Passenger reactions
and passenger actions:
improving public transport

User experience are emotion based opinions. Another option for interface improvement is psychology based passenger actions. The latter one proves to be more straightforward, objective, cheaper and more effective.

IntroductionThere are two strategies to improve public transport. First there is the passenger emotion based experience and reaction strategy. The methodology is asking the opinion of passengers. The second strategy is the psychology based passenger actions strategy. The methodology is analysing and observing passenger actions and performance. The theoretical basis for the comparison of these strategies is the methodology that is common practice in psychology ).
  For several years now one of the main problems of Dutch Public Transport is 1.5% passengers forgetting to check out after their trip. See tag cloud vergeten uit te checken. This page evaluates the passenger reaction strategy and the passenger action strategy for solving these kinds of problems.
1. What is passenger reaction?

The question to be answered in the call for papers of this conference is: How to evaluate user/customers reactions? In this paper the terminology used is: experience, participation, user co-creation and sound of the crowd. Why was the term passenger reaction chosen and not the more common term passenger experience? Is experience an unstable concept

Today experience is a common term Human behaviour can be driven by emotion or reason. There is a clear difference between physiological structures for emotion (limbic systems) and for reason (neo-cortex). To maintain this strong physiological basis for the role of the passenger in the design process, we suggest defining experience and reaction as an emotion based opinion.

Nietzsche studied experience 150 years ago. summarized his conclusion as: experience is … the tomb of a language that does not give life a voice. Experience might provide a standard bringing experience itself under discussion. Experience is subjective, based on emotion and consequently capricious. Therefore, it is difficult to use experience as a basis for rational actions.

Improving public transport

Consequently, a public transport company should not ask passengers their experience for rational actions as planning a trip or improving public transport. The public transport company should help the passenger to sort out his rational actions and his feelings.

An example would be to announce a delay as a consequence of the lower service reliability of the train the passenger has chosen. When the certainty of a service is presented, the passenger is the one taking the risk for a negative emotional experience (see Figure right).

openbaar vervoer-barometer beleving vragen

Certainty of time to departure

There are several ways to present certainty of time of departure. When certainty is presented, it is the passenger who takes the risk of a negative emotional experience caused by a delay.


There might be some philosophical discussions about the concept of experience. What is the answer of a more practical science as psychology? After carrying out an extensive study concluded that it is very difficult to specify the emotional experience. When humans explain their emotions, it is not sure that their analysis is correct.

Improving public transport

The consequence of this 'causal dis-attribution' is that a passenger might evaluate a train as being too dirty because his train has a delay. When a passenger evaluates trains as being too late he might do so because his train is dirty. The reaction of the passenger does not tell the transport company what to do: better train cleaning or longer driving times to reduce delays.


There are no useful answers of philosophy and psychology so far. What does natural science tell? Few will doubt there is a ’me’ that has experiences. The physiologist tried to find this me in the human brains.
Improving public transport

Unfortunately he did not find any physiological structure that could be attributed to experience. This makes it difficult to link experience to human hardware and to improve public transport
  Passenger experience research

In The Netherlands, measurement of passenger experience has been elaborated into the Dutch-Public-Transport-Barometer (DPT-barometer).

The DPT-barometer project does not define the concept of passenger experience but the way passenger experience is measured. A typical definition is: The Dutch-Public-Transport-Barometer-research is a national research project that establishes the opinion of public transport passengers on public (city and national) transport

This way of defining a psychological concept is a déjà vu for psychologists. The concept of intelligence is, even for psychologists, a very difficult one and sometimes is defined as: The numerical score of the test. Vroon (1980) analysed measurement of intelligence in a book with the subtitle: About the measurement of a myth and the political, social and educational consequences.
Improving public transport

  • Measurement of intelligence has a tradition of more than one century. The user experience debate started two decades ago As mentioned above, terminology is not stable yet.

  • The concept of intelligence easily can be made concrete asking knowledge facts and cognitive problems to solve. Making passenger experience more concrete proves to be more difficult as will be shown below.

  • Measurement of intelligence is restricted to a homogeneous scientific psychological community. The term user experience is used in an interdisciplinary practical environment. This makes the debate more difficult.
  • The concept of passenger experience might be too vague to pinpoint the results of research to improvements to public transport.

    Public transport is designed by managers, politicians and designers. Passenger reaction research also gives the passenger a voice. When a design concept is (1) a psychological concept, as user experience is; (2) implies psychological research methodology; as the establishment of passenger experience does, and (3) the concept has no basis in natural science as concluded. In that case there is no gravity to show that the psychological pie backed, will not fly.That allows managers, politicians, marketers and designers to fill in with their private psychological theories and interests. The absence of gravity is a recipe for confusion, will impair improving public transport and increase costs.

