Mental contrasting facilitates academic performance in school children
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Two brief intervention studies tested whether teaching students to mentally contrast a desired future with its present reality resulted in better academic performance than teaching students to only think about the desired future. German elementary school children (N = 49; Study 1) and US middle school children (N = 63; Study 2) from low-income neighborhoods who were taught mental contrasting achieved comparatively higher scores in learning foreign language vocabulary words after 2 weeks or 4 days, respectively. Results have implications for research on the self-regulation of commitment to solve assigned tasks in classroom settings, and for increasing academic performance in school children in low-income areas.
KeywordsMental contrasting Positive thinking Self-regulation Goal commitment Academic performance Behavior change Desired future
We thank the teachers, students, and families at the schools where we conducted this research for their support and participation.
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