Disabled campaigners and their allies have called

first_imgDisabled campaigners and their allies have called on the transport secretary to restore “vital” government funding for projects to improve access to rail stations across England, Wales and Scotland.In a letter signed by more than 50 organisations, Transport for All (TfA) – which campaigns for an accessible transport system – calls on Chris Grayling to restore tens of millions of pounds of funding for the Access for All scheme that has been deferred by the government.The letter says that deferring half of all planned Access for All projects means that the “already slow progress on rail access has all but ground to a halt”.The decision by the chair of Network Rail – later rubber-stamped by Grayling – to cut Access for All funding for 2014-19 from £102 million to £55 million, with the rest carried over to 2019-24, was first revealed by Disability News Service last year.The letter has been sent as Grayling is due today (Thursday) to announce future levels of Network Rail funding, which TfA says provides an “opportunity to get things back on track”.But the department’s Accessibility Action Plan, published in August, pledges only that the government will deliver funding already announced – including the deferred funding – in full, and that it will “continue to seek to extend the Access for All programme further in the future”.The letter calls on Grayling to instead “invest in the potential of Deaf and disabled people” and reverse the decision to defer the Access for All funding, as well as commit to further Access for All funding after 2020 through “an ambitious long-term plan for making our railways fully accessible”.It tells Grayling that it is an “injustice” for Deaf, disabled and older people to be “locked out of our rail network”, and that accessible stations also benefit parents with buggies, dog-owners and people with luggage.The letter says government figures show that any money spent improving rail accessibility pays back nearly three times that amount in economic benefits, while an accessible station can mean “the difference between work and unemployment, a lifeline to friends and family or isolation”.The Transport for All letter has been signed by disabled people’s organisations including Inclusion London, Disability Sheffield, Ealing Centre for Independent Living, Kingston Centre for Independent Living, People First (Self Advocacy), Regard, Shaping Our Lives, Asian People’s Disability Alliance and Real.They say that nearly 80 per cent of rail stations across the UK do not have full step-free access, while many others do not have the other necessary access features such as tactile paving, audio-visual information and induction loops that enable Deaf and disabled people to use them.A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: “We take the issue of accessibility across all modes of transport very seriously and are continuing to improve station access through the Access for All programme and other major projects.“By 2019 at least 75 per cent of all journeys will be from stations with step-free access.“The Accessibility Action Plan is the next step in a much-needed dialogue with disabled people, carers, transport providers and local authorities to identify new ways to improve travel. “We also secured commitments from the rail industry earlier this year to help make journeys better for disabled people.”last_img read more

