Scarce or abundant? Exploration of Resource Perception and Definition of Guidelines for Human Energy Tracking

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While investigating human energy, recent research shows an apparent contradiction in that
energy and resources are conceptualised as scarce in some theories, and as abundant in
others. Moreover, research shows that human energy tracking can be used to improve human
energy management, which could help promote physical and mental health. The objective of
the present study was to add to the research foundation of human energy tracking and
examine the perception of resources as scarce or abundant.
Based on the integrated model of human energy by Quinn et al. (2012), a five-day
observational diary study of students (N = 53) was conducted. A mediation analysis examined
resource perceptions as a function of people’s repertoires of thought and action, which in turn
were assumed to be predicted by levels of energetic and tense activation. Secondly,
explorative correlations with the Big-5 personality dimensions were conducted. Thirdly, prepost
changes in human energy awareness due to the participation in the study were evaluated
using a Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test. Finally, open questions on how to improve tracking design
were analysed using Thematic Analysis.
Results show a small effect (p < .001, R2 = .068) of energetic activation on the
perception of resources as abundant, which was not mediated by thought-action repertoire.
For tense activation, neither an effect on resource perception nor a mediation by thoughtaction
repertoire was found. There were no significant correlations with personality
dimensions, and no evidence was found for an increase in human energy through tracking.
Regarding tracking design, data suggests that applications should be highly adaptable to
personal preferences, feature high feasibility, and promote personal reflection and learning.
A limitation was a lack of established measures available in the literature.
Nevertheless, this work complements theoretical foundations and provides guidelines for the
development of human energy tracking applications.

Svenja Meyn


Jun 2020


Sep 2020