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source: http://www.mpgillusi on.com Class Slides for the MPG Illusion These slides may be used without copyright approval Please acknowledge http://www.mpgillusion.com as the source

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• Slide 1
• source: http://www.mpgillusion.com Class Slides for the MPG Illusion These slides may be used without copyright approval Please acknowledge http://www.mpgillusion.com as the sourcehttp://www.mpgillusion.com
• Slide 2
• source: http://www.mpgillusion.com MPG Quiz Assume that a person drives 10,000 miles per year and is contemplating changing from a current vehicle to a new one. Rank the following five pairs of old and new vehicles in order of their benefit to the environment (i.e., which new car would reduce gas consumption the most compared to the original car). Use 1 for the largest savings and 5 for the smallest savings.
• Slide 3
• source: http://www.mpgillusion.com MPG Quiz Change in Vehicle Pairs (Old Vehicle to New Vehicle) Rank in Gas Savings? A) 18 MPG to 28 MPG B) 16 MPG to 20 MPG C) 34 MPG to 50 MPG D) 22 MPG to 24 MPG E) 42 MPG to 48 MPG Rank the gas savings from MPG improvements for a car driven 10,000 miles (1 = largest, 5 = smallest)
• Slide 4
• source: http://www.mpgillusion.com MPG Quiz Typical Ranks Change in Vehicle Pairs (Old Vehicle to New Vehicle) Rank in Gas Savings? A) 18 MPG to 28 MPG2 B) 16 MPG to 20 MPG4 C) 34 MPG to 50 MPG1 D) 22 MPG to 24 MPG5 E) 42 MPG to 48 MPG3 Rank the gas savings from MPG improvements for a car driven 10,000 miles (1 = largest, 5 = smallest)
• Slide 5
• source: http://www.mpgillusion.com MPG Quiz Actual Ranks Change in Vehicle Pairs (Old Vehicle to New Vehicle) Perceived Rank in Gas Savings (Mean) Actual Rank in Gas Savings Actual Reduction in Gas Consumption per 10,000 miles A) 18 MPG to 28 MPG21198.4 B) 16 MPG to 20 MPG42125.0 C) 34 MPG to 50 MPG1394.1 D) 22 MPG to 24 MPG5437.9 E) 42 MPG to 48 MPG3529.8 Rank the gas savings from MPG improvements for a car driven 10,000 miles (1 = largest, 5 = smallest)
• Slide 6
• source: http://www.mpgillusion.com Alernative Quiz http://www.mpgquiz.com/
• Slide 7
• source: http://www.mpgillusion.com Judgments of Car Fuel Efficiency Standard measure in US Miles per gallon (MPG) What does it measure? Useful for knowing range of gas tank What question do you want to answer when buying a car? How much gas youre going to use Cost of gas Greenhouse gases (burning 1 gallon of gas releases 20 pounds of carbon)
• Slide 8
• source: http://www.mpgillusion.com The Problem with MPG Consider three people who each drive 100 miles per week. Their current vehicles have the following fuel efficiency: Person A: 10 MPG Person B: 16.5 MPG Person C: 33 MPG
• Slide 9
• source: http://www.mpgillusion.com The Problem with MPG Each driver trades in his or her car for a more efficient car Person A: 10 MPG -> 11 MPG Person B: 16.5 MPG -> 20 MPG Person C: 33 MPG -> 50 MPG Who saves the most gas over 100 miles? Result: Each trade-in reduces gas consumption by the same amount In each case, the new car saves 1 gallon per 100 miles The new car eliminates 1 ton of carbon per 10,000 miles
• Slide 10
• source: http://www.mpgillusion.com Calculating Gas Savings To know gas consumption and gas savings, one needs to divide the distance one drives by MPG Gas consumption = Distance / MPG Conclusions Gas savings are not a linear function of MPG The relationship between gallons consumed and MPG is curvilinear Gallons consumed can be abbreviated Gallons per Mile or GPM for short The following graph and tables illustrate the relationship
• Slide 11
• source: http://www.mpgillusion.com Gas Consumption as a Function of MPG
• Slide 12
• source: http://www.mpgillusion.com Miles Per GallonGallons Per 100 Miles Gallons Per 10,000 Miles 1010.01000 156.7667 205.0500 254.0400 303.3333 352.9286 402.5250 452.2222 502200 Converting MPG to GPM Equal MPG This table displays total gas consumption based on equal increases in MPG
• Slide 13
• source: http://www.mpgillusion.com Miles Per GallonGallons Per 100 Miles Gallons Per 10,000 Miles 10.0101000 11.09900 12.58800 14.07700 16.56600 20.05500 25.04400 33.03300 50.02200 Converting MPG to GPM Equal GPM This table displays MPG improvements that yield equal decreases in gas consumption (1 gallon per 100 miles or 100 gallons per 10,000miles)
• Slide 14
• source: http://www.mpgillusion.com Summary of Research The following slides summarize the results of research published by Larrick & Soll (Science, 2008)
• Slide 15
