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Nudging Towards Better Study Habits: The Power of Influencers

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Laura Austin

Ms. Laura Austin is OYIS' Head of Inclusion with over 20 years of experience working in inclusion and education.

Nudging Towards Better Study Habits: The Power of Influencers

Exploring the Intersection of Nudge Theory, Social Media Influencers, and Academic Success

In the realm of behavioral economics, Nobel-winning economist Richard Thaler introduced the intriguing concept of Nudge Theory. This theory delves into the art of subtly influencing people’s decisions by leveraging psychological triggers. In simpler terms, it’s a strategic way to guide individuals toward making choices we hope they’d make. It’s a way to guide people to choose to do the right thing rather than force or demand them to.

As reported by CNN, Nudge Theory relies on understanding what motivates people, tapping into their desire to conform to social norms, and utilizing techniques that resonate with the majority. Interestingly, this practice has found a modern-day application under a new moniker: ‘Social Media Influencers.’

Recent research from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health delves into a fascinating dimension of this theory. The study, as reported by NPR, explores the effectiveness of influencers in nudging people toward a more accurate understanding of mental health. In 2023, Harvard launched a research project collaborating with a cohort of TikTok influencers. The goal was to provide information on mental health and use the power of influencers to steer more people to a better and more accurate understanding of mental health issues.

It’s a testament to the power influencers wield. With a dedicated audience that trusts and listens to them, influencers become agents of positive change, or in Nudge Theory terms, they become nudgers. This influence dynamic holds immense potential, extending beyond lifestyle choices to encompass academic habits.

Imagine influencers harnessing their sway to nudge students toward better study habits. The connection is clear: influencers can use their relatable approach to inspire effective study routines. Whether it’s sharing study tips, time-management strategies, or insights into maintaining a healthy work-life balance, influencers have the ability to resonate with students in a unique way.

As we navigate the evolving landscape of education, the marriage of Nudge Theory, social media influencers, and academic success presents an exciting frontier. It opens doors to innovative approaches that can empower students to embrace productive study habits, ultimately contributing to their educational journey.

In conclusion, the intersection of Nudge Theory and social media influencers has the potential to revolutionize how we approach academic success. By leveraging the influence of those who capture the attention of students, we can nudge the next generation toward habits that foster not only academic achievement but also personal growth and well-being.

Written by OYIS Head of Inclusion Laura Austin with revision and editing by ChatGPT


LaMotte, Sandee. “Get People to Do What You Want with a ‘nudge.’ Here’s How.” CNN, Cable News Network, 12 Oct. 2021, 

“Misbehaving with Richard Thaler.” Hidden Brain Media, Hidden Brain Media, 24 Oct. 2017, 

Muraskin, Andrea. “To Help Young People with #mentalhealth, Researchers Team up with TikTok Influencers.” NPR, NPR, 5 Jan. 2024, 

Schoemaker, Paul. “Humans Make Dumb Decisions. 5 Ways to Use Nobel Prize Winner Richard …” Inc., Inc.Com, 12 Oct. 2017,

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