Psychology Techniques in Education Improve Student Academic Outcomes and Mental Health

Daniella Pautz, Claire Honeycutt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Thirty percent of engineering students suffer from extremely severe stress leading to mental health challenges, poor executive functioning skills (e.g., focus, planning), and as a result, poor academic performance. Research suggests that psychological techniques of persuasion may be effective in reducing stress and improving mental health, and therefore may be beneficial techniques to utilize in engineering classrooms. There are six primary persuasion techniques: reciprocity, liking, social proof, scarcity, commitment, and authority (coercive and expert). These are used to build relationships, increase motivation, and manage decisions during uncertainty. The objective of our study was to evaluate the relationship between engineering students' perceptions of their professors' use of persuasion and the students' self-reported academic and mental health outcomes. We hypothesized that methods that enhance community and improve sense of belonging (reciprocity, commitment, liking, social proof) would lead to better academic and mental health outcomes, and methods associated with negative professor attitudes (coercive authority) would lead to poor academic and mental health outcomes. The data partially supports the hypotheses, with various student academic and mental health outcomes significantly improving with higher use of liking, social proof, commitment, and expert authority, and worsening with higher use of coercive authority. The results suggest that by using liking, social proof, expert authority, and commitment in the classroom and decreasing coercive techniques, professors can improve student grades and mental health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2023 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2023 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9798350336429
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023
Event53rd IEEE ASEE Frontiers in Education International Conference, FIE 2023 - College Station, United States
Duration: Oct 18 2023Oct 21 2023

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE

Conference

Conference53rd IEEE ASEE Frontiers in Education International Conference, FIE 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityCollege Station
Period10/18/2310/21/23

Keywords

  • academic outcomes
  • engineering
  • mental health
  • persuasion
  • psychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Psychology Techniques in Education Improve Student Academic Outcomes and Mental Health'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this