    To top.

    2. What is a passenger action?


    Action psychology can be based on the philosophy of dialectical materialism. Materialism means: concrete objects determine the development of human beings ( ).


    The psychological and more practical elaboration of the dialectical materialism is straightforward. There are motor, visual, verbal, memory and cognitive actions. An example is the actions needed to decide Take another coffee or run for the train? The total performance and the performance of the individual actions can be measured using objective measurements such as: time needed, error prone and goals efficient (costs, comfort, safety).


    The instruments for these actions are natural science based: the muscles for movement, the eye for perception, the parts of the brains performing language, memory and thinking functions.
    Passenger action research

    There is not much action research in Western psychology. It's basis, dialectical materialism, is also used as the basis for communism. Scientists don't want to be associated with communism. Nevertheless, passenger actions easily can be specified for objective detailed quantitative observations
    Improving public transport
    In the design of the DPT-chip-card the following actions were not considered and proved to cause serious problems.

  • The visual action of noticing check-out gates.

  • A verbal action of the interpretation of the word currently used: DPT-chip-card.

  • A working memory action: recall of the need for checking-out at the end of the trip.

  • Cognitive actions such as understanding that the passenger should check per company.

  • Below it will be shown that analysis of these actions straightforwardly will specify the best public transport system.
    To top.

    3. Passenger action versus passenger reaction

    Knowledge on the behaviour of humans is sound when the concepts have validity, are objective and reliable. There should be some kind of coherent top down structure (synthesis and analysis).

    On a practical level the knowledge should enable comparisons of hypotheses and designs. Finally, research should allow the development of standards.
      For the empirical basis and the public transport application of this comparison of research and design strategies in this article, two research projects are available.
  • The second research project available focused on the use of the Dutch National Public Transport electronic card (DPT-chip-card). The passenger has to check-in contact free by passing a pole. After check-out, the price of the trip is calculated. Dutch Parliament wanted to know the opinion of the passenger on one characteristic of the card: having to check-out and check-in again when changing transport company. In this investigation passenger experience and passenger actions both, were measured
  • To top.

    3.1 Objective knowledge

    Research data should be objective. Subjectivity in the results allows researchers, managers and politicians to select an interpretation that is compatible with their personal psychological theories and interests. In that case there still can be discussion on how to improve public transport.

    3.1.1 Objectivity in experience research

    Objectivity in experience research

    At the moment the DPT-barometer was developed, increasing crime was a political issue. When these kinds of influences are possible, the result are not objective from a methodological point of view


    Improving crime safety experience in public transport

    When, for whatever reason, crime safety experience in public transport should be improved, there are several options.


  • As crime risk in public transport is a popular subject in media and politics, the risk of a crime might be overestimated by passengers. Public transport should present criminological data showing that the risk of being a subject of a crime in public transport is low. Whatever the crime safety level is, the crime safety experience will decrease.

  • The Dutch public transport e-card is named: Public Transport-Chip-Card, stressing chip technology. It would be better to stress contactless technology used. When the passenger is informed about contactlessness, he can check in a safer way (see two Figures below). When the DPT-chip-card would communicate contactlessness and safe checking actions, as Nietzsche would say, it is the passenger who takes the risk of a negative emotional crime experience.

    The blue passenger checks with the DPT-chip-card still in his right pocket.
    Unfortunately for this tall passenger, card reader and his pocket are not at the same level.

    Source: Utrecht Central Station, HC-side, 2011.

    Passenger left is not using contactless properties of the DPT-chip-card system.
    With an open briefcase, an open brown wallet and focus on the operation of an e-device, this passenger is an easy target for pickpockets.

    Source: Utrecht Central Station, HC-side, 2011.

  • Asking: What is your opinion on public transport? by having 40% of the questions related to crime safety, associates crime with public transport, suggests there is a crime problem. After 5 years DPT-barometer, 6% of the total Dutch population might be aware of the safety problem because they filled in a DPT-barometer questionnaire.
  • Consequently, safety experience in public transport can be increased by not asking these questions.
  • It is politics and not some objective logic that determines which questions to ask. That opens the doors for subjectivity.

  • Some of the experience variables measured, can be measured using objective natural science based methodshtmem (number of vacant seats, dirt).

  • None of these above mentioned methods to improve crime safety experience suggested need passenger experience research data. Whatever the opinion of politicians and passenger is, public transport crime safety and experience will increase. All these methods together are cheaper and more effective then asking 6% of the Dutch population their experience on crime safety in public transport.

