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Parent Praise to 1- to 3-Year-Olds Predicts Children's Motivational Frameworks 5 Years Later

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Abstract

In laboratory studies, praising children's effort encourages them to adopt incremental motivational frameworks-they believe ability is malleable, attribute success to hard work, enjoy challenges, and generate strategies for improvement. In contrast, praising children's inherent abilities encourages them to adopt fixed-ability frameworks. Does the praise parents spontaneously give children at home show the same effects? Although parents' early praise of inherent characteristics was not associated with children's later fixed-ability frameworks, parents' praise of children's effort at 14-38 months (N = 53) did predict incremental frameworks at 7-8 years, suggesting that causal mechanisms identified in experimental work may be operating in home environments.

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... Many studies have shown that verbal praise would support children's resilience and persistence performance, and criticize would diminish children's interests of continuing. Such praise should encourage more positive behaviors, including better academic performance, later in life [29,30,31,32]. In both experimental and real-world settings, researchers found that children display higher levels of motivation and more persistence on work tasks when receiving praise for their efforts [25,29,32]. ...
... Kamins & Dweck (1999) found that children would show more helpless responses when they received personal criticism or praise rather than process criticism or praise [33]. Similarly, Gunderson et al. (2013) separated parental language into three types: person praise, process praise, and other praise. The study results claimed that children who received more process praise (e.g., "you tried really hard to finish this work!") ...
... The study results claimed that children who received more process praise (e.g., "you tried really hard to finish this work!") than person praise (e.g., "you are so smart!") or other praise would believe intelligence was malleable, prefer challenges, and attribute success and failure to effort when they got older [30]. Both studies demonstrated the importance of positive parental language and its significant influence on young children's cognitive development, which can also affect their beliefs in several domains at a later age. ...
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Resilience can affect and influence individuals’ executive functioning, social behavior, and academic learning ability. Many researchers have examined on the effect of parenting style on children’s resilience. However, less is known about how specific parental language influences children’s resilience. To close the important knowledge gap, this study aims to test whether the positiveness of long-term parental language input is significantly related to high level of behavioral persistence among children beyond infancy. Data will be collected from children at three different age groups (18-month-old, 4-year-old, and 8-year-old) to critically evaluate how parents’ positive (activity-engagement) language style and negative (activity-avoidant) language style will influence children’s level of persistence and resilience at different developmental stages. It is hypothesized that, across age groups, children who receive more positive activity-engagement language input from parent’s exhibit will show higher level of resilience.
... Along with intervention efforts aimed at increasing students' mindsets directly, other researchers have focused their efforts on increasing growth mindset in teachers and parents under the assumption that these belief systems will be passed down to children (Andersen & Nielsen, 2016;Rowe & Leech, 2019;Seaton, 2018). However, research has shown that children do not necessarily adopt the mindsets of their parents (Gunderson et al., 2013;Haimovitz & Dweck, 2017). This suggests that this type of indirect mindset transmission may not be so straightforward, and is likely affected by other variables, such as explicit behaviors. ...
... Regarding the weak correspondence between children's and parents' mindsets (Gunderson et al., 2013;Haimovitz & Dweck, 2017), emerging evidence supports the notion that, rather than direct mindset transmission, children's mindsets are nurtured indirectly through parenting practices (Gunderson et al., 2013;Kim et al., 2017;Pomerantz & Kempner, 2013;Schiffrin, et al., 2019). As such, some research has examined the subsequent effects of parental mindset on parent behavioral outcomes Muenks et al., 2015;Rowe & Leech, 2019;Schleider et al., 2016). ...
... Regarding the weak correspondence between children's and parents' mindsets (Gunderson et al., 2013;Haimovitz & Dweck, 2017), emerging evidence supports the notion that, rather than direct mindset transmission, children's mindsets are nurtured indirectly through parenting practices (Gunderson et al., 2013;Kim et al., 2017;Pomerantz & Kempner, 2013;Schiffrin, et al., 2019). As such, some research has examined the subsequent effects of parental mindset on parent behavioral outcomes Muenks et al., 2015;Rowe & Leech, 2019;Schleider et al., 2016). ...
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Parent’s beliefs about intelligence can influence children’s learning through parenting practices. It is unclear how parents’ perceptions of the child’s ability may affect these processes. This experimental study explored the joint effects of mothers’ growth mindset and perceptions of child competence on their learning involvement. Children (N = 121, 52% female, ages 9–15) completed a set of problem-solving tasks, and mothers were told that their children had either performed well or poorly; or received no feedback. In a subsequent problem-solving task, mothers’ growth mindset positively predicted supportive behaviors, and mothers’ low competence beliefs positively predicted unsupportive and controlling behaviors. No interactions were found. Findings suggest parental growth mindset may help foster positive parenting practices, regardless of their children’s academic competence.
... One form of parental input that has been shown to influence children's academic performance is praise (Gunderson et al., 2013). As noted by Henderlong and Lepper (2002), praise is positively associated with various outcomes for school-aged children, including self-perceptions of ability, interest in and motivation for completing the praised task, and the development of academic skills. ...
... Praise referred to any utterance that provided positive feedback or reinforcement in response to the child's verbalizations, actions, and/or product of their actions and contained an explicit or implicit positive valence (Gunderson et al., 2013;Reigel, 2008). Consistent with the coding scheme developed by Gunderson and colleagues (2013), praise was further broken down into three different categories: (1) Person praise consisted of utterances that implied the child possessed a fixed, positive quality. ...
... Consistent with past findings (Gunderson et al., 2013;Swenson et al., 2016), the sample demonstrated considerable individual variability in the frequency of all types of parental feedback. Among the different categories of parental feedback, parents utilized affirmation in a non-praise context the most often. ...
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Prior research has shown associations between parent and teacher feedback and school-aged children’s academic outcomes. Specifically, studies have demonstrated that positive feedback (i.e., praise and/or affirmation) is beneficial for children’s academic outcomes, while corrective feedback exhibits more mixed associations with children’s academic outcomes. Little is known about the relations between parental feedback and younger children’s academic skills. The present study examines the frequency of positive and corrective types of feedback provided by parents of 4-year-old children during semi-structured interactions, as well as how these feedback types relate to children’s concurrent math and language skills and their change in math skills over a one-year period. Parent-child dyads (n=91) were observed interacting with a picture book, grocery store set, and magnet board puzzle for 5 to 10 minutes each, after which they completed math and language assessments. Parental affirmation was positively and corrective feedback was negatively associated with children’s concurrent math outcomes, but only corrective feedback was uniquely negatively associated with children’s math outcomes when controlling for affirmations. Parental praise was individually and uniquely positively associated with children’s expressive vocabulary and change in math outcomes from age 4 to age 5. This study suggests that the relations between parental feedback and young children’s academic outcomes depend on the type of feedback and the outcome of interest (i.e., math vs language), which can inform how parents may want to provide feedback to facilitate learning.
... Therefore, children are more likely to feel safe to explore the environment and feel competent and confident in solving problems ( Master, 2011 ). Consistent positive relations between parental warmth and children's mastery motivation have been found (e.g., Gunderson et al., 2013 ;Mokrova, O'Brien, Calkins, Leerkes, & Marcovitch, 2012 ). For example, Turner and Johnson (2003) found that parent-reported positive global parenting (a construct that included parental warmth) and high-quality parentchild relationships were positively related to the composite score of preschoolers' parent-and teacher-reported mastery motivation (measured as goal-directed behaviors, preference of challenges, and positive emotions to success). ...
