Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Ermagun, Alireza

Committee Member

Morshedlou, Nazanin

Committee Member

Vahedifard, Farshid

Committee Member

Song, Ying

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access



Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


The overarching goal of this dissertation is to examine the complex trip-, activity-, and personal-level factors impacting individuals’ well-being. This is achieved through fulfilling three research objectives. The first objective examines the fluctuation of happiness induced by the influences of daily trip and activity factors. The second objective examines the sensitivity of affective well-being to trip and activity duration. The third objective evaluates the gender differences in trip- and activity-induced well-being. Three notable findings are discerned using trip and activity episodes as well as self-reported well-being of 357 participants collected by the Daynamica smartphone application in Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area from October 17, 2016, to October 25, 2017. The first finding shows the daily happiness deviation is zero in 6% of the number of trip and activity episodes recorded in a day for all individuals. Trip-level factors associated with share of time spent on education, work, and traveling alone result in the largest happiness variability. The number of activities is the sole activity-level factor with positive influence on happiness variability. Personal level factor of gender results in a low happiness variability. The second finding indicates that positive affect is more sensitive to trip duration than negative affect. Among trip-level factors, the sensitivity of affective well-being during a trip is relatively weak when traveling by bike, bus, and rail; conducting discretionary trip purposes; traveling with spouse, family, children, and friends; conducting secondary activities while traveling; and being satisfied with the travel environment. Among personal-level factors, the sensitivity of affective well-being during a trip is relatively strong for women and African Americans. The third finding demonstrates that the top three factors yielding the highest magnitude of impact for females are associated with biking, trip destination associated with discretionary activities, and walking. The likelihood of gain to loss happiness is four times for male bikers and two and a half times for female bikers. Results of both discretionary and mandatory trip origins have the least magnitude of impact for both females and males. For personal-level factors, the magnitude of impact is low for African American females, and not significant for males.

Available for download on Tuesday, August 15, 2023