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Study: Social Pressure Affects Students' Academics

Study: Social Pressure Affects Students' Academics

High school is filled with peer and social pressure. No matter what school the student goes to, there is always a group of students who pressure them into something. A new study finds that this type of social pressure tends to affect students who need to seek aid for academic help.

According to a new National Bureau of Economic Research, students indicated “that they’re willing to turn down a free course just because their classmates would find out,” said an article on

The researchers offered free access to an online SAT prep course to high school juniors in Los Angeles, the article said. The sign-up list was public within some classes, and private in others.

The study, the article said, “was done in low-income, low-performing schools, making the decision potentially more significant, both economically and academically.

“To net out the possibility that honors and non-honors students might have different characteristics or priorities, the authors limited part of the study to students who take two honors classes, so that the researchers would catch some of them in non-honors classes as well,” the article said.

The students who were given the choice to sign up in the honors “were 25 percent more likely to do so if the decision was public. Those who were in a non-honors class were 25 percent less likely to sign up.”

“The overall public sign-up rate for these top students was 47 percent when they were in their honors class,” the article said. “The data suggests social pressure is dramatically different depending on the type of class. The graph below shows sign-up rates among students in two honors courses and demonstrates that the pupils' decisions to enroll were largely contingent on the kind of class they were in at the time of the offer.”

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor 

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