Kizilcec, R. F., & Cohen, G. L. (2017). Eight-minute self-regulation intervention raises educational attainment at scale in individualist but not collectivist cultures. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(17), 4348-4353.
At the start of an online graduate-level 10-week business course, students were randomized to complete a mental contrasting with implementation intentions exercise—vividly describing the positive outcomes associated with watching most of the course lectures and obstacles that could interfere with this goal (mental contrasting), and writing if-then plans, one for each obstacle and how they would overcome it and one for when and where they intended to watch the lectures (implementation intentions) (Duckworth et al., 2011)—or control exercise (a personal experience that day). Whereas students from individualistic cultures (e.g., the United States Australia, France) were more likely to complete the course in the treatment condition (7.28%) than in the control condition (5.52%), those from collectivist cultures (e.g., Mexico, China, Romania) showed no benefit (treatment: 4.80%; control: 5.03%).