Identity signaling is a strong motivator for human behavior. We investigate whether we can nudge people to higher goals with regard to showering time reduction if they perceive a possibility to signal their green identity. In a fictional saving campaign by a utility company people saw a postcard displaying either a trendy or a non-mainstream greenie and the amount of effort (shower time reduction) that is associated with a certain reference saving goal. They chose their individual goal on the back side. We suggest that people who aim at signaling their identity choose higher goals when energy saving is associated with a non-mainstream greenie and medium effort in order to send clear identity signals to others. Our results confirm our hypotheses. Identity signaling therefore nudges people towards higher saving goals
For energy conservation purposes it is not sufficient to rely on energy efficient technology, energy savings also require changes of behavior and daily routines. However, ICT can play an important role in supporting behavior change. A first step to behavior change is to actively deal with one’s energy consumption. We present an interactive online application called aWattgarde which provides customers of an Austrian utility company with insights about their electricity consumption and with suggestions on how to reduce it. Customers are incentivized for reading their electricity meters and entering the readings online on a weekly basis. In this paper, we use aWattgarde as a tool to evaluate the effects of various motivational elements on usage. The evaluation bases on usage data of almost 7’000 customers who have been using the website for six months. In our evaluation we focused on different incentive systems as well as commitment- and infotainment strategies. We found that online applications that aim at motivating energy conservation should incorporate bonus points to reward desirable action immediately, commitment features to get people into a routine and using the application regularly and in the end should provide information in a playful and interactive way.
The paper presents a persuasive web application that stimulates residential energy conservation. The users of the application received consumption feedback that is based on electricity meter readings which they entered over a period of 6 months and which accounted for specific household characteristics. In a large scale field study which we conducted between April and September of 2010, 6’921 participants used the application. From a research perspective, the system allowed us to experimentally assess the effects of different socio-psychological concepts with regard to different measures such as popularity, choice, and energy conservation. The large user base and the real-world setting contributed to the validity of the findings. The discussion presented is structured along a behavioural change framework we adapted from Ölander’s and J. Thøgersen’s motivation – ability – opportunity model. Besides presenting the quantitative results of multiple studies and providing theoretical cues to outline the mechanisms behind the behaviour, we formulate guidelines that support the development of similar applications in research and industry.
In this paper we develop a method and relevant feature constructs for the measurement of accident risk exposure from a large sample of real-world GPS data that includes accident and accident-free drivers. For trip frequency and accumulated driven distance features, an evaluation of their discriminatory power is given based on computational results. In our conclusion, we briefly discuss suitable classification approaches and limitations arising from external validity considerations.
In the course of educational expansion, ‘gender differences in access to higher education have decreased substantially in many European countries. In Germany women are currently over-represented in upper secondary education and more frequently attain a general qu1alification for university entrance. Despite those advantages, women still enrol in higher education less frequently. Even where they apply to higher education, their field of study choices differ from those of men. Drawing on recent data on upper secondary graduates, we seek to understand which factors account for both phenomena. Our findings suggest that the growing gender gap in the transition to higher education can be largely ascribed to differential perceptions of labour market outcomes. In addition, the more risk-averse assessment of study costs and success probabilities are more important for women's decision not to enter higher education. Furthermore, the gender gap in the choice of a technical field can be explained by differences in the subjectively perceived comparative advantage in technical skills and by differences in educational motivations and conceptions of life and career plans. These results lead to the conclusion that gendered educational choices are the consequence of effects that have their provenance much earlier in life.
Trotz Ausbau und Differenzierung des höheren Schul- und Hochschulsystems zeichnet sich das deutsche Bildungssystem im internationalen Vergleich durch eine vergleichsweise hohe soziale Selektivität aus. Zwar haben sich im Zuge der Bildungsexpansion neue Zugangswege zu höherer Bildung aufgetan, es ist allerdings offen, inwieweit dies zu einer höheren Bildungsbeteiligung der traditionell bildungsfernen Schichten geführt hat. Der vorliegende Beitrag beschäftigt sich dementsprechend mit der Frage, wie sich vor dem Hintergrund der veränderten institutionellen und bildungspolitischen Rahmenbedingungen die herkunftsspezifischen Unterschiede entwickelt haben. Hierbei wird sowohl in theoretischer als auch in methodischer Hinsicht differenziert auf die Entwicklung sozialer Ungleichheiten auf Schul- und Hochschulebene eingegangen und mit der Kombination zweier Datenreihen ein alternativer Weg der Analyse sozialer Ungleichheiten im Zeitverlauf aufgezeigt. Die Analyse macht deutlich, dass an den verschiedenen Bildungsübergängen unterschiedliche Entwicklungen stattfinden und es (auch) eine Frage der methodischen Vorgehensweise ist, zu welchem Ergebnis man hinsichtlich der Ungleichheitsentwicklung gelangt. Während die sozialen Ungleichheiten im Zeitverlauf beim Übergang in die Sekundarstufe II abnehmen, nehmen sie am Übergang ins Studium zu. Diese an beiden Übergängen vorzufindenden gegenläufigen Entwicklungen gleichen sich zum Teil aus, sodass insgesamt aus absoluter Perspektive teilweise von stabilen Ungleichheitsverhältnissen im deutschen Bildungssystem zu berichten ist, während sich aus einer relationalen Perspektive eher eine Abnahme abzeichnet.