Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Operational Sciences

First Advisor

Seong-Jong Joo, PhD


The US Department of Defense is the largest institutional petroleum consumer in the world. In addition to the financial cost of petroleum-based fuels, the US DoD generates more CO2-equivalent greenhouse gases than the entirety of modern, industrialized nations like Sweden and Norway. Other dangers and externalities arise from the fuels supply chain, like toxin risks to fuel handlers, and human costs to transport fuel in-theater. Within the DoD, the USAF alone often rivals or exceeds the consumption of all other services combined. While the USAF prefers technical, hardware-based solutions to problems, and has given increasing attention to logistical solutions like route planning and aircraft mix optimization, very little research both in and out of the military looks into the impact of human decision making on fuel consumption. Industrial/organizational psychology, or “IO Psych,” is a growing field in the civilian world. This project applies IO psychometric measurements to investigate the variability within fuel consumption stemming from the choices that human operators make. Three studies are presented, revolving around this common theme. These studies are based on the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), a behavioral science model emphasizing the kind of deliberate, informed decision making. The first study using meta-analysis indicates the TPB model strongly predicts fuel-efficient behavior. The second study examines car drivers’ eco-friendly behavior. The results of the second study are congruent with the findings of the first study. The third study investigates the ecofriendly behaviors of military cargo pilots in the Air Force. Survey responses were collected from the population of 62 active duty, reserve, and Guard cargo airlift pilots flying the C-130, C-17, and C-5 platforms who flew a combined 477 cargo sorties within the measurement period. The pilots’ responses were compared against a measure of fuel consumption corrected for change to cargo weight. The results of this study indicate that the link between intention and behavior is weak.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number