... For example, Turner and Johnson (2003) found that parent-reported positive global parenting (a construct that included parental warmth) and high-quality parentchild relationships were positively related to the composite score of preschoolers' parent-and teacher-reported mastery motivation (measured as goal-directed behaviors, preference of challenges, and positive emotions to success). Similar relations also have been found with observed parental positive emotions and encouragement (constructs that overlap somewhat with parental warmth; Gunderson et al., 2013 ;Wang, Morgan, & Biringen, 2014 ). During challenging tasks, parents' emotional support and comforting in response to children's distress have been positively related to concurrent observed children's goal-directed mastery behaviors at preschool age ( Mokrova et al., 2012 ;Young & Hauser-Cram, 2006 ). ...
... Most existing studies have investigated the concurrent relations between parental behaviors and behavioral aspects of children's mastery motivation (e.g., Lucca et al., 2019 ;Mokrova et al., 2012 ). Although a few researchers have examined the relations between parenting during toddlerhood or preschool age and children's mastery motivation at a later time point ( Gunderson et al., 2013 ;Kelley et al., 20 0 0 ;MacPhee et al., 2018 ;Wang et al., 2014 ), these studies did not take account of children's behavioral mastery motivation at prior levels. Only one study examined the relations between parental warmth and the longitudinal changes of maternal reported young children's mastery motivation (in which goal-directed behaviors were measured as one of the main indicators, Wang et al., 2014 ). ...
Article
The goal of this study was to investigate the development of young children's goal-directed behaviors in challenging settings––an important behavioral component of mastery motivation – and to examine the relations of maternal warmth and control to its trajectory from toddlerhood to preschool age. A behavioral component of mastery motivation was observed during children's (N = 251, 140 boys) increasingly challenging cognitive tasks at 18, 30, 42, and 54 months of age. Maternal warmth and assertive physical control were observed in both the challenging cognitive task and a challenging social task (i.e., clean-up task) at 18 months. A latent basis growth curve was identified, which suggested that this aspect of children's mastery motivation increased at different speeds from 18 to 54 months. Specifically, it increased 25% of the overall change between 18 and 30 months, increased only 2% between 30 to 42 months, and then increased by 73% from 42 to 54 months. Maternal high warmth and low assertive physical control during the challenging cognitive task were related to a higher initial intercept but a slower increasing slope of this aspect of mastery motivation over time. In a somewhat similar manner, in the challenging social task, maternal high warmth and low maternal assertive physical control were at least marginally related to a high initial intercept, but the two maternal behaviors were unrelated to the slope. This study is one of the first to identify the longitudinal developmental trajectory of this behavioral component of mastery motivation in very young children, and the results point to the importance of reducing maternal assertive physical control across contexts to foster the early development of mastery motivation.
... Obgleich man mit Blick auf die Forschung zu impliziten Theorien von Lernenden erwarten könnte, dass Eltern mit einer Wachstumstheorie eher prozessorientiert kommentieren und Eltern mit einer Entitätstheorie eher personenorientiert, konnte in keiner der uns bekannten Studien ein solcher Zusammenhang nachgewiesen werden (siehe auch Haimovitz und Dweck 2017). Gunderson et al. (2013) kodierten natürlich auftretende Äußerungen von Eltern gegenüber 53 US-amerikanischen Kindern zu drei Messzeitpunkten (als die Kinder 14, 26 und 38 Monate alt waren), wobei sie erfassten, wie die Eltern die Erfolge ihrer Kinder lobten. Obgleich Kin-der, deren Erfolge über die drei Messzeitpunkte hinweg häufiger prozessorientiert gelobt worden waren, später im Alter von 7 bis 8 Jahren häufiger eine Wachstumstheorie vertraten, korrelierte der Anteil an prozessorientiertem Lob der Eltern nicht mit ihren impliziten Theorien. ...
... So untersuchten Jose und Bellamy (2012) sowie Muenks et al. (2015) den Einfluss elterlicher impliziter Theorien auf elterliche Reaktionen bei kindlichen Lernschwierigkeiten. Matthes und Stoeger (2018) untersuchten unter anderem den Zusammenhang von elterlichen impliziten Theorien mit kontrollierendem Verhalten angesichts von schlechten Noten der Kinder. Im Gegensatz dazu wurden zwei der drei Studien, die keine Zusammenhänge zwischen elterlichen impliziten Theorien und dem Verhalten von Eltern oder Kindern nachweisen konnten, in neutralen Situationen ohne Bezug zu Misserfolgen oder besonderen Herausforderungen durchgeführt: Abgesehen von der Untersuchung von Haimovitz und Dweck (2016), in der die Eltern nach ihrer Reaktion auf eine schlechte Note ihres Kindes gefragt wurden, erfassten sowohl Gunderson et al. (2013) als auch Rautiainen et al. (2016) die Auswirkungen von elterlichen impliziten Theorien ohne Bezug zu Misserfolgen oder Anforderungssituationen. ...
... Lediglich eine von drei Studien deutet auf Zusammenhänge zwischen den impliziten Theorien von Eltern und deren Kindern hin (Matthes und Stoeger 2018), während in den anderen beiden Studien keine derartigen Zusammenhänge nachgewiesen werden konnten (Gunderson et al. 2013;Haimovitz und Dweck 2016). Dies deckt sich weitgehend mit der Hypothese von Haimovitz und Dweck (2017), dass implizite Theorien von Eltern für ihre Kinder in der Regel nicht sichtbar sind. ...
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Während implizite Theorien (auch bekannt als Mindsets) von Lernenden sowie deren Zusammenhänge mit Lern- und Leistungsverhalten sehr umfassend untersucht wurden, gibt es nur wenige Studien zu impliziten Theorien von Eltern und deren Zusammenhängen mit elterlichem lernbezogenen Verhalten sowie den impliziten Theorien und dem Lern- und Leistungsverhalten ihrer Kinder. Zudem ist wenig über die genauen Wirkmechanismen bekannt sowie über die Bedingungen, unter denen elterliche implizite Theorien elterliches Verhalten vorhersagen. Der vorliegende Beitrag gibt einen systematischen Überblick über Studien zu diesen Themen. Hierfür wurde in verschiedenen Datenbanken eine systematische Literaturrecherche nach relevanten Artikeln aus Fachzeitschriften durchgeführt, die zwischen 1990 und 2021 veröffentlicht worden waren. Bei dieser Recherche konnten insgesamt 11 passende Artikel identifiziert werden, deren Befunde gegliedert nach den untersuchten Bereichen dargestellt werden. Neben Befunden zu elterlichen impliziten Theorien und ihren Zusammenhängen mit deren lernbezogenem Verhalten sowie den impliziten Theorien und dem Lern- und Leistungsverhalten ihrer Kinder werden vermittelnde Mechanismen diskutiert und es wird thematisiert, unter welchen Rahmenbedingungen implizite Theorien von Eltern besonders relevant erscheinen. Basierend darauf werden Forschungslücken aufgezeigt und theoretische und praktische Implikationen herausgearbeitet.
