An Animated Visual Representation of Real‐Time Resource Flows Through a Community Enhances Systems Thinking
We report on two studies designed to test the effect of visual feedback technology on several dimensions of systems thinking. Participants were exposed to ‘Citywide Dashboard’ (CWD), a visual depiction of a city designed for display on digital signage. CWD is dynamically animated based on real‐time water and electricity flow data and environmental conditions. In study 1, college students were exposed to CWD (or a control) for 6 days. Exposure enhanced perceptions of ecological embeddedness, connectedness to nature, and perceptions of responsibility and impact (causal extent) among those who were initially low in connectedness to nature. Study 2, conducted on a US adult sample, revealed that even brief exposure to the CWD expands perceptions of causal extent. Findings indicate that certain core aspects of systems thinking are malleable and can be enhanced through brief exposure to visual manipulations with technology designed to prime cognitive orientation.
Petersen, John E., Cynthia M. Frantz, Evan Tincknell, and Christopher Canning. 2018. "An Animated Visual Representation of Real‐Time Resource Flows Through a Community Enhances Systems Thinking." Systems Research and Behavioral Science 35(6): 718-737.
Systems Research and Behavioral Science
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