The Power of the Nudge

Everyone needs to be pestered sometimes. A new study suggests that college students may be among those who most need to be nudged to stay on track.

The study was a large-scale randomized analysis of the impact of a commercial service that provides individualized coaching to students on time management, academic goals and other subjects. The coaches call regularly and try in particular to link students’ life goals with their academic goals — and to use the former to motivate progress on the latter.

The study — by Eric P. Bettinger, an associate professor of education, and Rachel Baker, a doctoral student, both of Stanford University — found that the services had a statistically significant impact on student persistence. The impact was greater for men than for women — a potentially important finding, given the lower enrollment and graduation rates of men at many institutions.

Read the full article at Inside Higher Ed

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