Brown Bag Seminar: Effects of a short motivating video on children's aspirations and attitudes

Speaker:  Selene Ghisolfi - Universit√† Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
  Tuesday, December 12, 2023 at 12:00 PM Aula Vaona

We assess the effect on students’ aspirations of a 1-minute motivational video featuring a role model describing their path to success. We use a randomized control trial on a sample of primary and middle school students from a disadvantaged neighbourhood in Naples. We find that exposure to treatment increases schools and career aspirations and boosts self-confidence and grit of the students, at a cost of decreased mood and lower reported empathy and closeness to classmates. Finally, watching a video featuring a female role model decreases gender bias among the male treated students. This study shows the short-run effects of a very brief, inexpensive, and potentially widely replicable intervention, conducted in a developed country, on a sample of children from a fragile socio-economic background. Beyond documenting its potential in boosting aspirations, we caution against backlashes on students’ well-being and prosociality. 

Programme Director
Maurizio Malpede

External reference
Publication date
September 11, 2023