... There is evidence of linguistic effects on children's reasoning about ability (Cimpian et al., 2007;Gunderson et al., 2013;Mueller & Dweck, 1998;Pomerantz & Kempner, 2013;Zentall & Morris, 2010). For example, in the Mueller and Dweck (1998) study, an experimenter told fifth graders they had done well on a matrix task regardless of how they had actually performed. ...
... Children who were praised with reference to their ability (you must be smart at these problems) were more likely to later report viewing intelligence in an essentialist way than were children who were praised with reference to their effort (you must have worked hard at these problems). A study by Gunderson et al. (2013) suggests that sensitivity to self-relevant evaluations emerges early. They examined the types of praise parents spontaneously gave to their 14-to 38-month-old children, and found that process praise (e.g., nice try) was associated with the same children holding a less essentialist view of ability years later, when they were age 7 or 8. ...
... To advance our theoretical understanding and provide guidance for intervention it will be important to identify the factors that influence young children's achievementrelated beliefs. Previous research has shown that evaluative comments in which children are praised for their own effort or ability constitute one such influence (Cimpian et al., 2007;Gunderson et al., 2013;Mueller & Dweck, 1998;Pomerantz & Kempner, 2013;Zentall & Morris, 2010). In the present research, we investigated how children are influenced by evaluative comments that have no clear self-relevance, in that they are not directed to the child and are not about the child or anyone the child knows. ...
Article
This research examined the effects of overhearing an adult praise an unseen child for not needing to work hard on an academic task. Five‐year‐old Han Chinese children (total N = 270 across three studies; 135 boys, collected 2020–2021) who heard this low effort praise tended to devalue effort relative to a baseline condition in which the overheard conversation lacked evaluative content. In Study 3, low effort praise increased children's endorsement of essentialist beliefs about ability and their interest in becoming the kind of person who does not need to work hard to succeed. The findings show that overhearing evaluative comments about other people, a pervasive feature of daily life, can have a systematic effect on young children's beliefs about achievement.
... Mindsets about intelligence have attracted a significant amount of research attention, in part because of their consequences for student motivation and achievement. In spite of this level of interest, mindset research has largely overlooked the early childhood years, focusing instead on older children (i.e., middle schoolers; e.g., Blackwell et al., 2007;Good et al., 2003), adolescents (i.e., high schoolers; e.g., Claro et al., 2016;Yeager et al., 2016), and adults (college-aged students; e.g., Aronson et al., 2002;Nussbaum & Dweck, 2008;Robins & Pals, 2002) (for some exceptions, see Gunderson et al., 2018;Gunderson et al., 2013;Gunderson et al., 2017;Haimovitz et al., 2011;Petscher et al., 2017;Petscher et al., 2021). In what follows, we discuss why the quantity of mindset research in early childhood has trailed the quantity of mindset research among older children and adults. ...
... Within the past decade, two scales have been developed to measure growth mindsets in young children (Gunderson et al., 2013;Ruzek et al., 2020). The first scale (Gunderson et al., 2013) has been used with children as young as 7 years of age. ...
... Within the past decade, two scales have been developed to measure growth mindsets in young children (Gunderson et al., 2013;Ruzek et al., 2020). The first scale (Gunderson et al., 2013) has been used with children as young as 7 years of age. However, one limitation of this scale is that it includes aspects of motivational frameworks that are related to, but distinct from, mindsets about intelligence. ...
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Beliefs about the malleability of intellectual ability—mindsets—shape achievement. Recent evidence suggests that even young children hold such mindsets; yet, no reliable and valid instruments exist for measuring individual differences in young children’s mindsets. Here, we developed an instrument for this purpose—the Growth Mindset Scale for Children (GM-C), suitable for children as young as 4. Evidence on US (Study 1; N = 220; 50% girls; 39% White) and South African (Study 2; N = 331; 54% girls; 100% Black) children suggested the GM-C scale has strong internal consistency and test-retest reliability; it is also valid (e.g., GM-C scores predicted learning goals). The GM-C is a reliable, valid, and cross-culturally robust measure of young children’s mindsets.
... Early research suggested that children may attain their motivational beliefs directly through socialization with their parents or teachers (e.g., Frome and Eccles, 1998;Jodl et al., 2001). Unfortunately, only a very limited number of studies have explored how parents' mindsets may foster motivation and achievement in their children (Gunderson et al., 2013;Haimovitz and Dweck, 2016;Matthes and Stoeger, 2018). This challenge is compounded by the difficulty in measuring young children's mindsets, which may not be fully developed into a cohesive belief in the early school years (Dweck, 2002;Barger and Linnenbrink-Garcia, 2017). ...
... Results showed no relation between parents' mindset and young children's persistence in their U.S. subsample, though this may be partially attributable to a limited sample size (n 39). Aligned with this finding, in a longitudinal study, no transfer was observed from parents' mindset to their 7-and 8year-old children's motivational framework, which encompasses individuals' growth versus fixed orientation, along with the attitude and behaviors associated with it (Gunderson et al., 2013). ...
... For example, in a study conducted with children in early elementary school and their mothers, it is found that when induced with a fixed mindset, mothers were more likely to use unconstructive instruction and express negative affect in a subsequent problem-solving task with their children (Moorman and Pomerantz, 2010). On a relevant note, across multiple longitudinal studies (Barger et al., under review;Gunderson et al., 2013;Gunderson et al., 2018) using selfreport and observational approaches, parents who had growth mindsets tended to use growth-oriented, process praise (e.g., "nice try!") more frequently than fixed-oriented person praise (e.g., "you are so smart!"). This difference in praise style was also reflected in children's academic performance, such that children whose parents used process praise outperform those whose parents used person praise in standardized math and reading tests. ...
Article
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Parents’ educational beliefs are thought to guide children’s early development in school. The present study explored the association between parent’s growth mindset and elementary school-aged children’s self-reported persistence, as well as teacher-reported reading and math skills in 102 dyads. Findings showed that children self-reported greater persistence when their parents held more growth mindset. Teachers also rated students as more capable readers when their parents endorsed a growth, rather than fixed, mindset. Additional analysis indicated that although the effect of parents’ growth mindset on children’s reading skills became non-significant once SES was controlled, the positive association between parents’ mindset and children’s persistence was unaffected by SES. Our study provides evidence about the intergenerational association of motivational tendencies at an early age, even when children may not be able to develop a coherent system of motivational beliefs of their own.
... However, in our study, the youngest students were only seven years old. Consequently, we utilized 10 items from Gunderson et al.'s (2013) scale to study the mindsets of the youngest children (1st-3 rd grade 7-9-year-olds). However, during the interviews we noticed that many 1st-2 nd grade students struggled to understand the items, and teachers of 3 rd graders shared the same view. ...
... However, our suspicions were confirmed, as the results were unsatisfactory, indicating low reliability and internal consistency. Similar challenges with Gunderson et al.'s (2013) scale had been identified in an earlier study on Finnish and Estonian 4 th grade students by Aus et al. (2020). As a result, we ultimately decided not to utilize Gunderson et al.'s scale in the present study; thus, the mindsets of the 1st-3 rd grade students were not obtained, nor were we able to triangulate the quantitative and qualitative results for this age group. ...