Rice U study Reflecting on possessions can curb peoples impulse buying

first_imgShareDavid [email protected] [email protected] U. study: Reflecting on possessions can curb people’s impulse buyingPractice provides a way of mentally ‘shopping the closet’ and quells desire to buy, experts findHOUSTON – (May 7, 2018) – Consumers who reflected on their recently used personal belongings experienced less desire for an unexpectedly encountered product, were less likely to buy impulsively and expressed a lower willingness to pay for new products, according to a new paper by marketing and consumer behavior experts at Rice University.Credit: 123RF.com/Rice University“Should I Buy This When I Have So Much? Reflection on Personal Possessions as an Anti-Consumption Strategy” advances the theory that the desire to consume, like willpower, may function as a limited motivational resource that becomes depleted upon reflecting about favored personal possessions and leaves less desire for subsequent shopping urges.The study was authored by Utpal Dholakia, the George R. Brown Professor of Marketing at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business, and Rice doctoral students Jihye Jung and Nivriti Chowdhry. It will appear in the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing later this year.“Reflection is about thinking deeply and remembering in detail how you used any one of your possessions recently,” Dholakia said. “In our research, we’ve found it helps if the reflected-upon possession is something functional, like a kitchen implement, a lawn mower or a wristwatch.”The researchers conducted four studies. One of them was an online survey that included 165 United States-based participants, with an average age of 37 and consisting of equal male and female participation. Participants were prompted to “describe your recent experience with a product. Specifically, we would like you to think of any product that you purchased, currently own and have used recently.”Two examples of participants’ reflections give a sense of the exercise:– “I have a pair of light Nike running shoes I used this morning. I bought them about a year ago for about $80. The reason I bought them was because my brother has a same pair which I tried on and really liked … I used them this morning to go for a run. I went for a run around the neighborhood for half an hour. I really like these shoes because they’re really light and they breathe easy. … Sometimes I use them at work since I do a lot of walking and they are so comfortable.” — 25-year-old male– “I just purchased a Kindle Fire. It is black. I can read books and access the internet. It opens a world of novelty to me. I read a book in bed and checked the weather this morning before even getting up. I spent about 45 mins. I also downloaded several apps. I was lying down and the ease of Kindle use allowed me to comfortably read without noise to wake up my partner.” — 29-year-old femaleThe study had two other conditions. One was a control condition in which participants didn’t do anything. In the other condition, participants formed a plan to use a possession they hadn’t recently used, which is a common situation many people face because they have so many things they haven’t used lately, the authors said.After this experimental manipulation, study participants were given five products: a cashmere sweater, a stainless steel watch, a coffee maker, a chair and a box of high-quality chocolates. For each item, participants indicated how much they were willing to pay (WTP) for it. The researchers calculated a WTP index for each participant by standardizing each item’s WTP and then adding the values.The researchers found that those who had reflected on using their possession recently had a much lower WTP for a basket of products than either the control or the plan conditions. The total WTP for the five items of those who reflected was $227, compared with $265 for the control group and $281 for the planning group. In other words, reflection about recently used possessions lowered the person’s willingness to pay for new items by about 14 percent compared with the control condition, the researchers found.The other three studies – online surveys including a total of 867 U.S.-based participants, with about equal gender representation — tested whether recalling the recent use of a personal possession would affect consumers’ desire for and likelihood of purchasing an item impulsively; investigated the moderating role of hedonic (pleasurable) versus utilitarian (practical) possessions in producing consumption desire depletion; and ruled out an alternative explanation for the moderating role of the type of possession.“The findings of these studies show that reflection about the recent use of one’s possessions provides an effective method to quell the shopping urge and to reduce consumption,” the authors wrote.For a copy of the study, go to https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3163924, or email [email protected] more information about and insights from Rice Business faculty research, visit the school’s Rice Business Wisdom website, http://ricebusinesswisdom.com.-30-Follow Rice Business via Twitter @Rice_Biz.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Related materials:Dholakia bio: https://business.rice.edu/person/utpal-dholakia. 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China may view Hong Kong protests as needing forceful and violent crackdown

first_imgShare1EXPERT ALERTJeff [email protected] may view Hong Kong protests as needing ‘forceful and violent crackdown,’ says Rice U. expertHOUSTON — (July 3, 2019) – What do protests in Hong Kong mean for its special status and the Chinese government? Rice University’s Steven Lewis, an expert on China, is available for interviews to discuss the rising tension.Credit: 123RF.com/Rice UniversityLewis, who is professor in the practice, research fellow at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and associate director at Rice’s Chao Center for Asian Studies, said the most recent protests in Hong Kong have surprised many with the superficially destructive and yet highly symbolic storming of the legislative chambers and some offices by young protestors in particular, and Beijing openly calling for accountability.“In previous years, the government has waited until smaller student protests have died down to declare them riots and then charged select youth as rioters,” Lewis said. “This time, the youth who defaced the legislative council chambers felt they had no choice but to resort to destruction in order to force the hand of the Hong Kong government to promise now to not declare the recent large mass protests peaceful. They are gambling that the government will back down and not charge them, or more much larger protests will follow.”Youth leaders in particular may feel they have no choice but to lash out, potentially alienating more conservative older members of society who are equally opposed to the new extradition law with the rest of the People’s Republic of China, Lewis said. “Meanwhile, Beijing may see this as an escalation of protest that demands a forceful and violent crackdown,” he said.To schedule an interview with Lewis, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at [email protected] or 713-348-6775.Rice University’s Baker Institute has a broadcast interview studio with a high-definition television uplink and an ISDN line for radio.-30-Related materials:Steven Lewis biography: www.bakerinstitute.org/experts/steven-w-lewisFollow Rice News and Media Relations on Twitter @RiceUNews.Follow the Baker Institute on Twitter @BakerInstitute.Image for download:www.bakerinstitute.org/media/files/expert/2ce6feb8/steve-lewis.jpgSteven Lewis image courtesy of Rice University’s Baker Institute.This news release can be found online at http://news.rice.edu.Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top three university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at www.bakerinstitute.org or on the institute’s blog, http://blog.bakerinstitute.org.    FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThislast_img read more