Nudging in Higher Education: Text Message Interventions and Study Habits in Mathematics


  • Øyvind Aas Kristiania University College, Norway
  • Lester Allan Lasrado Kristiania University College, Norway
  • Helene Lie Røhr Kristiania University College, Norway


Higher Education, Field Experiment, Procrastination, Mathematics


In this field experiment, we explore the connection between study habits and academic achievement among undergraduates in an introductory mathematics course at a Norwegian college. Using a procrastination scale based on self-reported behavior, we examine how students’ study habits influence their performance. Our findings reveal a negative correlation between self-identified procrastinators and the number of problem-sets submitted. Moreover, there is significant correlation between procrastination tendencies and the final course grade, but only for two of the four dimensions we use to measure procrastination. Notably, 43% of the variation in the final grade can be accounted for by prior competence, number of homework’s and the student’s age. Furthermore, to establish causality, we randomly divided the students into two groups: one received a text message on their mobile devices and the other did not. The text message emphasized the positive link between the number of completed problem sets and improved academic performance in the final exam. Through this controlled approach, we assess the impact of the text message on problem set submission and final exam performance. Our results indicate that the text message exerts no discernible influence on either the quantity of problem sets submitted or the performance in the final exam.


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