Research
There is a lack of research on students’ conceptions of giftedness and intelligence, despite recognition of their influence on real-life factors such as achievement and motivation. This paper presents a cross-sectional mixed methods study that investigated Finnish students’ (age 6–16 years; N = 1282) implicit conceptions of giftedness and intelligence and the mindsets underlying such conceptions. More particularly, the study aimed to investigate how giftedness and intelligence are constructed and understood in the minds of students and how students’ mindsets are actualized in their descriptions of giftedness and intelligence. The results indicated that, from very early on, students differentiate between the two concepts. Giftedness and intelligence were both seen as malleable, but views on giftedness were more fixed than were conceptions of intelligence. Both age- and school-related differences were found in students’ conceptions. Furthermore, the study demonstrated differences in conceptions of giftedness and intelligence between growth- and fixed-mindset students.
... Growth mindset motivational framework. We operationalized participants' growth mindset beliefs in terms of the established construct of a motivational framework (see Gunderson et al., 2013). The core of a growth mindset motivational framework is the belief that intelligence is malleable, which sets up associated meaning-making and action tendencies that can either help or hinder performance in school (2). ...
... The core of a growth mindset motivational framework is the belief that intelligence is malleable, which sets up associated meaning-making and action tendencies that can either help or hinder performance in school (2). Specifically, adolescents with a growth mindset motivational framework (also called an incremental theory motivational framework; Gunderson et al., 2013) tend to view effort, challenges, and persisting in the face of setbacks as routes to greater ability. Those with a fixed mindset motivational framework (also called an entity theory motivational framework), on the other hand, may tend to see challenges as risking a display of low ability, and may see setbacks or needing to exert effort as signs of low ability. ...
Article
Behavioral science interventions have the potential to address longstanding policy problems, but their effects are typically heterogeneous across contexts (e.g., teachers, schools, and geographic regions). This contextual heterogeneity is poorly understood, however, which reduces the field’s impact and its understanding of mechanisms. Here, we present an efficient way to interrogate heterogeneity and address these gaps in knowledge. This method a) presents scenarios that vividly represent different moderating contexts, b) measures a short-term behavioral outcome (e.g., an academic choice) that is known to relate to typical intervention outcomes (e.g., academic achievement), and c) assesses the causal effect of the moderating context on the link between the psychological variable typically targeted by interventions and this short-term outcome. We illustrated the utility of this approach across four experiments (total n = 3,235) that directly tested contextual moderators of the links between growth mindset, which is the belief that ability can be developed, and students’ academic choices. The present results showed that teachers’ growth mindset-supportive messages and the structural opportunities they provide moderated the link between students’ mindsets and their choices (studies 1 to 3). This pattern was replicated in a nationally representative sample of adolescents and did not vary across demographic subgroups (study 2), nor was this pattern the result of several possible confounds (studies 3 to 4). Discussion centers on how this method of interrogating contextual heterogeneity can be applied to other behavioral science interventions and broaden their impact in other policy domains.
... This finding is supported by numerous experimental and longitudinal studies in both parenting and classroom contexts. For example, the longitudinal experimental study of Gunderson, Gripshover, Romero, Dweck, Goldin-Meadow, & Levine (2013) demonstrated that parents who praised children's effort at 14-38 months had encouraged children to adopt an incremental motivational framework at seven to eight years of age. Similarly, studies of parents who view their children's failure as debilitating and focus on children's performance and ability rather than children's learning promote a fixed mindset rather than a growth mindset (Haimovitz & Dweck, 2016). ...
... Praise such as "Good boy" and "You are so clever" can undermine students' motivation to show effort and performance (Dweck, 1999;Mueller & Dweck, 1998). Dweck and colleagues repeatedly found that students with a growth mindset show higher achievement across challenging school transitions and demonstrate greater course completion rates in challenging mathematic courses (Gunderson et al., 2013;Yeager & Dweck, 2012). A growth mindset relates not only to better academic outcomes, but also to better psychological well-being, including lower aggression and stress in response to peer victimization and exclusion, which in turn results in better school performance (Dweck, 2013). ...
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Even after spending five to six years sitting in a classroom almost every day for anywhere between four to seven hours, a significant share of students in low- and middle-income countries are still not able to read, write, or do basic arithmetic. What explains this “learning crisis?” A growing body of evidence suggests that poor teaching practices and little to no learning inside the classroom are the main culprits. As such, the learning crisis reflects a teaching crisis. So what can teachers do inside the classroom to tackle these joint crises? This paper systematizes the evidence regarding effective teaching practices in primary school classrooms, with special focus on evidence from low- and middle-income countries. By doing so, the paper provides the theoretical and empirical foundations for the content of the newly developed Teach classroom observation tool. Implications for teacher education and evaluation are also discussed.
... This study measured teachers' perceptions of mindset and the pedagogical strategies they preferred to adopt. The self-evaluated survey consisted of the following instruments: the Implicit Theory of Intelligence (ITI, Dweck, 2000), the Implicit Theory of Giftedness (ITG, Dweck, 2000;Kuusisto et al., 2017), the Patterns of Adaptive Learning Scale (PALS, Midgley et al., 2000), and Praise (created based on Gunderson et al., 2013). ...
... In turn, a total of 16 praise statements reflected the oral praise that teachers preferred to offer when their students achieved exceptional academic grades, as indicated in Table 5. The instrument was developed based on Gunderson et al.'s (2013) study on process, person and neutral praising styles. In addition, items indicating luck were also included. ...
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We are very happy to publish this issue of the International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research. The International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research is a peer-reviewed open-access journal committed to publishing high-quality articles in the field of education. Submissions may include full-length articles, case studies and innovative solutions to problems faced by students, educators and directors of educational organisations. To learn more about this journal, please visit the website http://www.ijlter.org. We are grateful to the editor-in-chief, members of the Editorial Board and the reviewers for accepting only high quality articles in this issue. We seize this opportunity to thank them for their great collaboration. The Editorial Board is composed of renowned people from across the world. Each paper is reviewed by at least two blind reviewers. We will endeavour to ensure the reputation and quality of this journal with this issue.
... Which mindset individuals develop is related to the patterns of praise they receive (Gunderson et al., 2013). Often parents and teachers praise to initiate a response that is positive and beneficial to boosting confidence, self-worth, and motivation in a child. ...
... If he or she receives a C on a subsequent test, the child doesn't attribute the grade to a part of him-or herself that cannot be changed but to lack of studying or effort. Praise that focuses on effort can also lead children to value learning opportunities, improve their ability to strategize, and increase their motivation to take on new tasks (Gunderson et al., 2013). Critically, praising effort fosters a growth mindset and, therefore, helps children develop resiliency. ...
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Like all children, deaf and hard of hearing children thrive in environments that support and promote healthy ways of thinking. When individuals have healthy ways of thinking, they have what researchers call a “growth mindset” (Dweck, 2006), and part of a growth mindset is resiliency. When a child who is resilient faces a challenge, he or she will try different solutions, exhibit greater effort, and not easily give up. In comparison, a non-resilient child may easily give up and even exhibit helplessness or shy away from future challenges. Developing resiliency and growth mindsets in students has been found to lead to increased academic achievement (Blackwell, Trzeniewski, & Dweck, 2007; Good, Aronson, & Inzlicht, 2003). As we raise expectations for deaf and hard of hearing children, we must foster their resiliency; resiliency is a critical tool in meeting high expectations and achieving academic success.
