What Affects Emotional Well-Being during Travel? Identifying the Factors by Maximal Information Coefficient

Yongfeng Ma, Shuyan Chen, Aemal J. Khattak, Zheng Cao, Muhammad Zubair, Xue Han, Xiaojian Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Traveler emotional well-being as a specific domain of subjective well-being has attracted attention across the field of transportation. Studies on identifying factors of travel-related emotional well-being can help policy makers to formulate concrete strategies to improve travelers’ experiences and public health. This research used the Maximal Information Coefficient (MIC) to select important factors which have much influence on emotional well-being during travel. American Time Use Survey data collected in 2010, 2012, and 2013 were used in this study and 10 factors have been selected to illustrate the relationship with emotional well-being, including rest, weekly earnings, activity time for well-being, health, self-evaluation of activities, pain medication taken yesterday, travel purpose, travel duration, weekly working hours and age based on MIC values in Descending sort. Among these 10 selected features, 2 factors, travel purpose and travel duration, are related to travel contexts; the other factors are related to personal and social characteristics. It is found that an individual’s physical condition and self-evaluation of activities have much influence on travel-related emotional well-being, while traveling mode and interaction during travel have a relatively small impact on emotional well-being compared to other identified factors. This finding is different from previous research findings. The paper presents traffic strategies related to improving emotional well-being of travelers while traveling based on the findings from this research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4326
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022


  • emotional well-being
  • feature selection
  • maximal information coefficient
  • travel duration
  • travel purpose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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