System 1 and System 2 Persuasion Tactics and Their Impacts on Secondary School Absenteeism


by : 
Aditya M.


Chronic absenteeism: the state of lacking 10% or more of school days in a given academic year, has been an issue for as long as modern education. In 2016-2017, approximately 7 million students (16% of all students) were chronically absent. Henry M. Gunn High School has a ~5% chronic absentee rate, with some of those figures contributed by the aptly named "strategic absentees": those who cut a given class as to prepare for another. With no effective measures already in place, the aim of this proposal is to "nudge" students to attend class, without needing to impose any new campus regulators or constraints, while also actively comparing the efficacy of subconscious and conscious suggestion.

Personal Statement

I've been conditioned to being able to derive the solution to almost any question or problem, having done most of my learning in a heavily math and science focused environment. Human behavior, however, has always been something that has eluded me. Whether I'm playing card games with my family, or asking why my friends why they cut class (which my project focuses on resolving), finding coherent justifications to their actions was usually infeasible, even with further inquiry. AAR gave me an outlet to study one of the most controversially experimented fields of study, granting resources and permissions that would have been unattainable any other way, to research and learn about something I could not have anywhere else at the time.