Implicit Self-Theories in the Academic Domain: Implications for Goal Orientation, Attributions, Affect, and Self-Esteem Change
ABSTRACT This study supported hypotheses derived from Dweck's model about the implications of two implicit self-theories: Entity theorists believe their intelligence is fixed, whereas Incremental theorists believe their intelligence can be increased. Findings showed no normative change in implicit self-theories from high school through college and relatively stable individual differences during college. Entity theorists tended to adopt performance goals, whereas Incremental theorists tended to adopt learning goals. In terms of attributions, affect, and behavioral response to challenge, Entity theorists displayed a helpless response pattern and Incremental theorists displayed a mastery-oriented response pattern. Finally, Entity theorists declined in self-esteem during college whereas Incremental theorists increased self-esteem, and path analyses showed that this effect was mediated by goal orientation and the helpless versus mastery response patterns.
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ABSTRACT: Health care professionals work and learn in complex environments. Some are able to continue learning from their practice and the challenges it presents, whereas others refrain from investing more effort when faced with setbacks. This paper discusses a social cognitive model of motivation that helps to explain the different kinds of behaviour that emerge when individuals are confronted with challenges. Self-theories (people's theories on what competence is and means for the self) play a major role in establishing the goals people set for themselves, the emotions they experience and the meanings they attach to situations. These self-views are often not explicitly articulated and are therefore called 'implicit' ('self-') theories. Social cognitive research suggests there are two distinct ways of thinking about one's personal attributes: entity theorists view a trait as a fixed, concrete internal entity, whereas incremental theorists instead believe a trait to be something malleable that can be developed or cultivated through effort. Holding an entity theory leads one to set performance goals and to harbour concerns about performing well and making a good impression. Holding an incremental theory tends to lead one to set learning goals, and to focus less on performance and more on spending time and effort in determining which strategies work. The current literature on self-theories is used to explore the relevance of these theories in medical education in three contexts: (i) it is argued that, in order to support lifelong learning, both individual and organisational efforts fit best with an incremental outlook on professional development; (ii) if it is to move forward in the domain of feedback-seeking behaviour, medical education might benefit from a better understanding of the interactions among self-theories, feedback behaviour, and the pervading role of organisational culture, and (iii) the impact of self-theories on assessors' evaluations of performance.Medical Education 11/2013; 47(11):1064-1072. · 3.55 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: People’s beliefs concerning their abilities differ. Incremental theorists believe their abilities (e.g., intelligence) are malleable; entity theorists believe their abilities are fixed (Dweck in Mindset: the new psychology of success. Random House, New York, 2007). On the basis that incremental theorists should emphasize improving their abilities for the future, whereas entity theorists should emphasize demonstrating their abilities in the present reality, we predicted that, when thinking about their wishes, compared to entity theorists, incremental theorists focus more toward the desired future than the present reality. We assessed participants’ motivational focus using a paradigm that differentiated how much they chose to imagine the desired future versus the present reality regarding an important wish (Kappes et al. in Emotion 11: 1206–1222, 2011). We found the predicted effect by manipulating (Study 1) and measuring implicit theories (Study 2), in the academic (Study 1) and in the sport domain (Study 2).Motivation and Emotion 03/2013; · 1.55 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Work avoidance goals have been relatively neglected in the literature with most research focusing on mastery and performance goals. The central aim of this study was to examine the structure, antecedents, and consequences of the work avoidance goal construct. Four studies were conducted. Study 1 investigated the construct validity of work avoidance, while Study 2 focused on its antecedents. Using a longitudinal panel design, Study 3 examined the impact of work avoidance--alongside mastery and performance goals--on engagement and achievement, while Study 4 explored its relationship to broader well-being outcomes. Results showed that work avoidance was distinct from mastery and performance goals. Entity theory of intelligence positively predicted work avoidance goal pursuit, while teacher and peer support buffered against it. Pursuing work avoidance goals was found to be associated with less engagement, lower grades, and greater negative affect. The impact of work avoidance on achievement and well-being outcomes seem to be more salient compared to the oft-examined mastery and performance goals. Implications are discussed.Contemporary Educational Psychology 01/2014; · 2.20 Impact Factor