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Psychology in the News

Alumna Awarded Fulbright for Smart Meter Adoption Research

Alumna Awarded Fulbright for Smart Meter Adoption Research

Understanding what motivates people is at the heart of the study of psychology. Jacqueline Adams (’17) wants to know what motivates people to save energy when they use smart meter technology in their homes. 

“Smart meters are electronic meters that allow two-way communication with utility companies,” Adams says. “When residents see how much energy they are using, they can adjust their usage. Smart meter adoption in the United States, however, has not been successful at modifying behavior because there has been a lack of focus on psychological motivations to save energy using this technology.” 

Adams wants to understand people’s attitudes, motivations, and intentions to use smart meter technology and recently received a Fulbright Award for her research on smart meter technology adoption in Budapest, Hungary.  

“My research will help establish a psychological framework for energy efficient technology in a country that has not implemented such technologies,” Adams says. “In the years to come, when Hungary fully adopts smart meters, my research will help utilities better cater programs towards their users’ needs.” 

Her research will also be useful in other countries establishing frameworks for new energy technology implementation. Adams also hopes it will help the United States better tailor its own smart meter program to be more efficient. 

Adams graduated in May 2017 from the honors program in the Department of Psychology.

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