• Ruth Gibson

  • Theme:Transport, Behaviour and Society
  • Project:The role of epistemic emotions in the adoption of new transportation technologies (e.g., e-bikes)
  • Supervisor: Malgorzata Gosia ,Lorraine Whitmarsh
  • The Gorgon's Head - Bath University Logo
Photo of Ruth Gibson


Ruth graduated from the University of Bath in 2020 with a BSc in psychology. She then went on to work as a graduate teaching assistant in psychology at the University of Gloucestershire. She has recently submitted her MSc by research, which used a systematic review to understand the social status signals of pro-environmental behaviour. Ruth is excited to apply her knowledge of social and environmental psychology to the automotive industry within AAPS, while broadening her understanding of the industry. 


  • I grew up on the Isle of Wight.
  • I read over 50 books last year.
  • My summer job as a teenager involved dressing up as a t-rex.

The role of epistemic emotions in the adoption of new transportation technologies (e.g., e-bikes)

To what extent do epistemic emotions (e.g., awe, curiosity, surprise, confusion) account for people’s willingness to adopt e-bikes? This psychology project will track people who try a pedal assist e-bike for the first time (e.g., test-ride in a bike shop or a govt. subsidised free e-bike loan scheme). Ruth will measure a range of psychological and environmental variables and quantify which of those variables are most important for successful e-bike adoption.

In the main study for Ruth's project epistemic emotions and lease/purchase intentions will be measured before the test ride, directly after and then 3, 6 and 12 months after the e-bike trial. We anticipate that curiosity measured at the start of the study will be most strongly predictive of intentions to trial the bike. Another emotion, awe (e.g., at how the technology looks and works like a normal bike but allows to climb hills), will increase following trying out the bike, and will predict lease/purchase intentions and behaviour.

In addition to tracking the emotions that people feel while testing an e-bike we will also look at relevant demographic and attitudinal variables such as age, SES, mobility issues, cycling needs, infrastructure, perception of health and environmental benefits and cost saving (e.g., parking fees) as well as perceptions of social attitudes about e-bikes (e.g., e-bike shaming).

Ruth will help evaluate the role that trial schemes play in the adoption of e-bikes and will provide us with insights as to the conditions that need to be fulfilled for such schemes to be successful.

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