  • Several of the experience measurements in the DPT-barometer can be measured objective using natural science based variables. The investigator might not ask whether it was easy to find a seat and whether the train was clean but just count the number of vacant seats and the amount of dirt on the floor. Debating in media and politics the public transport manager easily can explain that the number of vacant seats is larger than it should be according to the concession.

    3.1.2 Objectivity in action research

    Objectivity in action research

    The focus of the DPT-chip-card-research was checking-out and in when changing company (see note *, below for an explanation). It is easy to see a passenger check-in and check-out when changing company. Unfortunately passengers not performing a check-out action while they should, can't be observed. Those passengers are the most interesting.

    Consequently, the experimenter asked a passenger, checking-out or checking-in at a change company gate (see the Figure right), for help: Excuse me, I arrived with that train (company 1), I want to continue with that train (company 2). Should I check again? In this way the experimenter is as close and as objective as he can come to the actions the passenger himself would perform when changing company. There is little doubt that passengers would lie and give another passenger deliberately wrong information.
    Two check gates and information boards for changing company
    A passenger from a NS train will pass these two poles when changing to Veolia. He should first check-out at the first NS pole and than check-in at the Veolia pole. Then he can proceed to the Veolia train at the right. The passenger should have a Veolia ticket on his DPT-chip-card.

    Source: Nijmegen Central Station, 2011.
    Note *)

    Check systems for national Public Transport cards.

    Checking per trip:
    Check-in entering the first vehicle, change to any type of vehicle or company, check-out when leaving the last vehicle.

    Checking per vehicle:
    Check-in entering any vehicle and check-out leaving that vehicle. When changing underground train of the same company you have to check-out and to check-in when changing trains.
    Checking per modus:
    Check-in entering the first vehicle e.g. a train, change any train without checking, check-out when leaving the last train and ending trip of entering other type of vehicle, e.g. bus. This is applicable in a straightforward national system, e.g. long distance is trains only and short distance is busses only. However, in The Netherlands there are short distance trains and long distance busses.

    Checking per company
    Check-in entering the first vehicle, check-out at the end of the trip or when changing transport company.

    Complicated company structures and concessions will result in combinations of these systems.
      Improving checking per company actions

    63% (n=191) of the experienced DPT-chip-card passengers gave the correct answer on the company change question. 0.23% (2 110 000 each year) of all Dutch public transport trips will be a company change without a company change check. These results suggested the investigators to analyse how changing per company was presented to the passengers.

    The improvement suggested was: do not give the passengers incorrect information on checking (e.g. checking per company is not needed). See pictures at the right. The objectivity of this suggestion for improvement can be established with the examples at the right and one below.

    The conclusion is that the checking action can be observed in an objective way and that the observations indicated how to improve public transport without asking the passenger any opinion.

    Check-in and check-out always.
    This is incorrect, passengers should check-out and in again only when changing company.

    Source: RET, Rotterdam Metro.

    Traveling with one card for tram, train, bus and metro.
    Suggesting checking per trip, not informing checking per company.

    The DPT-chipcard-logo also suggest checking per trip. It shows six changes and only one check in and one check out.
      This bus shows a DPT-chip-card:
    Amersfoort, Soestdijk, Den Dolder, Austerlitz, De Bilt, Utrecht, to Rhenen.
    On the top of the bus only one check-in and only one check-out is shown (checking per trip).
    This trip requires 2 changes of companies, i.e. 3 check-ins and 3 check-outs.
    There might be a need for more checks for this trip when changing bus within company requires checking.

    Source: a bus of Utrecht city transport with a national DPT-chip-card advertisement, 2011.
    To top.

    3.2 Synthesis and analysis

    A system is a synthesis of general knowledge of the disciplines of design, public transport, psychology, marketing and management. This theory is elaborated into the details of the system design. There should be in between consistency in the theory of the disciplines and the model of the system. There should be downward consistency in the details of the systems. Research data should give insight in the total system consistency.

    3.2.1 Reaction research

    Analysis of experience data

    The psychologist Frijda (1988) concluded: it is difficult to analyse emotional experience. This also is the conclusion of

    analysing DPT-barometer-research. As mentioned above, trains can be evaluated as dirty, just because they are late.

    The theoretical conclusion might be that experience data do not give insight in the total system consistency and, consequently can not be used to improve public transport.

    Improving DPT-chip-card experience with reaction research analysis

    The DPT-barometer (2010) measures a 6,8 (min.0, max. 10) for the userfriendlyness experience of passengers for the DPT-chip-card. The DPT-barometer provides an analysis of this figure: 7,1 for Rotterdam and 6,8 for Amsterdam.

    How to improve public transport and the DPT-chip-card with these empirical experience data? Dutch public opinion might suggest: This is not new knowledge. Rotterdammers are workers and Amsterdammers are complainers, so don't change the DPT-chip-card but change the character of passengers in Amsterdam.

