From Social Dynamics to Conflicts: Designing Mobile Technology to Motivate Energy-Saving Practices
With rising global temperature, solutions are needed to reduce the energy consumption of homes everywhere. In the United States, over one third of people choose to live with non-family housemates or roommates. Whereas there is significant research on motivating individuals and families to reduce energy use, studies into non-family households is sparse and underdeveloped. Adapting previous literature involving individuals and families, I have developed, evaluated, and iterated several mobile applications to understand 1) the energy practices in non-family households through the lens of social dynamics and conflicts, and 2) how these nuances can be leveraged to motivate energy-saving practices amongst non-family households. In particular, the first study looks at the influences of social dynamics on housemates’ energy-saving practices. The second study investigates how housemates evaluate each other’s energy behaviors. The third study examines the energy-related conflicts and its influences on housemates’ experiences. The fourth and last study discusses strategies on supporting energy-saving practices without conflicts. In sum, the four studies suggest that taking social dynamics and conflicts of energy consumption into considerations can be more successful to motivate energy conservation. For example, different approaches are required to motivate non-family households to reduce energy consumption, e.g. tailored mobile applications rather than solely collaboration-oriented applications. Implications and future directions are discussed.
Human-Computer Interaction; Information science; Energy Conflicts; Energy Conservation; Mobile Design; Social Dynamics; User Experience; Design
Fussell, Susan R.
Jung, Malte; Cosley, Daniel R.
Ph. D., Information Science
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis