We Nudge and You Can Too!

Information provided at the moment a person is making a decision can influence behavior in predictable ways. The United Kingdom’s Behavioral Insights Team have used this idea to help improve the insulation of lofts, collect taxes and even reduce litter. We demonstrate that a similar approach works with students’ grades. We provide software that appends a personalized message to each assignment in the class. This ‘grade nudge’ explains precisely how the assignment will impact their final grade given the student’s current standing in the class.


Our randomized trial suggests that the nudge improves student performance. Surveys conducted at the end of term suggest students would like to receive nudges in all of their classes.

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Coauthors: Ben Smith