Hulleman et al., 2017, Experiment 2: Asking why psychology is useful in their lives increased interest and final exam scores among poor-performing undergraduate psychology students, especially men
Undergraduate students enrolled in an introductory psychology class were asked, following the first exam, to reflect on ways that the course material might be relevant to their life in an online survey and, following the second exam, to describe how a topic in the course is useful or meaningful to them and how learning about it will be beneficial to them in the future. Among students who performed poorly on the first exam, this raised final exam scores and interest in psychology as compared to a randomized control condition. The greatest benefits were for men. There was no additional effect of a randomized implementation intention element, which additionally asked students where and when they might think about the relevance of the course materials to their lives, obstacles that could prevent this, and how they could overcome these obstacles.