Understanding Goal Setting Behavior in the Context of Energy Consumption Reduction

Abstract : Home energy use represents a significant proportion of total consumption. A growing research area is considering how to help everyday users consume less. However, simply determining how to best reduce consumption remains a challenging task for many users. Based on goal setting theory, this paper presents two lab studies (based on the presentation of detailed scenarios and the solicitation of goal selections for the individuals depicted) in order to better understand how users make such decisions. It reveals a preference for goals that are perceived to be easy and specific, rather than those known to be effective (e.g. those that reduce energy consumption) or generic. Goal setting theory suggests that easy goals lead to low levels of commitment and motivation, suggesting such choices may be doubly ineffective. Ultimately, this paper contributes to a better understanding of users’ goal selections and argues this is a prerequisite to effectively supporting users in reducing resource consumption.
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Michelle Scott, Mary Barreto, Filipe Quintal, Ian Oakley. Understanding Goal Setting Behavior in the Context of Energy Consumption Reduction. 13th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (INTERACT), Sep 2011, Lisbon, Portugal. pp.129-143, ⟨10.1007/978-3-642-23774-4_13⟩. ⟨hal-01590582⟩

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