Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

behavioural change Related Abstracts

3 Smart Meters and In-Home Displays to Encourage Water Conservation through Behavioural Change

Authors: Julia Terlet, Thomas H. Beach, Yacine Rezgui

Abstract:

Urbanization, population growth, climate change and the current increase in water demand have made the adoption of innovative demand management strategies crucial to the water industry. Water conservation in urban areas has to be improved by encouraging consumers to adopt more sustainable habits and behaviours. This includes informing and educating them about their households’ water consumption and advising them about ways to achieve significant savings on a daily basis. This paper presents a study conducted in the context of the European FP7 WISDOM Project. By integrating innovative Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) frameworks, this project aims at achieving a change in water savings. More specifically, behavioural change will be attempted by implementing smart meters and in-home displays in a trial group of selected households within Cardiff (UK). Using this device, consumers will be able to receive feedback and information about their consumption but will also have the opportunity to compare their consumption to the consumption of other consumers and similar households. Following an initial survey, it appeared necessary to implement these in-home displays in a way that matches consumer's motivations to save water. The results demonstrated the importance of various factors influencing people’s daily water consumption. Both the relevant literature on the subject and the results of our survey therefore led us to include within the in-home device a variety of elements. It first appeared crucial to make consumers aware of the economic aspect of water conservation and especially of the significant financial savings that can be achieved by reducing their household’s water consumption on the long term. Likewise, reminding participants of the impact of their consumption on the environment by making them more aware of water scarcity issues around the world will help increasing their motivation to save water. Additionally, peer pressure and social comparisons with neighbours and other consumers, accentuated by the use of online social networks such as Facebook or Twitter, will likely encourage consumers to reduce their consumption. Participants will also be able to compare their current consumption to their past consumption and to observe the consequences of their efforts to save water through diverse graphs and charts. Finally, including a virtual water game within the display will help the whole household, children and adults, to achieve significant reductions by providing them with simple tips and advice to save water on a daily basis. Moreover, by setting daily and weekly goals for them to reach, the game will expectantly generate cooperation between family members. Members of each household will indeed be encouraged to work together to reduce their water consumption within different rooms of the house, such as the bathroom, the kitchen, or the toilets. Overall, this study will allow us to understand the elements that attract consumers the most and the features that are most commonly used by the participants. In this way, we intend to determine the main factors influencing water consumption in order to identify the measures that will most encourage water conservation in both the long and short term.

Keywords: Water Conservation, water consumption, behavioural change, ICT technologies

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2 Changing Behaviour in the Digital Era: A Concrete Use Case from the Domain of Health

Authors: Francesca Spagnoli, Shenja van der Graaf, Pieter Ballon

Abstract:

Humans do not behave rationally. We are emotional, easily influenced by others, as well as by our context. The study of human behaviour became a supreme endeavour within many academic disciplines, including economics, sociology, and clinical and social psychology. Understanding what motivates humans and triggers them to perform certain activities, and what it takes to change their behaviour, is central both for researchers and companies, as well as policy makers to implement efficient public policies. While numerous theoretical approaches for diverse domains such as health, retail, environment have been developed, the methodological models guiding the evaluation of such research have reached for a long time their limits. Within this context, digitisation, the Information and communication technologies (ICT) and wearable, the Internet of Things (IoT) connecting networks of devices, and new possibilities to collect and analyse massive amounts of data made it possible to study behaviour from a realistic perspective, as never before. Digital technologies make it possible to (1) capture data in real-life settings, (2) regain control over data by capturing the context of behaviour, and (3) analyse huge set of information through continuous measurement. Within this complex context, this paper describes a new framework for initiating behavioural change, capitalising on the digital developments in applied research projects and applicable both to academia, enterprises and policy makers. By applying this model, behavioural research can be conducted to address the issues of different domains, such as mobility, environment, health or media. The Modular Behavioural Analysis Approach (MBAA) is here described and firstly validated through a concrete use case within the domain of health. The results gathered have proven that disclosing information about health in connection with the use of digital apps for health, can be a leverage for changing behaviour, but it is only a first component requiring further follow-up actions. To this end, a clear definition of different 'behavioural profiles', towards which addressing several typologies of interventions, it is essential to effectively enable behavioural change. In the refined version of the MBAA a strong focus will rely on defining a methodology for shaping 'behavioural profiles' and related interventions, as well as the evaluation of side-effects on the creation of new business models and sustainability plans.

Keywords: Health, Sustainability, framework, behavioural change, nudging

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1 Change through Stillness: Mindfulness Meditation as an Intervention for Men with Self-Perceived Problematic Pornography Use

Authors: Luke Sniewski, Pante Farvid, Phil Carter, Rita Csako

Abstract:

Background and Aims: Self-Perceived Problematic Porn Use (SPPPU) refers to individuals who identify as or perceive themselves to be addicted to porn. These individuals feel they are unable to regulate their porn consumption and experience adverse consequences as a result of their use in everyday life. To the author’s best knowledge, this research represents the first study to intervene with pornography use with mindfulness meditation, and aims to investigate the experiences and challenges of men with SPPPU as they engage in a mindfulness meditation intervention. As meditation is commonly characterized by sitting and observing one’s internal experience with non-reaction and acceptance, the study’s principal hypothesis was that consistent practice of meditation would develop the participant’s capacity to respond to cravings, urges, and unwanted thoughts in less reactive, more productive ways. Method: This 12-mixed method research utilised Single Case Experimental Design (SCED) methodology, with a standard AB design. Each participant was randomly assigned to an initial baseline time period between 2 to 5 weeks before learning the meditation technique and practicing it for the remainder of the 12-week study. The pilot study included 3 participants, while the intervention study included 12. The meditation technique used for the study involved a 15-minute guided breathing exercise in the morning, along with a 15-minute guided concentration meditation in the evening. Results: At the time of submission, only pilot study results were available. Results from the pilot study indicate an improved capacity for self-awareness of the uncomfortable mental and emotional states that drove their participants’ pornography use. Statistically significant reductions were also observed in daily porn use, total weekly time spent viewing porn, as well as lowered Pornography Craving Questionnaire (PCQ) and Problematic Pornography Use Scale (PPUS) scores. Conclusion: Pilot study results suggest that meditation could serve as a complementary tool for health professionals to provide clients in conjunction with therapeutic interventions. Study limitations, directions for future research, and clinical implications to be discussed as well.

Keywords: Meditation, Mindfulness, behavioural change, pornography

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