Nudge theory: how it could help your class


A behavioural theory used in advertising to influence people’s decisions could help teachers to pique students’ interest in a subject or encourage them to take up an activity that previously held no interest for them, finds Grainne Hallahan

How a theory from the world of advertising could help pupil engagement

Advertising has an annoying habit of making us do things we had not previously considered doing: buying a new sofa, booking a random holiday, opting for one brand of chocolate bar over another. A key part of the persuasion process is something called “nudge theory” – and it may be just what you’ve been looking for in your classroom.

Nudge theory is part of the field of behavioural economics. It stems from the idea that small changes to how something is presented or explained can influence a person’s decisions. It’s like gently reminding the driver of the car you are in that they need to turn ...

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