Here is a video dedicated to the start of a new academic year.
Today we all have good intentions but what will come of these intentions in the future?
Can the students choose the last day of the semester as their deadline for all three? Is there a way to describe using the rational framework why one would not choose later dates if presented the option?
As I remember from the book, students were completely free in setting the dates. If they were completely rational, they would and should set the last day as their deadline, because they have no upside from filing their paper earlier, only a downside if they cant for some reason make the deadline. But if we allow for bounded rationality and self-awareness of the students, it becomes rational for them to set deadlines prior to the last day, because they are aware that they would procrastinate too much if it weren’t for the self-inflicted pressure.
Wait a minute. It depends what you mean by “rational” here. Maybe it’s “rational” for a student to know themselves well enough to know that they NEED deadlines to pace themselves–given the chance, they WILL put it all off until the very last minute and then turn in some flat, uninspired, hurried stuff that likely won’t pass muster with the prof.
So I find it refreshingly “rational” when students recognize what they need to do to pass the class and choose staggered deadlines; I do not regard in ANY way as “irrational”. Anyone trying to achieve a goal benefits from a little pacing.
“Do not hurry. Do not rest.”
–Goethe (I think
Prof Ariely, I really enjoyed your book. I teach statistics and think about the social aspect of the laws of statistics a good bit. Anyway, I am looking forward to your next book. Do you have plans to write another?
-Carrie in Portland Or
Love the book and the examples provided, and as an instructor, the brief video hit home! Every semester bright-eyed, eager young men and women enter my classroom vowing “this year will be different. ” Not so much.
Also, I performed your experiment by auctioning off the $20 in my Investment and Portfolio Theory class. While I ‘only’ grossed $43, the Business Fraternity enjoyed the profits gained and the students have been quickly won over to Behavioral Finance theories. It should make for an interesting semester.
Very interesting book! Behavior economist is different from an engineer or a scientist.
You are more interested in learning the student behavior than getting their papers on time. I respect that.
But your method is flawed. What if all twenty students decided to hand in three papers, at the last day of the semester?
It is perfectly legal in your set criteria. Then you will have to grade 60 papers in one week. Because the deadline for submitting the grade is only one week. This puts a burden on you. It does not work. In addition, none of them will get any feedback, for the whole semester. It defeats the purpose of education or learning.
I have been teaching undergraduates, MBAs, PhDs, professionals, managers, engineers, CEOs in 30 different firms.
I just gave them a simple deadline. If they missed it, sorry, ZERO. This is the only scientific way to cure procrastination. It does work for about 96% of my classes when I gave them the first assignment. Then after that, it is 99.9% people would hand it in.
No more procrastination. By the way, I taught 8600+ people.
you have been teaching along time, but how long has it been since you’ve learned. You might get all the papers in on time, but that doesn’t mean that they did not procrastinate. I’m a student at the University of Washington and I’ve gotten this far by perfecting the art of procrastination and still receive a 3.0 or higher. It’s a grueling method that ONLY works for me. Everyone differs, but I can honestly wait depending on the size of the paper 10 pages or under I can finish in one night (though I keep my stress level up high) it’s rational for a college student lifestyle with a job. That way I can turn a project/paper into just one night of plain homework and the rest is free time! haha
All my work is always completed on time and the prof. doesn’t even know. Deadlines only make procrastination flourish by having everyone keep that day in their head then wait till the last day.
btw numbers are impressive so here are some more 402,630
3.0 is not perfection, so it’s not fair to say that you’ve “perfected” the art of procrastination. Perhaps it wouldn’t be so grueling if you spaced things out a little better. Sounds to me like the professors do know or you’d be a 4.0. The 3.0 does indicate, however, that you’ve perfected the art of procrastinating just enough to skid by. Won’t work anywhere else in the world. Need to be self-motivated.
I am still perplexed by this. What’s the difference between students setting their own deadline and the professor giving them three different deadlines?
your comment and much many my important to comments to an god busines to work at offices finish.
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Hi, I’m Dan Ariely. I do research in behavioral economics and try to describe it in plain language. These findings have enriched my life, and my hope is that they will do the same for you.
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