The Role of Flight Shame in Air Travel Behaviour: How Travellers Adjust Attitudes and Behaviours to Cope with Cognitive Dissonance towards Flying: A Comparative Analysis between AFV Owners and Non-AFV Owners in Denmark

Francisco José Gomes Pereira & Lasse Starcke Larsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The concern to preserve the environment has become a major topic globally, where numerous attempts have been made to reduce carbon emissions in the transportation sector. While previous researchers investigated the social and psychological drivers of cognitive dissonance towards flying as well as motivations for adopting alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs), academia lacks the link between everyday mobility and leisure mobility choices—namely in order to understand a potential relationship from the type of vehicle ownership and the influence of cognitive dissonance towards flying to flying frequency. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to uncover how everyday green mobility choices are related to flying frequency for leisure and holiday purposes. More specifically, it investigates the direct relationship between cognitive dissonance towards flying and flying frequency as well as the indirect relationship between these going through the mediators of behavioural adjustment and attitude adjustment. Finally, a comparison is made between owners of alternative fuel vehicles and non-AFVs respectively to test for differences between the two groups.
In a survey-based quantitative data collection (n=472) conducted in Denmark, respondents were asked about their flying behaviour and type of vehicle ownership. Using structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM), data were analysed to test the before-mentioned relationships. Findings revealed that AFV owners experience higher levels of cognitive dissonance towards flying and fly less frequently than owners of non-AFVs. It was also found that owners of AFVs experience higher levels of behavioural adjustment, albeit lower levels of attitude adjustment compared to non-AFV owners. However, no difference was found in the way that the two consumer groups adjust their behaviour and attitude in order to reduce cognitive dissonance towards flying. Theoretical and managerial implications are proposed, and limitations and suggestions for future research are presented.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages126
SupervisorsSzilvia Gyimothy Mørup-Petersen