    This analysis of empirical experience data supports the theoretical conclusion that experience data does not show a straightforward way to improve public transport.


    3.2.2 Action research

    Passengers perform detailed actions with public transport system using their general psychological functions (perception, language, memory and thinking). Checking-out with the new DPT-chip-card is a working memory action. Basic psychological knowledge predicts that passengers will forget to check-out. There are several reasons for this prediction.


    Analysis of checking-out actions

  • For check-out, working memory actions are required and working memory capacity is limited (7+/-2) For passengers this capacity is reduced by other information requiring working memory space (Travel information: departure time and platform number, where to change. Non travel information: what to buy, calls to make.).

    There also might be stress because passengers have the impression there are always problems when traveling with public transport and politicians and media tell passengers that there is a high risk to become a victim of a crime. Stress reduces working memory capacity.

  • Checking-out is an explicit finishing act where the passenger does not perform a finishing act. Not performing a finishing act proved to be 15% of programming errors (see the figure at the right). Computers force users to end their input by presenting the next step only after the OK button of the window has been pressed.

    For the passenger the situation is more complicated as there also might be incompatibility between the time and position of trip end of the passenger (leaving the vehicle) and the DPT-chip-card system (entering a shopping mall, when leaving the station). In public transport spaces, many perceptual designs try to enter passengers working memory.

  • End check

    The program checks if a statement is closed. When no closing is found, the colour of the all the remaining code is light blue. This is an aide de mémoire for the programmer: After this point a closure is missing. The error made is a missing end quote at the end of line 3.

    Source: Dreamweaver

  • Working memory load can be reduced by consistency. While driving a car the knowledge: middle brake pedal is for braking is not in your working memory but in your feet. Check-out is a new uncommon action in a sequence of old automatic ending actions of a public transport trip. Introducing a check-out for a public transport trip is like swapping brake pedal and accelerator.
  •     Introducing a check when changing company, is like swapping brake pedal and accelerator in some car brands only. In that case automation of the action is not possible.
    From this theoretical working memory action analysis, it can be concluded that public transport systems should not impose a load on working memory.
      Research data of checking-out actions


    In the DTP-chip-card research, forgetting the last check-out was not investigated. That was not the focus of the research project and that also difficult to establish. But there are some indications.

  • A tag cloud on the home page of Netherlands Railways shows that the main problem for Railways passengers is forgetting to check-out (see Figure right).

  • DTP-chip-card reaction research unveils that 41% of the DTP-chip-card passengers is afraid to forget to check-out.
  • Netherlands Railways home page
    The largest tag cloud item “Forget to check-check-out” (Vergeten uit te checken).

    Source:, 2011.

      These empirical observations support the conclusion suggested by the theoretical action analysis that public transport systems should not impose a load on working memory.
      Improving DTP-chip-card by giving aide de mémoires
      When the passenger knows and understands that checking per company is needed, there still is a need for memory actions. He should recall that information at the right time and the right moment. As suggested above, this might be a problem because of the unreliability of human working memory. So the system should provide aide de mémoires to reduce passengers forgetting checking when changing company.

  • When a passenger changes company and he does not check-out at the first company but does check-in at the second company, the second company's gate says: Beep, have a nice trip subscription. The DPT-chip-card system should not accept bi-location and say: Beep, beep, beep, please check-out at first company's gate first.
  • The DPT-chip-card system can guess which companies were involved when the passenger did not check per company. The e-system could calculate the most likely fee and inform the passenger, e.g. by email.

  • The conclusion is that there is consistency between general theory on working memory actions, details of the empirical data and detailed suggestions low-costs improvements of the DPT-chip-card system. The details of the current system are not consistent with working memory theoretical and empirical data.
    To top.

    3.3 Reliability

    A measurement is reliable when two measurements of the same object give the same results (De Groot 1969). Asking the same question twice the two answers should be the same.


    3.3.1 Reaction research

    A questionnaire is an important instrument in user experience research. The user gives his opinion filling in multiple choice questions. Such a list on paper, in a handheld, or on the Internet is an efficient method to obtain a large number of data. The large numbers of subjects interviewed increase reliability and statistical significance. When no human experimenter is present this also increases reliability because there are no experimenter effects such as a male subject being nice to a beautiful lady experimenter. Another advantage is that anybody can make a questionnaire.

         There are some disadvantages.

