Nudging in education: from theory towards guidelines for successful implementation

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Nudging is one of the strategies from behavioral economics that aims to influence behavior by changing the environment. We propose that it could also be a valuable means to influence behavior in educational contexts. However, implementation of nudging in education is yet sparse. We describe the relevant issues to consider when applying nudging in education, arguing that a focus on the long-term effects and underlying processes of a nudge is necessary for successful implementation. Then, we aim to facilitate this implementation of nudging in education by making a distinction between nudges that is relevant for overcoming these issues. Based on the framework proposed by Hansen and Jespersen (European Journal of Risk Regulation, 4(1), 3–28, 2013), we distinguish between Type 1 and Type 2 nudges, and transparent and non-transparent nudges, resulting in four nudge categories. For each of these nudge categories, we determine its suitability for different educational goals. The resulting decision matrix can help researchers and practitioners when designing nudges for an educational context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)883–902
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychology of Education
Issue number3
Early online date24 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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