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Physics Colloquium,"Public perceptions and biases related to energy consumption"

Event Type
Physics Department
141 Loomis Lab
Apr 10, 2013   4:00 pm  
Professor Shahzeen Attari, Indiana University
Originating Calendar
Physics - Colloquium

Understanding the relationship between human behavior and energy use is vital to decrease per capita energy consumption.  In this presentation, I summarize my recent study where participants reported their perceptions of energy consumption for a variety of household activities.  When asked for the single most effective strategy they could implement to conserve energy, most participants mentioned curtailment (e.g., turning off lights) rather than efficiency improvements (e.g., installing more efficient light bulbs), in contrast to experts' recommendations.  Participants had small overestimates for low-energy consuming activities and large underestimates for high-energy consuming activities.  My current research investigates biases in recommending energy conservation strategies'where individuals want to incorporate easier non-effective behaviors for themselves and want others to implement harder more-effective behaviors.  If time permits, I will also cover new lines of inquiry.

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