... Accordingly, intervention designs aimed at cultivating a growth mindset and forming adaptive behaviours have increasingly attracted attention as a way of boosting achievement (Blackwell et al., 2007;Yeager et al., 2019). Although the parents of youths and adolescents may deliver growth-relevant information such as process praise at home (Gunderson et al., 2013), teachers are crucial implementers of growth-mindset interventions in natural environments. Moreover, teacher factors have been deemed a stronger determinant of academic performance than student or family factors (Patterson et al., 2016), specifically on the pedagogical level in helping students to establish implicit beliefs about human qualities (Rissanen et al., 2019) and a set of learning patterns (Schmidt et al., 2015). ...
... Praise. The instruments measuring praise (Revised from Gunderson et al., 2013) utilized a five-point Likert scale (1 =strongly disagree, 5=strongly agree) to assess how teachers praised students who obtained high academic scores in their exams. In an exploratory factor analysis (KMO=.787, ...
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The current investigation consists of four independent sub-studies. In Study 1, 114 teachers participated in a two-round questionnaire survey investigating the descriptive features of mindset and pedagogy. Two groups of teachers were interviewed in Study 2 & 3 to explore how these features were reflected in their teaching. Study 4 comprised focus-group interviews identifying the underlying mechanism determining which and how factors moderate the correspondence between mindset and pedagogy. Teachers in upper-secondary education endorsed mixed pedagogies despite their mindsets. The mixing style was characterized by 1) process-focused and trait-focused pedagogical thinking, and 2) mastery-oriented and performance-oriented pedagogical practices, with variable persistence and differential instructions. Situations related to culture, education, society and individual experiences were deemed to moderate the alignment of mindset with corresponding pedagogy-an insight that could be helpful in designing mindset intervention to enhance its validity. Implications concerning the adjustment of situational factors to educational surroundings are discussed.
... Given these issues, parents' responses to children's math performance may be a key target for interventions aimed at parents. The research to date, however, has examined parents' responses to children's performance in the general context of daily activities such as meals and cleaning up (e.g., Gunderson et al., 2013) or in the academic context without attention to specific subjects (e.g., Pomerantz & Kempner, 2013). Although it is likely that parents' responses to children's performance in math operate in a similar manner to their responses to children's performance in other areas, it is possible that there are differences given the more fixed mindsets around math as well as the fact that 20% of adults suffer from math anxiety (e.g., Ashcraft & Ridley, 2005). ...
... We assessed four distinct, albeit related, dimensions of children's math adjustment to provide insight into the nature and breadth of the effects of parents' responses during the early elementary school years. Drawing from conceptual perspectives on how person and process responses shape children's beliefs, motivation, and achievement (e.g., Mueller & Dweck, 1998;Kamins & Dweck, 1999), as well as the dimensions of children's math adjustment assessed in prior research on parents' person and process responses (e.g., Gunderson et al., 2013Gunderson et al., , 2018cPomerantz & Kempner, 2013), we measured children's growth mindsets about math ability, preference for challenge in math, and math achievement. Adding to prior research, we also examined children's math anxiety, which may be heightened by parents' person responses to math as children become anxious about failure and is associated with children's math achievement (for a review, see Barroso et al., 2021). ...
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A new parent-report measure was used to examine parents’ person and process responses to children’s math performance. Twice over a year from 2017-2020, American parents (N = 546; 80% mothers, 20% other caregivers; 62% white, 21% Black, 17% other) reported their responses and math beliefs; their children’s (Mage = 7.48 years; 50% girls, 50% boys) math adjustment was also assessed. Factor analyses indicated parents’ person and process responses to children’s math success and failure represent 4 distinct, albeit related, responses. Person (vs. process) responses were less common and less likely to accompany views of math ability as malleable and failure as constructive (|r|s = .16-.23). The more parents used person responses, the poorer children’s later math adjustment (|β|s = .06-.16).
... When children are praised for their personal qualities (person praise; e.g., "You're so smart at this"), they often become focused on demonstrating their ability. When they struggle or fail, they may question their ability and enter a helpless mode 18,67,68 . Conversely, when children are praised for their efforts or strategies (process praise; e.g., "You found a good way to do it"), they often become focused on developing their ability. ...
... Conversely, when children are praised for their efforts or strategies (process praise; e.g., "You found a good way to do it"), they often become focused on developing their ability. When they struggle or fail, they often do not question their ability and remain in a mastery-oriented mode 18,67,68 . In our study, we used process praise, and we varied whether the praise was modest or inflated. ...
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When children practice a new skill and fail, it is critical for them to explore new strategies to succeed. How can parents encourage children’s exploration? Bridging insights from developmental psychology and the neuroscience of motor control, we examined the effects of parental praise on children’s motor exploration. We theorize that modest praise can spark exploration. Unlike inflated praise, modest praise acknowledges children’s performance, without setting a high standard for future performance. This may be reassuring to children with lower levels of self-esteem, who often doubt their ability. We conducted a novel virtual-reality experiment. Children (N = 202, ages 8–12) reported self-esteem and performed a virtual-reality 3D trajectory-matching task, with success/failure feedback after each trial. Children received modest praise (“You did well!”), inflated praise (“You did incredibly well!”), or no praise from their parent. We measured motor exploration as children’s tendency to vary their movements following failure. Relative to no praise, modest praise—unlike inflated praise—encouraged exploration in children with lower levels of self-esteem. By contrast, modest praise discouraged exploration in children with higher levels of self-esteem. Effects were small yet robust. This experiment demonstrates that modest praise can spark exploration in children with lower levels of self-esteem.
... Since it is motivational, it can also have a positive effect on students' academic performance (Corpus & Lepper, 2007;Droe, 2012;Mueller & Dweck, 1998). Effort praise, which can come from teachers (Mueller & Dweck, 1998) or parents (Gunderson et al., 2013), can help develop a growth mindset. This mindset can positively affect students by instilling in them the belief that their intellectual abilities and personal traits are malleable (Dweck, 2007) and can influence motivation and performance in different subjects such as science (Bedford, 2017;Dai & Cromley, 2014) and mathematics (Blackwell et al., 2007;Bostwick, et al., 2017;Claro et al., 2016;Jones et al., 2012;Priess-Groben & Hyde, 2017). ...
... For example, the tasks in previous studies on the effects of effort praise were not anchored on the curriculum of the subject (Xing et al., 2018). Some researchers conducted their studies in laboratories, which were unrealistic environments (Gunderson et al., 2013) and could have an impact on reliability. Growth mindset studies meanwhile were mostly done in mathematics and science classes, missing the concept's possible application in reading education. ...
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Previous research on praising students to improve their motivation and their mindset had mixed results. This inconsistency was the impetus for this paper. The present study employed a mixed-method experimental design to examine the effects of effort praise on reading motivation and mindset of 60 Filipino seventh-grade students who were categorized as frustration-level readers. They studied English as a second language (ESL) where they were expected to comprehend various texts with appropriate reading styles based on the Grade 7 curriculum guide of the Department of Education in the Philippines. Using the Implicit Theory Scale (Dweck et al., 1995), the study found that effort praise led students in the positive rule group to endorse a growth mindset, while the students in the inverse rule group adopted a fixed mindset after receiving effort praise. Moreover, although it may increase reading motivation, the positive effect of effort praise on struggling ESL readers with fixed and growth mindsets may be short-term. This paper concludes with a schematic diagram to illustrate and explain how effort praise affects the mindset and the motivation of struggling ESL adolescents in reading. It also provides practical recommendations to improve reading teachers' practice of giving positive feedback, specifically effort praise.
... Parental use of process praise with their toddlers has been shown to predict children's academic achievement in math and reading up to seven years later, via their incremental motivational frameworks [31]. Process praise has been found to positively impact children's trait beliefs (belief in intelligence as malleable versus fixed, i.e., growth mindset) more than their learning motivations (preference for easy versus challenging tasks) [31,32]. A parental growth mindset intervention was also shown to improve the early gesture and vocabulary development of very young children [30]. ...
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Early social and emotional development is foundational for children’s health, education, well-being, and later adjustment in society. It is also a cornerstone of positive psychology—the exploration of human flourishing at an individual, community, and societal level. Habitual explanatory styles (e.g., mindsets and optimistic thinking) have an impact on human well-being and development and are often acquired during early childhood. These explanatory styles may be influenced by regular interactions with significant adults outside of the family setting. However, few studies have focused on the relationship between optimism, mindsets, and well-being of children in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) contexts. This scoping review systematically explores and maps out the literature on optimism, growth mindsets, and positive psychology with young children in ECEC. It identifies literature reporting qualitatively or quantitatively on theory or programs and interventions including optimism, growth mindset, and positive psychology in young children, reporting or implying a mechanism of change for the well-being of young children, and published between 1995 and 2021.
... La littérature scientifique suggère qu'aider les parents à adopter un mindset malléable et à véhiculer une représentation positive des erreurs impacterait positivement le mindset et la réussite scolaire de leurs enfants (Moorman et Pomerantz, 2010 ;Gunderson et al., 2013 ;Gunderson et al., 2018). Bien que les deux études pilotes menées dans ce projet ne permettent pas de conclure quant à l'efficacité du projet Intervention Parents, ces résultats sont tout de même intéressants, car ils mettent en exergue la complexité de passer de la théorie à la pratique. ...
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La littérature en psychologie sociale montre l’impact positif d’avoir un mindset malléable sur la motivation et la réussite scolaire. Cet impact serait médié par différents facteurs comportementaux et psychologiques tels que la persistance, l’adoption d’objectifs de réussite ou la réaction aux difficultés. Différentes études suggèrent également un lien entre mindset et engagement scolaire, mais ces études ne permettent pas de comprendre si - et par quels mécanismes - le mindset impacte la décision des élèves d’allouer du temps et de l'énergie aux activités scolaires. Dans la première partie de mon travail de thèse, trois études ont été menées pour répondre à cette question. L'Étude 1 testait l’hypothèse que les collégiens avec un mindset malléable passeraient plus de temps à travailler les mathématiques durant les confinements liés au COVID-19. Les résultats de cette étude montrent un impact significatif de la régulation identifiée de la motivation, mais pas du mindset. L'Étude 2 faisait l’hypothèse que les participants avec un mindset malléable seraient plus susceptibles d’adopter des objectifs de maîtrise et par conséquent seraient moins tentés de se désinvestir d’une tâche de mathématiques suite à une situation d’exclusion sociale. Les résultats de deux expérimentations menées auprès de 80 et 34 participants ne montrent pas de lien entre mindset et objectifs de réussite. Une troisième expérimentation, menée sur un plus grand nombre de participants, permet néanmoins de répliquer, dans une population française, le lien entre mindset et objectifs de réussite. L'Étude 3 testait l’hypothèse qu’induire un mindset malléable impacterait la prise de décision des étudiants en situation scolaire. Les résultats de cette étude montrent qu’inciter les participants à adopter un mindset malléable diminue leur sensibilité à la difficulté des activités scolaires.L’objectif de la seconde partie était d’améliorer les interventions de l’association Énergie Jeunes en prenant en considération l’environnement des élèves. Le Projet 1 tentait de changer le mindset des professeurs de mathématiques. Les résultats montrent qu’animer une intervention mindset auprès des professeurs est une solution efficace pour augmenter l’impact des interventions sur le mindset des élèves. Le Projet 2 tentait de changer le mindset des parents. Les deux pilotes de ce projet n’ont pas permis de mener des analyses statistiques. Cependant, ils mettent en évidence lanécessité de comprendre les freins au changement de la part des bénévoles et des établissements scolaires lorsqu’une nouvelle intervention est proposée. Dans le Projet 3, les spécificités de l’environnement n'étaient plus modifiées, mais intégrées dans les interventions. Les résultats de vingt-sept entretiens mettent en évidence trois freins pouvant diminuer l’efficacité des interventions délivrées dans les collèges ruraux : le manque d’utilité perçue de l’école, la perception de la mobilité comme un arrachement au tissu social et le manque de rôles modèles. Trois interventions ont alors été créées.Ce travail de thèse avait pour objectif de contribuer à la construction de nouvelles connaissances sur le mindset et sur la façon de le changer. L’originalité de ce projet était d’utiliser des données théoriques en psychologie sociale et en sciences de la décision et des données de terrain. Croiser des champs disciplinaires tels que la psychologie et les sciences de la décision était utile pour faire émerger de nouvelles hypothèses concernant les mécanismes expliquant l’impact du mindset sur les résultats scolaires. Prendre en considération les remontées de terrain a permis de mettre en évidence l’importance de prendre en considération l’environnement des élèves (1) pour assurer le déploiement des interventions, (2) pour créer des interventions cohérentes avec la réalité du terrain et les attentes des établissements et (3) pour, quand cela est possible, créer des interventions visant directement à modifier l’environnement des élèves.
... In addition to growth mindset interventions aimed at high-schoolers, both experimental and correlational studies document that adults' praise emphasizing the role of malleable effort in success (rather than fixed aspects of a person's ability) increases preschool and elementary-school children's persistence on, enjoyment of, and choice of challenging tasks (e.g., Cimpian et al., 2007;Gunderson et al., 2013;Mueller & Dweck, 1998; but see Li & Bates, 2019). Furthermore, parents' messages about failure may be even more important than messages about success in shaping children's beliefs about the role of effort and fixed ability. ...
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In this review, we propose that fiber arts – a wide array of practices that use string, yarn, and fabric to create functional and fine art textiles – present a novel avenue to both explore basic science questions about spatial skills and to design interventions that help children learn spatial skills. First, we outline how fiber arts are applicable to existing theoretical frameworks that aim to organize our understanding of spatial skills and highlight how fiber arts may be particularly relevant for understanding critically understudied non-rigid spatial skills. Next, we review the environmental factors that influence spatial skill development. In the third section of the paper, we review the literature on gender differences in spatial skill performance, as well as intervention approaches that have been taken to close gender gaps. Fourth, we outline how motivational features of fiber arts, specifically the roles of individual choice in goal-setting, and growth-mindset-consistent messages in fiber arts contexts, could contribute to spatial learning. Finally, we suggest several avenues for future research, including leveraging fiber arts materials and techniques to investigate non-rigid mental transformation skills, and designing gender-inclusive fiber-arts-based spatial skills interventions that maintain the motivationally relevant features of fiber arts practices and contexts.
... Por otro lado, si se las considera teorías es porque constituyen un marco (restrictivo, pero no rígido) desde el cual comportarse, predecir y juzgar la realidad (Carpintero Molina et al., 2003;Dweck & Molden, 2008;Dweck et al., 1995;Molden & Dweck, 2006;Robins & Pals, 2002). Desde la Teoría de la Entidad, intentar cosas nuevas y desafiantes es un riesgo que difícilmente se asume, ya que la posibilidad de fallar o equivocarse 63 está asociada con la debilidad y la incapacidad (Gunderson et al., 2013;Haimovitz et al., 2011;Zentall & Morris, 2010). ...
... Per Telech (2022: 2), "social psychological evidence suggests that […] specific expressions of praise positively contribute to agents' non-instrumental motivation to pursue the praised activity (Deci 1971, 114;Furukawa 1982)". Gunderson et al. (2013Gunderson et al. ( , 2018 and Brummelman et al. (2022) identify beneficial and harmful forms of praise with respect to learning, self-esteem, and motivation in children. 20 See Brandenburg (2021) for a discussion of consequentially problematic reactive exchange trajectories. ...
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According to Victoria McGeer’s “scaffolding view” (SV) (McGeer 2019), responsibility is a matter of moral reasons-sensitivity (MRS) which, in turn, requires only a “susceptibility to the scaffolding power of the reactive attitudes, experienced as a form of moral address” (2019: 315). This claim prompts a prima facie challenge: doesn’t this susceptibility lead to doing the right things for the wrong reasons? Although the SV offers a nuanced and sophisticated answer to this challenge, one that moreover respects the social nature of moral knowledge and the fragility of moral motivation, it does not succeed. It redefines MRS to fit our responsibility practices in a way that overlooks our (fragile) capacity for “genuine MRS.” The first and primary objective of this paper is to contrast SV-MRS with genuine MRS. The second objective is to suggest that rather than redefining MRS (which is both unwarranted and costly), we should accept that there is a gap between our practices (and thus responsible agency) and genuine MRS.
... Estas teorías implícitas determinan ciertos marcos a partir de los cuales interpretar y responder al fracaso (Robins & Pals, 2002). En el caso de la MF, lo prioritario es mantener el éxito y los logros alcanzados, en tanto el desafío es temido por miedo a fallar y que esa falla demuestre incapacidad o debilidad personal (Gunderson et al., 2013;Zentall & Morris, 2010). Además, las estrategias que se emplean suelen ser ineficaces, y la persona se centra en obtener juicios positivos sobre su desempeño y evitar los negativos (Haimovitz et al., 2011). ...
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Objetivo. Estudiar la relación entre el tipo de mentalidad y el desempeño en comprensión lectora y aritmética de 247 estudiantes de 9 a 12 años de edad de dos escuelas de Argentina. Método. Los participantes completaron un cuestionario basado en una Escala de Mentalidad de Crecimiento y pruebas estandarizadas de comprensión lectora y cálculo aritmético. Además, se utilizaron las calificaciones escolares proporcionadas por docentes y datos sobre el estatus social (ES) aportados por padres/cuidadores. El diseño fue no experimental y transversal. Resultados. Los análisis de regresión jerárquica mostraron que a mayor mentalidad de crecimiento, mejor desempeño escolar, aún al controlar el efecto del ES. La relación del desempeño con las calificaciones fue más fuerte que con las pruebas estandarizadas.
... These different attribution styles seem to be partly rooted in different types of praise and feedback females receive from parents and teachers. For instance, girls receive less process praise from parents compared to boys in early childhood (Gunderson et al., 2013). Process praise emphasizes the role of effort, strategies, and actions, which indirectly signals the malleable nature of abilitiesmeaning that girls receive less encouragement to adopt a growth mindset framework. ...
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Background Most of the literature on the relation between mindset and effort depends on subjective self-reports, which may not reliably capture the actual investment of effort. In the current study we (1) operationalized mental effort as the chosen and executed difficulty level in a self-adapted arithmetic task, and (2) combined variable-oriented and person-oriented analytic approaches, with the latter allowing us to explore qualitatively different profiles of effort investment. Methods First-year Dutch high-school students (n = 299; aged 11–14 yrs) chose difficulty levels of arithmetic problems in 20 rounds. Linear Mixed Modeling (variable-oriented approach) and Latent-Profile Analysis (person-oriented approach) were used and associations with mindset, errors, gender, and school achievement (standardized arithmetic test, and math grades) were explored. Results For male students, mindset affected their choices independently of errors, while for female students, mindset only played a role when they experienced the setback of errors. Only for males, effort mediated the relation between mindset and standardized arithmetic scores. Additionally, we identified five effort profiles: (1) Avoiders, (2) Exploring challengers, (3) Challengers, (4) Explorers and (5) Steady. Two profiles were more growth-oriented (2 and 3), and two more fixed-oriented (1 and 5). Conclusion This study adds to the literature by demonstrating a gender-moderated relation between mindset and an objective measure of effort, but also important nuances as indicated by individual differences in effort strategies.
... The mindset of young athletes can be influenced by their coaches (e.g., by their definition of failure) (Cimpian, Arce, Markman, & Dweck, 2007;Gunderson et al., 2013;Haimovitz & Dweck, 2016;Kamins & Dweck, 1999;Mueller & Dweck, 1998 The TL forms the tool to convey the contents of the program in a MC, which itself is an important situational construct in AGT, and can significantly influence athletes' behaviour and performance strategies (Ames, 1995). In the sport context, MC refers to individual athletes' perceptions of how their coaches define success or failure and how they evaluate competence in training and play. ...
... The majority of the studies that investigate the impact of effort praise have been conducted in a laboratory research setup. Some researchers disfavor this setting due to its unrealistic context (Gunderson et al., 2013;Henderlong & Lepper, 2002), which can affect the reliability of the findings when applied inside the classroom. Lastly, many of the recent mindset studies have focused on the effect of a growth mindset on students' performances in mathematics and science subjects. ...
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The present study attempted to investigate whether praising the reading effort of Filipino struggling readers would lead to increased reading performance. A total of 60 seventh-grade students, initially categorized under the frustration-reading level from a public junior high school in Cotabato City, were invited to participate in this experimental research. The students completed the effort-ability and mindset surveys to group them based on their belief in the effort-ability relationship and their mindset on reading abilities. Next, they answered three reading comprehension tests with varying levels of difficulty. After getting a passing score on the first reading test, the students in both groups (inverse rule group with fixed mindset = 27, positive rule group with growth mindset = 19) were praised for their effort by their teacher. The analysis from the independent samples t-test revealed that struggling readers with a growth mindset in the positive rule group significantly performed better in the reading tests than those with a fixed mindset in the inverse rule group after receiving effort praise from their teacher. In addition, results from the Pearson product-moment correlation showed a significant positive relationship between the mindset and the reading performance of ESL struggling readers. It implies that when students have a growth mindset, they will most likely have an increased reading performance. Conversely, students with a fixed mindset will most likely have an impaired reading performance.
... How do interventions cultivate growth mindsets? In terms of the methods for inducing a growth mindset, teachers and parents have been encouraged to use process praise, rather than ability praise, when children learn new skills and content (Gunderson et al., 2013;Ricci & Lee, 2016). Unlike ability praise (e.g., "You are so smart"), process praise commends the child's effort and persistence in the task (e.g., "You worked really hard"), thus emphasizing that intelligence and skills can be improved. ...