  • A disadvantage is that making a questionnaire is difficult and

  • Another disadvantage is that psychological (intelligence) tests and personality questionnaires measure characteristics that remain stable over many years. This allows the development of reliable and robust tests. Public transport, however, is not stable and changing, e.g. by introducing e-ticketing and privatisation. There is no time for the development of robust tests and once the tests might be stable and robust, public transport is changed somehow.
  •  Reliability in the DPT-barometer

    An example of such an easy question in the DPT-barometer is: 1. Was it difficult for you to find a seat after boarding? (see Figure right). When repeated, the question might measure different variables, such as number of seats vacant, driving style of the driver, physical condition of the passenger and interactions between these determinants, e.g. does the driver change his driving style when an old lady still is searching for a seat?

    openbaar vervoer-barometer beleving vragen

    DPT-barometer “1. Was it difficult to find a seat after boarding?”

    Improving public transport with reactions on seat finding questions

    The conclusion is that the finding seat question is not reliable. When the finding a seat score is low, the company does not know how to improve it's score: more seats, driver education or changing the interior of the busses.

    To top.

    3.3.2 Action research

    In action research the user does not give opinions but performs tasks. The reliability does not come from the large number of subjects and the standard procedure but from the quality of the observations. The experimenter should be familiar with the problem investigated, be able to do relevant observations and ask more questions to figure out what exactly the passenger is thinking (Assuming he is thinking something.).

    During the investigation he might change the questions to get more insight in passenger thinking. The more complex a system is and the more cognitive actions are involved, e.g. as in a DPT-chip-card, the more appropriate this qualitative action research methodology is.
      Action research DPT-barometer, seat question

    When the question is: 1. Was it difficult for you to find a seat when boarding? with No for an answer, the reaction experimenter will ask the next question: 2. What is the cleanliness of this vehicle?.

    The action experimenter will not go to the next question but might ask: Difficult to find a seat? You are the only passenger in this bus! Then the passenger might answer: I always sit in the rear of the bus. When leaving the bus, I'm more close to my destination. But the driver was in a hurry and it took me three stops to get to my seat.

    Improving public transport with seat finding reactions

    Such one answer provoked by a smart extra question of the action experimenter unveils several options for improvement of public transport.

  • Drivers should be instructed to drive more carefully when passengers still are searching for a seat.

  • Travel planners should indicate what is closer to the destination of the passenger; the front or the rear of the vehicle. In the case of long trains this can reduce travel time several minutes.
  •   Action research, DPT-chip-card checking per company

    In the DPT-chip-card-research the instructions for the experimenters was: Observe if the passengers checks (i.e. out and in as well) at a typical change company gate. It was observed that some passengers checked only once. However, checking once means: not changing company but checking-in or out for a one company trip. The gate observed was not in a route for one company passengers. Initially this went unnoticed because the experimenters had difficulty understanding the changing per company system as well. After discussion, it was decided to observe this in more detail.

    It turned out that 18% (n=197) of the passengers thought that when changing company checking-out at the first company was not needed because the modern e-system would be so smart to understand that checking-in at company 2 meant checking-out at company 1.

    Other interesting cognitive actions that were unveiled by the smart action experimenters are:
  • Always check, then you never make errors. Correct, you don' make errors but it makes traveling much more expensive because the passenger will pay two entrance fees.

  • Don't check when changing, longer trips are cheaper. Correct, when you travel with one company. Not correct, when changing company.

  • Yes, check-out and in when changing company, but wait three minutes before checking out. Not correct. You should wait three minutes when you checked in, but changed your mind, does not make the trip but want to leave the station again.

  • Only check-out when leaving the station. Correct when traveling with NS only. However, non-NS trains call at NS-stations and even NS-platforms.

  • There are two gates here to facilitate checking when two passengers travel together. Wrong answer. You need two gates when changing transport company.
  •   Improving public transport with changing company check actions

    These are actions of experienced DPT-chip-card users who have been thinking about how the system works. In most cases they were very helpful explaining fellow passengers (i.e. the experimenter) the results of their clever but in several cases incorrect analyses.
    It is suggested that the total of not anticipated and incorrect cognitive actions unveiled by the empirical action analysis, provide a reliable mental model of the passenger. That model does not match the check per company model of the system. The empirical action analysis suggests that the system is too complex for passengers.
    To top.

    3.4 Comparison

    Establishing the quantitative difference between two piles of blocks is a milestone in human cognitive development

    Predicting which experimental condition will score higher improves theoretical knowledge
    Predicting which public transport design will give better passenger performance will improve public transport. Presenting two public transport improvement strategies, as in this article, should improve the discussion on how to improve public transport.

