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Why People Choose Cars, Even When Mass Transit Would Serve Them Better

The "car effect" explains why so many people choose to drive even when it's not in their best interest.
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People don't always make rational decisions. The entire field of behavioral economics, with all its colorfully named biases and heuristics, is based on our irrationality. If that's not enough to convince you, then let us remind you that Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is a thing.

Go ahead and add cars to the illogical list too. In an upcoming paper in Transport Policy, a group of Italian researchers report that people show an irrational bias toward automobiles — they call it the "car effect." Instead of considering all travel modes and choosing the one that saves the most time and money, people prefer to drive even when it's not the best objective option: