Good grades can be contagious, a new study says. Students with friends who have good grades are more likely to see their own marks rise over the following year.
“The smarter that your friends are today, there’s a higher chance for you to become smarter tomorrow,” said Hiroko Sayama, the study co-author and a systems scientist at the State University of New York. The results, which appear online in the journal PLOS One, suggest that performance of your peers affect your academic achievement.
Sayama was in a program called NetSci, which involved high school students from Maine-Endwell High School in Endwell, N.Y., and his probe. The students came up with impression of seeing how social networks influence grades.
Recent works had indicated that obesity is socially contagious, and people’s emotional statuses are also likely to spread through social networks. The findings generally indicate that academic performance is contagion on a social level, and it travels through circles of friends. Groups may subconsciously affect certain behaviors like study routines. It is also probable that kids aiming to get better grades pick better students as friends. Acquaintances and friends have subtle links with certain things, and the researchers would have to make use of more modern statistical approaches to rule out other causes, experts say.