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(4):313-336. DOI: 10.1080/15298860290106805


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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    • "For males, experiencing failure lead to greater claimed self-handicapping, but the degree of claimed selfhandicapping was not influenced by implicit message. Overall, the current research contributes to a growing body of evidence underlying the benefits of incremental beliefs (e.g., Blackwell et al., 2007; Dweck, Chiu, & Hong, 1995; Mueller & Dweck, 1998; Robins & Pals, 2002) and provides further insight into how implicit beliefs about intelligence relate to self-handicapping and more broadly to attempts to enhance or protect self-worth. "
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    ABSTRACT: Insight into causal mechanisms underlying underachievement among gifted students has remained elusive. Based on the premise of self-worth theory and implicit beliefs about intelligence, it was hypothesized that entity-focused messages about giftedness would lead to maladaptive academic coping behaviors when gifted status was threatened. Therefore, the current research examined the interactive effect of messages about giftedness as fixed or malleable and success or failure experiences on both behavioral and claimed self-handicapping among a sample of 108 undergraduates attending an elite university. Following a failure experience, participants who had heard an entity message about giftedness engaged in behavioral self-handicapping to a greater degree than those who heard an incremental message about giftedness. Female participants who received an entity message engaged in more claimed self-handicapping after experiencing failure and less claimed self-handicapping after experiencing success. There were no differences in claimed self-handicapping after success and failure for female participants who received an incremental message. This pattern is in line with an impression management strategy. In contrast, implicit messages did not influence male participants’ claimed self-handicapping. Implications for motivational theory and educational practice are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Journal of Educational Psychology
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    • "These implicit theories form a mental framework through which an individual interprets stimuli and experiences (Yeager & Dweck, 2012), shaping subsequent behavior and beliefs in an iterative manner (Kinlaw & Kurtz-Costes, 2003; Yeager & Walton, 2011). Accordingly, implicit beliefs relate to critical outcomes including attributions for success and failure (Hong, Chiu, Dweck, Lin, & Wan, 1999; Robins & Pals, 2002) and later achievement during challenging academic transitions (Blackwell, Trzesniewski, & Dweck, 2007). Among typical-ability students, entity beliefs are also linked to academic procrastination (Howell & Buro, 2009) and decreased persistence during challenges (Cury, Da Fonseca, Zahn, & Elliot, 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: The current study investigated whether the developmental timing of a student’s identification as gifted (i.e., when a student is first identified) was associated with later implicit beliefs about intelligence, and whether this relation is moderated by academic ability. A sample of 1,743 high-ability college students reported on whether and when they had been identified as gifted, academic ability (SAT scores), and implicit beliefs of intelligence. Timing of identification was unrelated to implicit beliefs; academic ability was the only significant predictor. Higher ability students who had been previously identified as gifted at any point in time reported implicit beliefs more toward entity beliefs than relatively lower ability students who had also been identified; however, this effect was quite small. Implicit beliefs did not vary by ability level for nonidentified students. These findings suggest that identification as gifted at any age modestly (but not necessarily meaningfully) relates to implicit beliefs for high-ability students.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014
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    • "Furthermore, academic engagement has been shown to be related directly or indirectly to the other personal dispositions and academic beliefs already mentioned. For example, students who are academically engaged are more likely to believe that they are personally responsible for their academic outcomes (Henderson & Dweck, 1990; Robins & Pals, 2002). This sense of personal responsibility or agency has been commonly examined under the concepts of attributional style and locus of control. "
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    ABSTRACT: This article presents an exploratory study of the relation between academic engagement and academic achievement for Latina/o and non-Latina/o adolescents attending a predominantly low-income, Latina/o urban middle school in Southern California. A sample of 61 students (37 Latinas/os and 24 non-Latinas/os) participated in the study. The Latina/o students’ mean grade point average was lower than the non-Latina/o students’ mean grade point average. The study results revealed a significant interaction between academic engagement and grade point average for Latina/o students but not for non-Latina/o students. Findings are discussed in regard to the promotion of Latina/o adolescent achievement through increased levels of academic engagement.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Journal of Latinos and Education
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