Many of the lesson plans I share on this blog, and all of the ones in my book, Helping Students Motivate Themselves (and in the sequel I’m writing to it now), include having students actually read portions of the academic research behind the main ideas of the lesson (self-control, goal-setting, etc.).

I do that for a number of reasons, including wanting to use the time as an opportunity to develop literacy skills and to help students understand the “why” behind each lesson.

Today, I learned about another good reason to include this aspect in lessons. Here’s an excerpt from a report on research titled The Power of Suggestion: What We Expect Influences Our Behavior, for Better or Worse:

But what can explain the powerful and pervasive effect that suggestion has in our lives? The answer lies in our ‘response expectancies,’ or the ways in which we anticipate our responses in various situations. These expectancies set us up for automatic responses that actively influence how we get to the outcome we expect. Once we anticipate a specific outcome will occur, our subsequent thoughts and behaviors will actually help to bring that outcome to fruition.

So, if a normally shy person expects that a glass of wine or two will help him loosen up at a cocktail party, he will probably feel less inhibited, approach more people, and get involved in more conversations over the course of the party. Even though he may give credit to the wine, it is clear that his expectations of how the wine would make him feel played a major role.

So, I guess that means that read about what research has found helps in developing good habits might enhance the odds that they will implement them successfully…..