaped by (international) policy discourses. A Ph.D. student that is under my supervision presently continues this line of research.
After my Ph.D. I continued to work on person-centered models, but made the substantive shift to the field of travel behaviour. By extending person-centered models to include multiple moments in time (with the use of panel data), I now attempt to reveal people’s transition behaviour between (behavioural and attitudinal) mobility patterns over time.