    3.4.1 DPT-barometer comparisons

      The DPT-barometer compares months

    The DPT-barometer brakes the data down per month and per company (see Figure right).
    The DPT-barometer enables comparisons of formal properties such as company and month.
      Improving public transport with brake downs per month and per company
    There are many differences between the months of the year. In December there are more delays because of bad weather and in June there are more free seats because of holidays. How to improve public transport knowing that passenger experience in June is higher than passenger experience in December? These conditions might be unknown to the experimenter and out of control of the experimenter. This makes it difficult to attribute passenger opinion to changes in public transport, e.g. a new system, a new concession or a new manager.There are many differences between transport companies. The conditions of the concession are different, there are differences in the infrastructure and the schedule. How to interpret delays of a high frequent closed public transport system like an underground with a low frequent open public transport system having many accident prone level crossings?

    The conclusion is that the comparisons offered by the DPT-barometer do not improve public transport.

    3.4.2 DPT-chip-card-action-research comparisons

    The DPT-chip-card-research compares payment systems

    The Dutch Parliament requested for the establishment of passenger opinion on check per company only. The DPT-chip-card system to be evaluated, was compared with similar systems.

  • The interfaces of the current company driven DPT-chip-card was compared with interfaces of a passenger driven system DPT-chip-card system. Examples of such system were developed by the DPT-chip-card-research team.

  • All passengers know the paper train tickets from the current Netherlands Railways train ticket vending machine.39% of the experienced DPT-chip-card passengers report, they expect more problems in the train when using the DPT-chip-card than using a paper ticket from the train ticket vending machine (n=1044).
  • The old DPT-paper-short-distance-strip-card is a multiple trips card. For every trip some strips are validated by stamping (see Figure right). 28% expects more problems with the DPT-chip-card (n=1044).
  • The old DPT-paper-short-distance-strip-card
      Improving public transport comparing opinions

    It is concluded that these passenger comparisons provide more insight in the DPT-chip-card passenger experience than evaluations without comparison and than evaluations comparing months and transport companies.

    To top.

    3.5 Standards

    Norms and standards facilitate the growth of knowledge and the quality of the design process.

    The DPT-barometer provides norms for management

    The DPT-barometer delivers a number between 0 and 10. In Dutch public transport this number is used as a standard for payment of the concession and the bonus of management (Bruyn & Gemke, 2009). The life cycle of management and a concession might be shorter than the life cycle of public transport systems. It might be concluded that this type of standards does not improve public transport. This short term/long term inconsistency weakens the validity of the DPT-barometer standard for improving public transport.

      Action research provides norms for passengers
    Based on the working memory action analysis above it should be a standard that public transport systems do not impose a load on passenger working memory.
    Therefor, in train stations it is common practice to repeat information on departure time and platform number of trains at each decision point in the route of the passenger.
    The DPT-chip-card aCompatibility languages the suggested working memory load standard, by requiring a check-out where the system cannot give an aide de mémoire and by requiring an intermediate checks when changing company. It is concluded that maintaining this standard in the DPT-chip-card the checking per company might not have been accepted. When, nevertheless checking per company is implemented, consciously abusing the standard should at least have been compensated by system support for working memory load.
    To top.

    3.6 Validity

    Above content validity of the concept experience was discussed on a theoretical level. This paragraph discusses DPT-barometer-research and the DPT-chip-card-research validation on a more empirical level, i.e. does an item of the test measure the total concept?

    3.6.1 Reaction research

    40% of the questions in the DPT-barometer of 2009 are about crime safety. In the graphical presentation the area for crime safety is approximately 33% (see the Figure right). This might be considered as over proportional.

    Crime safety and public transport are independent concepts. When crime safety and public transport are in one question there is an unknown interaction effect. To control this effect there should have been a question like: What is your crime experience in general?

    Graphical presentation of the DPT-barometer
    The lowest bar is for safety (general, trip, bus stop).
    The departure information area is red.

    Source:, 2009.
      Improving public transport with crime experience data
    Mixing crime safety with public transport means that transport companies might improve public transport crime safety experience by having more police officers on the street. When the government raises the budget for police officers, the DTP-barometer will rise.

    One of the questions in the DPT-barometer is: 20. How safe do you feel in public transport? The implicit interpretation of the researchers is: How large is the risk to be a subject of a crime in public transport? The interpretation of the passenger might be: How large is the risk of traffic accident in public transport?

    The conclusion is that just the word safe is not valid. One of the consequences of not knowing what is measured is that the data do not show how to improve public transport: with crime fighting or with accident reduction?


    3.6.2 Passenger action research

    The materialistic basis and the elaboration in material, perceptual, language, memory and thinking actions with public transport systems ensures construct validity. Actions can be based on physiology.