• source: http://www.mpgillusion.com Study 1: Ranking Improvements (n = 77, Larrick & Soll, Science, 2008) Task: Rank gas savings from MPG improvements for a car driven 10,000 miles (1 = largest, 5 = smallest) Change in Vehicle Pairs (Old Vehicle to New Vehicle) 34 MPG to 50 MPG 18 MPG to 28 MPG 42 MPG to 48 MPG 16 MPG to 20 MPG 22 MPG to 24 MPG Perceived Rank in Gas Savings (Mean) 1.18 1.95 3.29 3.73 4.86
• Slide 16
• source: http://www.mpgillusion.com Study 1: Ranking Improvements (n = 77, Larrick & Soll, Science, 2008) Change in Vehicle Pairs (Old Vehicle to New Vehicle) Perceived Rank in Gas Savings (Mean) Actual Rank in Gas Savings Actual Reduction in Gas Consumption per 10,000 miles 34 MPG to 50 MPG1.18394.1 18 MPG to 28 MPG1.951198.4 42 MPG to 48 MPG3.29529.8 16 MPG to 20 MPG3.732125.0 22 MPG to 24 MPG4.86437.9 Task: Rank gas savings from MPG improvements for a car driven 10,000 miles (1 = largest, 5 = smallest)
• Slide 17
• source: http://www.mpgillusion.com Study 3: Fleet Decision (n = 171 in a national survey, Larrick & Soll, Science, 2008) A town maintains a fleet of vehicles for town employee use. It has two types of vehicles. Type A gets 15 miles per gallon. Type B gets 34 miles per gallon. The town has 100 Type A vehicles and 100 Type B vehicles. Each car in the fleet is driven 10,000 miles per year. They can afford to replace one type of vehicle with a hybrid (H) option. Type AH gets 19 miles per gallon. Type BH gets 44 miles per gallon.
• Slide 18
• source: http://www.mpgillusion.com Study 3: Fleet Decision (n = 171 in a national survey, Larrick & Soll, Science, 2008) They can afford to replace one type of vehicle with a hybrid (H) option. GPM frame: Participants saw both MPG and Gallons per 100 miles 1) Replace the Type A vehicles (6.67 gpm) with Type AH that gets 5.26 gpm 2) Replace the Type B vehicles (2.94 gpm) with Type BH that gets 2.27 gpm MPG Frame 1) Replace the Type A vehicles (15 mpg) with Type AH that gets 19 mpg 2) Replace the Type B vehicles (34 mpg) with Type BH that gets 44 mpg
• Slide 19
• source: http://www.mpgillusion.com Study 3: Fleet Decision (n = 171 in a national survey, Larrick & Soll, Science, 2008) They can afford to replace one type of vehicle with a hybrid (H) option. GPM frame: Participants saw both MPG and Gallons per 100 miles 1) Replace the Type A vehicles (6.67 gpm) with Type AH that gets 5.26 gpm 2) Replace the Type B vehicles (2.94 gpm) with Type BH that gets 2.27 gpm MPG Frame 1) Replace the Type A vehicles (15 mpg) with Type AH that gets 19 mpg 2) Replace the Type B vehicles (34 mpg) with Type BH that gets 44 mpg Result: 75% of participants incorrectly favored Option 2 Result: 64% of participants correctly favored Option 1
• Slide 20
• source: http://www.mpgillusion.com Specific Policy Implications For car purchase decisions, provide a measure of efficiency that is volume of gas divided by distance Europe and Canada use liters per 100 kilometers United States What should the US use as a basic gallons per mile measure? Where should it be reported? Example of an online GPM calculator for new cars www.gpmcalculator.com www.gpmcalculator.com
• Slide 21
• source: http://www.mpgillusion.com Improving Decision Making How can psychology be used to improve a range of decisions? Choice architecture principles from Nudge (Thaler & Sunstein, 2008): Set defaults to encourage people to make more prudent choices. Provide explicit feedback to help people recognize when they are doing well and when they are making mistakes. Help people see the connection between their options and what choices will actually make them better off. Design incentives so that benefits and costs are clear. Design forgiving systems that take into account the fact that people will make mistakes. Structure complex choices so they are easier for people to understand.
• Slide 22
• source: http://www.mpgillusion.com Improving GHG Decisions What can psychology contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions? Car choice Car use Other transportation What new tools could help people make decisions that reduced greenhouse gas emissions in general?
• Slide 23
• source: http://www.mpgillusion.com Useful Links and References http://www.mpgillusion.com http://www.mpgquiz.com http://www.mpgillusionvideo.com http://www.gpmcalculator.com http://www.mpgillusion.com/2009/01/classroom-materials.html http://faculty.fuqua.duke.edu/~larrick/bio/Reshighlights.htm http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/14/magazine/14Ideas-Section2-B-t-005.html Larrick, R. P., & Soll, J. B. (2008). The MPG Illusion, Science, 320, 1593-1594 Thaler, R. H., & Sunstein, C. (2008). Nudge. New Haven: Yale.