To Save or Not to Save? Let Me Help You Out: Persuasive Effects of Smart Agent in Promoting Energy Conservation
In public places, people’s energy conservation decisions and behaviors are easily suppressed by contextual and/or personal factors. To perform and maintain energy-saving behaviors, people need to be empowered both externally and internally. This research explored how a smart agent could help. The first study revealed that when a smart agent empowered people externally by offering help, people would be more active and resolute in decision-making and more likely to save energy, while some would be unaffected and decide to use energy. The second study found that the acknowledgement of behavioral impact could significantly facilitate people’s evaluation processes and enhance their self-efficacy, but such effects would be moderated by the time cost of a task, which was proved positively correlated with the perceived task difficulty. Both theoretical and practical implications for energy conservation were discussed, and six guidelines for smart agent design were proposed.
KeywordsEnergy conservation Self-efficacy Persuasive agent Empowerment Behavioral impact
The authors would like to acknowledge the sponsorship provided by the National Natural Science Foundation China grant 71188001.
- Bandura, A.: Self-referent thought: a developmental analysis of self-efficacy. In: Social Cognitive Development: Frontiers and Possible Futures, pp. 200–239 (1981)Google Scholar
- Coyle, D., Moore, J., Kristensson, P.O., Fletcher, P., Blackwell, A.: I did that!: measuring users’ experience of agency in their own actions. In: Proceedings of the 2012 ACM Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 2025–2034. ACM (2012)Google Scholar
- H’Mida, S., Chávez, E., Guindon, C.: Determinant of pro-environmental behaviors within individual consumers. J. Econ. Lit. Classif. M 31, 1–12 (2008)Google Scholar
- Hargreaves, T., Nye, M., Burgess, J.: Making energy visible: a qualitative field study of how householders interact with feedback from smart energy monitors. Socio-Econ. Trans. Towards Hydrogen Econ. – Find. Eur. Res. Regul. Pap. 38(10), 6111–6119 (2010). doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2010.05.068 Google Scholar
- Pierce, J., Paulos, E.: Beyond energy monitors: interaction, energy, and emerging energy systems. In: Proceedings of the 2012 ACM Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 665–674. ACM (2012)Google Scholar
- Xiao, B., Benbasat, I.: E-commerce product recommendation agents: use, characteristics, and impact. MIS Q. 31(2), 137–209 (2007)Google Scholar