Implicit Self-Theories in the Academic Domain: Implications for Goal Orientation, Attributions, Affect, and Self-Esteem Change

Self and Identity (Impact Factor: 1.42). 09/2010; October 01:313-336. DOI: 10.1080/15298860290106805

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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