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Copying Friends May Help You Achieve Your Goals

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Struggling to achieve your life improvement goals, such as exercising or saving for retirement? A new study shows that people who struggle with their self-set improvement goals can benefit by emulating the successful strategies used by their friends.

The study found that encouraging people to find and mimic exercise strategies used by their friends increased the amount of time they spent exercising compared to receiving an exercise strategy passively.

In the study, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and a psychologist at UPenn introduce the concept of the “copy-paste prompt,” a nudge that encourages people to seek out and mimic a goal-achievement strategy used by an acquaintance.

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