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Theses

External representations for learning and comparing energy consumption

Abstract : In this thesis is first considered how energy is taught and learned about in school, focusing on the discrepancies between a scientific definition of energy and a societal definition of energy, and discussing units of energy and the confusion they induce. Perspectives for education and energy management are provided. Then, focus is placed on the representations of energy provided in home energy management systems, seeking to propose an original classification based on educational strategies. The major obstacles met by designers reveal how energy management tools can be adapted to human cognition. Next, human numerical and magnitude processing abilities are discussed in depth, taking the viewpoint of grounded cognition and building a framework through which the impact of external representations of energy on learning and comparing can be established, understood, and predicted. This leads to two empirical studies. The first study tests the effect of external representation (symbolic or spatial) on recall and comparisons from memory. Accuracy and response time at comparisons are used as dependent variables. Results indicate analog processing of magnitude in both conditions, and show that external representation affects performance at both recall and comparison, with symbolic external representation increasing recall and comparison accuracy, and spatial external representation increasing comparison speed. The second study tests the effects of spatiality, groundedness, and physicality in external representations, also on recall and comparisons from memory, using the same dependent variables. Results indicate analog processing in all conditions. Spatiality decreases recall accuracy but increases comparison speed. Groundedness and physicality show no effect. Results are consistent with grounded cognition's mental simulations hypothesis (Barsalou, 1999, 2008; Wilson, 2002) as well as Dehaene's (1997) view on numerical cognition, in which number sense is based on a continuous accumulator that does not directly process discrete numbers. Theoretical implications and practical applications are discussed.
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https://tel.archives-ouvertes.fr/tel-01771137
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Submitted on : Thursday, April 19, 2018 - 1:59:08 PM
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Martin Galilee. External representations for learning and comparing energy consumption. Education. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017GREAH029⟩. ⟨tel-01771137⟩

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