An Image of Electricity: Towards an Understanding of How People Perceive Electricity

  • Yoram Chisik
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6949)


Although an enormous amount of research effort has been devoted to understanding people’s energy consumption habits, visualizing their consumption and finding ways of motivating them towards more sustainable behaviours we are still in the dark with regards to people’s basic perception of electricity, their concept of what electricity is and their notion of the consumption rates of various electrical devices. In this study we have employed a sketching methodology to elicit people’s basic mental image of what electricity is, how they conceive of the electrical infrastructure in their home and which devices they think represent the largest drain on their wallets. Preliminary analysis of the results show that people do not have a clear mental model of electricity and tend to associate the size of the device and the duration of use with higher rates of consumption regardless of the type of device, the type of use it is put to and its actual consumption level.


Mental Model Electrical Consumption Light Bulb Electrical Device Wicked Problem 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoram Chisik
    • 1
  1. 1.Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute (M-ITI)University of MadeiraFunchalPortugal

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