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  • Blog
  • 4th Apr 2016

The Power of Thank You

From an early age our parents remind us to say “thank you”. But what is the impact of these words? Are employees more productive if thanked for their hard work? Does thanking people for charitable donations encourage them to keep giving? Over the past year, we’ve started to see a…

  • Academic publication
  • 12th May 2016

Does the heart rule the head? Economic and emotional incentives for university attendance

Young people from low income families and in rural areas have been shown to be less likely to attend university than their wealthier counterparts, even with the same grades.

  • Blog
  • 15th Jul 2016

Texting parents about tests and homework can improve maths results and reduce absenteeism

Today the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) published the results of a trial showing that texting parents information about upcoming tests and homework directly improved their child’s attainment in maths by the equivalent of an extra month in the classroom. I ran the trial as part of my PhD, with Harvard…

  • Blog
  • 25th Aug 2016

Moments of Choice: how young people make career decisions

Today, young people across England receive their GCSE results. Many will now be looking forward to the next exciting step in their education; for others, it may be a time for to reflect on what their options are and what they would like to do next. In these ‘moments of…

  • Blog
  • 20th Oct 2016

Poverty and decision-making: How behavioural science can improve opportunity in the UK

A third of the UK population spent at least one year in relative income poverty between 2011 and 2014. Traditionally policymakers and anti-poverty organisations such as the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) have focused on boosting people’s economic capital (e.g., income) and human capital (e.g., educational attainment) to reduce poverty. While…

  • Blog
  • 31st Oct 2016

Building Character Skills – What Works?

A wide variety of skills are needed for success in life. The traditional focus of policymakers on academic achievement as a marker of people’s talents can cause them to miss the importance of non-cognitive skills, also called character skills. There is now growing evidence that these skills – which include things…

  • Blog
  • 14th Nov 2016

Transformation and Inspiration - the EEF at 5

This week the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) celebrated its fifth birthday. Over the course of a few short years, the EEF has achieved truly remarkable things. One hundred randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in education have been commissioned by the EEF in that time – orders of magnitude more than had…

  • Blog
  • 8th Mar 2017

Behavioural insights to boost apprenticeships

What do National Apprenticeship Week, National British Sandwich Week, and National Bed Month all have in common? Behavioural science has an answer. These are all attempts to raise the salience of their particular cause, encouraging awareness and timely decision-making, whether it’s to hire an apprentice or eat a British sandwich.…

  • Blog
  • 24th Mar 2017

Supportive text messaging to encourage student success

Today, the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has announced that they are funding three interventions to help improve outcomes for 16-18-year-old students who are resitting their GCSEs. We are excited that the social support intervention we’ve developed is one of them. Many of us might take for granted that someone in…

  • Blog
  • 31st Mar 2017

Inspirational students encourage university applications

Young people from lower income families, or families without a history of university attendance, are much less likely to apply to university than their peers, even when they get the grades to do so (Anders, 2012). They’re also particularly less likely to apply to selective universities - despite these universities…