IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jeborg/v146y2018icp1-15.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Increasing perseverance in math: Evidence from a field experiment in Norway

Author

Listed:
  • Bettinger, Eric
  • Ludvigsen, Sten
  • Rege, Mari
  • Solli, Ingeborg F.
  • Yeager, David

Abstract

Research by psychologists and economists demonstrates that many non-cognitive skills are malleable in both children and adolescents, but we have limited knowledge on what schools can do to foster these skills. In a field experiment requiring real effort, we investigate how schools can increase students’ perseverance in math by shaping students’ beliefs in their abilities to learn, a concept referred to by psychologists as “mindset.” Using protocols adapted from psychology, we experimentally manipulate students’ beliefs in their ability to learn. Three weeks after our treatment, we find persistent treatment effects on students’ perseverance and academic performance in math. When investigating subsamples, we find that students, who prior to the experiment had less of a belief in their ability to learn, generate the treatment effect. The findings suggest that a low-cost intervention focused on students’ mindset can improve students’ engagement and performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Bettinger, Eric & Ludvigsen, Sten & Rege, Mari & Solli, Ingeborg F. & Yeager, David, 2018. "Increasing perseverance in math: Evidence from a field experiment in Norway," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 1-15.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:146:y:2018:i:c:p:1-15
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2017.11.032
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268117303426
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Azmat, Ghazala & Iriberri, Nagore, 2010. "The importance of relative performance feedback information: Evidence from a natural experiment using high school students," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(7-8), pages 435-452, August.
    2. Deborah Cobb-Clark, 2015. "Locus of control and the labor market," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-19, December.
    3. Christiane Bradler & Robert Dur & Susanne Neckermann & Arjan Non, 2016. "Employee Recognition and Performance: A Field Experiment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(11), pages 3085-3099, November.
    4. James Heckman & Tim Kautz, 2013. "Fostering and Measuring Skills: Interventions That Improve Character and Cognition," Working Papers 2013-019, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    5. Kautz, Tim & Heckman, James J. & Diris, Ron & ter Weel, Bas & Borghans, Lex, 2014. "Fostering and Measuring Skills: Improving Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills to Promote Lifetime Success," IZA Discussion Papers 8696, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Alan, Sule & Ertac, Seda, 2015. "Patience, self-control and the demand for commitment: Evidence from a large-scale field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 111-122.
    7. Lex Borghans & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Bas ter Weel, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
    8. Eriksson, Tor & Poulsen, Anders & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2009. "Feedback and incentives: Experimental evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 679-688, December.
    9. Margo Coleman & Thomas DeLeire, 2003. "An Economic Model of Locus of Control and the Human Capital Investment Decision," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(3).
    10. Castleman, Benjamin L. & Page, Lindsay C., 2015. "Summer nudging: Can personalized text messages and peer mentor outreach increase college going among low-income high school graduates?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 144-160.
    11. Kvaløy, Ola & Nieken, Petra & Schöttner, Anja, 2015. "Hidden benefits of reward: A field experiment on motivation and monetary incentives," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 188-199.
    12. Deborah A. Cobb‐Clark & Stefanie Schurer, 2013. "Two Economists' Musings on the Stability of Locus of Control," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0, pages 358-400, August.
    13. Pedro Carneiro & Claire Crawford & Alissa Goodman, 2007. "The Impact of Early Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills on Later Outcomes," CEE Discussion Papers 0092, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
    14. Thomas S. Dee, 2014. "Stereotype Threat And The Student-Athlete," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(1), pages 173-182, January.
    15. Koch, Alexander & Nafziger, Julia & Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 2015. "Behavioral economics of education," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 3-17.
    16. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
    17. Adam M. Lavecchia & Heidi Liu & Philip Oreopoulos, 2014. "Behavioral Economics of Education: Progress and Possibilities," NBER Working Papers 20609, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Eric P. Bettinger & Bridget Terry Long & Philip Oreopoulos & Lisa Sanbonmatsu, 2012. "The Role of Application Assistance and Information in College Decisions: Results from the H&R Block Fafsa Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1205-1242.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:64:y:2018:i:c:p:313-342 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Damgaard, Mette Trier & Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 2018. "Nudging in education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 313-342.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:146:y:2018:i:c:p:1-15. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.