    The DPT-chip-card-research gives insight

    8% of the experienced DPT-chip-card passengers know you have to check per company (n=562,

    Other passengers think they know but have the wrong concept. Most of them think you need to check-in and out when changing vehicle (43%), changing vehicle type (bus - train) (38%) or per trip (6%). These empirical result give more insight in the problem than a DPT-barometer score of 6,8 (in 2010) for the DPT-chip-card.
    Improving public transport with action research data

    The general conclusion that the passenger action analyses unveiled is that the DPT-chip-card is valid as a company and technology driven strategy only (Kassenberg & Verhoef, 2011). The passenger does not exist.

    To top.

    4. Discussion

    This article applied some basic methodological research requirements to reaction research and action research. It analysed how these research and design strategies can improve the design of public transport system. Action research gave insight in how the passenger deal with a complex system as a public transport e-card-payment system. The insight can be used to improve the system. In numbers:
    If less than 8% of the experienced DPT-chip-card passengers understands the system, what is the value of the passenger experience 6.8 DPT-barometer score (min. 0, max 10) for the DPT-chip-card?
    In practice:
    Shouldn't the question in the DPT-barometer have been: Dear passenger. To maintain the traditional paper fare system of each individual company the DPT-chip-card is company based. As 92% of all passengers, including you probably will not understand the system. When you do, you will forget now and then checking when changing company. When you do so, you will get one or two fines per trip. The fines reduce your balance but your are not informed of that. Please, what is your opinion on DPT-chip-card?
    To top.
    To top.


    Baddeley, A. , (1987). Working memory Oxford psychology series no. 11. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

    Bedny, G. , (2001). Activity theory. Vol. I, pag. 358-362. Karwowski, W. International Encyclopedia of Ergonomics and Human Factors.

    Beek, P. Van , (2009). Waardering door de klant. En dan? KPVV. Oog voor de reiziger. no 11 september 2009.

    Bruyn, M. De & Gemke, J. , (2009). Het meethuis Naar een nieuw systeem van klanttevredenheidsmetingen. KPVV. Oog voor de reiziger. no 11 september 2009.

    Drenth, P.J.D. , (1968). De psychologische test. Een inleiding in de theorie van de psychologische test en zijn toepassingen. Van Loghum Slaterus. Arnhem.

    Eerde, H.A.A. van Eerde, & Verhoef, L.W.M. , (1978). Het leren optellen en aftrekken op de basisschool Pedagogische Studiën, vol. 55, pag. 354 - 367.

    Ericsson, K.ACompatibility languages & Simon, H.A. , (1980). Verbal Reports as Data Psychological Review. Vol. 87, no 3 pag. 215-251.

    Ericsson, K.ACompatibility languages & Simon, H.A. , (1984). Protocol analysis Verbal reports as data. Cambridge Mass: The MIT Press.

    Frijda, N.H. , (1988). De emoties Een overzicht van onderzoek en theorie. Amsterdam: Bert Bakker.

    Groot, A.D. de , (1961). Methodologie Grondslagen van onderzoeken en denken in de gedragswetenschappen. 's-Gravenhage: Mouton, & Co.

    Haenen, J. , (1998). Piotr Galperin: Psychologist in Vygotsky’s Footsteps Culture & Psychology. Vol. 4, no 4 pag. 501-506, .

    Kaplan, A. , (1964). The conduct of inquiry Methodology for Behavioral Science. San Francisco: Chandler Publishing Company.

    Miller, G.A. , (1956). The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information. The Psychological Review, vol. 63, pag. 81-97.

    Norman, DCompatibility languages Miller, J. & Henderson, A. , (1995). What You See, Some of What's in the Future, And How We Go About Doing It Proceedings of CHI 1995, Denver, Colorado, USA HI at Apple Computer.Proceedings of CHI 1995, Denver, Colorado, USA.

    Piaget, J. , (1969). Zes psychologische studies Deventer: Van Loghum Slaterus.

    Riemsdijk, J. van , (2002). Het lied van de neuronen naar een biofilosofisch model. Kampen: Klement.

    Robins, R.WCompatibility languages Fraley, R.C. & Krueger, R.FCompatibility languages (2007). Handbook of Research Methods in Psychology Psychology. New York The Guildford Press

    Visser, G. , (1998). De druk van de beleving Filosofie en kunst in een domein van overgang en ondergang. Nijmegen: Sun.

    Vroon, P. , (1980). Intelligentie Over het meten van een mythe en de politieke, sociale en onderwijskundige gevolgen. Baarn: Ambo.

    Wertsch, J.V.W. , (1981). The concept of activity in Sovjet Psychology New York M.E.: Sharpe Inc.

    Zinchenko, V.PCompatibility languages & Gordon, V.M. , (1981). Methodological Problems in the Psychological Analysis of Activity pag. 72-133. Wertsch The concept of activity in Sovjet Psychology.

    To top.

