July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Liberal Education/Engineering & Society
There are many ongoing calls for the integration of public welfare concerns into engineering curricula, for example promoting social consciousness, human-centred design, and other socially-related frameworks. However, some engineering students still seem to devalue or resist these initiatives. This paper explores a new methodology to facilitate such integrations, with the intention of bypassing the possible resistance to considering non-technical, socially-orientated aspects, by exploiting a psychology-informed approach of priming. As priming holds the potential of inducing empathy (a prerequisite to human-centred designing practices, and a precondition to consciousness), and bypassing ‘disruptive transitional behaviour’, we test to see if we can prime civil engineers into human-centred designing. Students’ levels of self- and social- awareness and consciousness (which are also factors contributing to engineering professional formation), were recorded before and after their engagement with our version of a Human-Centred Design Task. The effect of priming on these indicators was also captured. No significance in the before versus after results was found, and results showed no significant impact of the priming on the Self-Awareness Indicators. However, there were unexpected results of students’ levels of Social-Awareness Indicators. Students’ levels of Social Consciousness were shown to have significantly decreased (rather than increased) due to the priming. The results led to further expanding the literature review to seek a possible explanation. We discuss possible reasons behind these results, linking their decrease due to the priming, to the self-enhancing, agentic personal engineering values. These values appear to have a contribution towards decision making (and thus, problem solving), and an influence on the students’/ designers’ engagement with empathy (which is a prerequisite to human-centred designing). This sheds light on the need to expand the research on the topic of engineering personal values, and their possible influence on human-centred design, and other socially-related design processes and factors.
Al Kakoun, N., & Boy, F., & Groves, C., & Xavier, P. (2021, July), Priming Civil Engineers Into Human-Centered Designing (and Its Unexpected Consequences) Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37600
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