Behavioural economics is the study of how psychological, social, cognitive, and emotional factors affect decision making. Despite its name, many of the findings uncovered in this emerging field have many practical benefits in the classroom. Just a few small changes and additions to everyday classroom activities can increase students’ extrinsic motivation and engagement with the target language. This presentation covered a number of findings from behavioural economics research, while relating each one to a number of techniques and tips the presenter has used and that teachers can use in the classroom to motivate their students.
The ideas that were introduced can be used with students of any age and in almost any classroom context. Hiroshima JALT members that attended were introduced to social proof, loss aversion, anchoring, the Ikea effect and the egg theory, commitment and consistency, deadlines, gambling and rewards, and honour codes that can help us maintain motivation in our classrooms.