    More applied cognitive psychology for public design:

    Public infowayfinding signing

    Public infohistory futur train and public transport ticket vending machines

    Public infopublic transport space structure wayfinding signposting

    Public infodesign company logo icon pictogram

    Public infodesign company logo aegon icon pictogram

    Public infosignposting wayfinding signing arrows

    Public infopublic transport space structure wayfinding signposting

    Public infopublic transport space structure wayfinding signposting

    Public infowayfinding signposting signing

    Public info public transporttrain ticket vending machines

    Public info public transportNaming public transport lines for passengers

    Public info public transportpublic transport information on dynamic panels

    Public info public transport ovchipuser experience questionaire research

    Public info road trafficTom Tom infographics car navigation

    Public info road trafficother train accidents level crossings

    Public info road trafficNaming ring roads

    Public info road trafficcar park indicators

    Public info road trafficwrong way driving traffic signs

    Public info waterwaypictogram muster station assemply point IMO ferry signing

    Public infobewegwijzering borden icons pictogrammen verdwalen

    Public infocovid-19, corona

    Public infoleren verkeersborden toekomst rijexamen psychologie

    Public info public transportcompany identity en marketing versus noodzakelijke reizigers informatie

    Public info public transportmarketing company identity

    Public info public transport

    Public info public transportdelay announcement departure public transport dynamic indicator

    Public info public transportpublic transport dynamic indicators history future

    Public info public transportpublic transport dynamic indicators history future

    Public info public transporticonen pictogram beelden op verkoopautomaten

    Public info public transportopenbaar vervoer vertrektijden dynamische panelen vertraging verstoring

    Public info public transport ovchipov-chipkaart in-checken out-checken

    Public info public transport ovchipov-chipkaart check-out check-in

    Public info road traffictom tom navigatie auto planning

    Public info road trafficverkeer vrachtwagen tachograaf rijtijden

    Public info road trafficleren verkeersborden toekomst rijexamen psychologie

    Public info waterwayvaarweg verkeersborden aanleggen watersport

    Toekomst geldparkeren betalen elektronisch toekomst parkeerautomaat road traffic

    To top.

    More applied cognitive psychology for design, other than public


    x Invoer Morsesleutel Toekomst        multidimensionaal graphic   

    Public design

     NS treinkaart automaat b100 betalen openbaar vervoer NS treinkaart automaat b8060 betalen openbaar vervoer  IMO international maritime organisation muster station sign plattegrond IKEA water vaar verkeersbord maximaal hoogte water vaar verkeersbord maximaal drie dik aanleggen water vaar verkeersbord maximale doorvaart hoogte 3 meter experimenteel vertrektijden bord openbaar vervoer structuur openbare ruimten experimenteel vertrektijden bord openbaar vervoer atb etcs snelheidsbeheersing aandacht trekken water vaar verkeersbord verboden aanleggen water vaar verkeersbord maximale hoogte water vaar verkeersbord verboden 3 dik aanleggen met meer schepen trein vertrektijd perron NS CTA OV openbaar vervoer betalen ov-chipkaart toekomst grafische bestemmingen lijst metro ondergrondse lijn  structuur hoefijzer winkelcentrum 

    Icon/sign design

      3-d, perspectief,drie-dimensionaal verkeersbord toekomst parkeerverbod verkeersbord toekomst verboden inhalen verkeersbord toekomst maximum snelheid bepaalde 


    helderheid voor betrouwbaarheid hersenen limgisch systeem en cortex aandacht trekken en aandacht sturen gebruik van de kleuren rood oranje en geel gevoeligheid van het oog voor kleuren humunculus mensmetafoor een mens in de zaadcel 

    Toekomst volgens psychologie


    Leren rekenen

    leren rekenen basisschool MAB rekenblokken toekomst onderwijs leren lezen leren rekenen supermarkt leren rekenen basisschool tellen op de vingers aftellen leren rekenen vleksom puntsom rekenonderwijs basisschool tientallig stelsel tellen op de vingers rekenonderwijs basisschool computer diagnostiek remedial teaching graphics for quantitative data next generation 

    Hogesnelheidstrein (ERMTS)

      ERMTS hoge snelheidstrein hsl ATB experimenteel interface voor machinist ERMTS high speed train control driver mmi ERMTS hoge snelheidstrein hsl ATB experimenteel interface voor achinist ERMTS hoge snelheidstrein hsl ATB experimenteel interface voor achinist 

    Wetenschappelijke verantwoording


    To top.

    Search in


    cognitive psychology,  interface design, mmi, usability, web page design

    +31 (653) 739 750
    Parkstraat 19
    3581 PB Utrecht
    Chamber of commerce number: 39057871, Utrecht.
    To top.