Article
Growth mindset (belief in the malleability of intelligence) is a unique predictor of young learners' increased motivation and learning, and may have broader implications for cognitive functioning. Its role in learning in older adulthood is unclear. As part of a larger longitudinal study, we examined growth mindset and cognitive functioning in older adults engaged in a 3-month multi-skill learning intervention that included growth mindset discussions. Before, during, and after the intervention, participants reported on their growth mindset beliefs and completed a cognitive battery. Study 1 indicated that intervention participants, but not control participants, increased their growth mindset during the intervention. Study 2 replicated these results and found that older adults with higher preexisting growth mindsets showed larger cognitive gains at posttest compared to those with lower preexisting growth mindsets. Our findings highlight the potential role of growth mindset in supporting positive learning cycles for cognitive gains in older adulthood.
... First, the present work presents students with a much larger array of specific teaching behaviors (119 behaviors, vs. only 16 behaviors), sourced from the mindset literature broadly (Barger, 2018;Blackwell et al., 2007;Butler, 2000;Dweck & Leggett, 1988;Gunderson et al., 2013;Haimovitz & Dweck, 2016;Lee, 1996;Moorman & Pomerantz, 2010;Mueller & Dweck, 1998;Park et al., 2016; "At the start of the semester, the professor says, 'Some of you won't do well in this class, no matter how hard you try'" "At the start of the semester, the professor says, 'If you do not get the concepts early and quickly, you should drop the course'" ...
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Students who perceive their instructors to endorse growth (vs. fixed) mindset beliefs report better classroom experiences (e.g., greater belonging, fewer evaluative concerns) and, in turn, engage in more behaviors that promote academic success (e.g., class attendance and engagement). Although many instructors personally endorse growth (vs. fixed) mindset beliefs, their students often perceive their beliefs quite differently. And, to date, little is known about how students come to perceive their instructors as growth-minded or as fixed-minded. To address this, the present research employs a social cognitive classification paradigm to identify teaching behaviors that students perceive as communicating instructors’ mindset beliefs. College students (NStudents = 186) categorized specific teaching behaviors (NBehaviors = 119) as signaling either fixed or growth mindset beliefs. Even after controlling for students’ personal mindset beliefs and the warmth of the teaching behavior, we found that when instructors suggest everyone can learn, offer opportunities for feedback, respond to struggling students with additional support and attention, and place value on learning it signals to students that their instructor endorses more growth mindset beliefs. Conversely, when instructors suggest that some students are incapable, fail to provide opportunities for feedback, respond to students’ struggle with frustration and/or resignation, and place value on performance and brilliance it signals to students that their instructor endorses fixed mindset beliefs.
... First, the present work presents students with a much larger array of specific teaching behaviors (119 behaviors, vs. only 16 behaviors), sourced from the mindset literature broadly (Barger, 2018;Blackwell et al., 2007;Butler, 2000;Dweck & Leggett, 1988;Gunderson et al., 2013;Haimovitz & Dweck, 2016;Lee, 1996;Moorman & Pomerantz, 2010;Mueller & Dweck, 1998;Park et al., 2016;Rattan et al., 2012Rattan et al., , 2018Rissanen et al., 2018;Stipek et al., 2001;Sun, 2018Sun, , 2019-and these behaviors include those we expected to signal teachers' growth mindset beliefs to students as well as those we expected to signal teachers' fixed mindset beliefs. 1 Second, the student reports in the earlier work (Kroeper et al., 2022) were all retrospective and assessed at the same point in time-asking students at the end of the term to report on both their teachers' mindset beliefs as well as the extent to which their teachers engaged in particular behaviors and practices during the term. Thus, it is somewhat unclear whether students' perceptions of their teachers' behavior signaled their teacher's mindset 1 Our original predictions regarding how most students would categorize cues and our data exclusion plans were preregistered on the Open Science Framework prior to data processing and analysis (see https://osf.io/d28aq/?view_only=85cc3df98bc24a92b5fe8eacfa701c39). ...
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Students who perceive their instructors to endorse growth (vs. fixed) mindset beliefs report better classroom experiences (e.g., greater belonging, fewer evaluative concerns) and, in turn, engage in more behaviors that promote academic success (e.g., class attendance and engagement). Although many instructors personally endorse growth (vs. fixed) mindset beliefs, their students often perceive their beliefs quite differently. And, to date, little is known about how students come to perceive their instructors as growth-minded or as fixed-minded. To address this, the present research employs a social cognitive classification paradigm to identify teaching behaviors that students perceive as communicating instructors’ mindset beliefs. College students (NStudents=186) categorized specific teaching behaviors (NBehaviors=119) as signaling either fixed or growth mindset beliefs. Even after controlling for students’ personal mindset beliefs and the warmth of the teaching behavior, we found that when instructors suggest everyone can learn, offer opportunities for feedback, respond to struggling students with additional support and attention, and place value on learning it signals to students that their instructor endorses more growth mindset beliefs. Conversely, when instructors suggest that some students are incapable, fail to provide opportunities for feedback, respond to students’ struggle with frustration and/or resignation, and place value on performance and brilliance it signals to students that their instructor endorses fixed mindset beliefs.
... A second method of promoting curious behavior is to provide scaffolding to guide students' informationseeking, helping to make knowledge gaps less intimidating by breaking down steps to find information or even to help identify information needed and ideas for ways of getting it (Turner et al., 1998;van de Pol et al., 2010). Support for focusing on this learning process can be important for developing openness to uncertainty, as a strong focus on outcomes over the process is negatively associated with children's developing motivational framework (Park et al., 2016), while focusing on effort positively impacts children's motivational frameworks (Gunderson et al., 2013). Finally, teachers can simply provide positive reinforcement to students' curiosity and question asking, which can help create a classroom climate where curiosity is valued (Spargo and Enderstein, 1997;Pianta et al., 2008). ...
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Curiosity is widely acknowledged as a crucial aspect of children’s development and as an important part of the learning process, with prior research showing associations between curiosity and achievement. Despite this evidence, there is little research on the development of curiosity or on promoting curiosity in school settings, and measures of curiosity promotion in the classroom are absent from the published literature. This article introduces the Curiosity in Classrooms (CiC) Framework coding protocol, a tool for observing and coding instructional practices that support the promotion of curiosity. We describe the development of the framework and observation instrument and the results of a feasibility study using the protocol, which gives a descriptive overview of curiosity-promoting instruction in 35 elementary-level math lessons. Our discussion includes lessons learned from this work and suggestions for future research using the developed observation tool.
... Indeed, already at a young age, children may pick up the message implied by person-oriented feedback that achievement reflects some kind of fixed quality, while process-oriented feedback would emphasize the malleability and controllability of performance. For example, a longitudinal study found parental praise of children's effort at 14-38 months to predict growth mindsets at 7-8 years (Gunderson et al., 2013). Overall, several studies have found that the more children received parental feedback referring to their ability rather than referring to their learning and effort, the more they endorsed a fixed mind-set (Haimovitz & Dweck, 2017;Haimovitz & Henderlong Corpus, 2011;Pomerantz & Kempner, 2013), particularly among girls (Henderlong Corpus et al., 2006;Henderlong Corpus & Lepper, 2007). ...
Article
Although it has been hypothesized that gifted students are at risk for adopting a fixed mind-set, research revealed inconsistent results. We aimed to clarify this by differentiating between two operationalizations of giftedness (high cognitive ability and formal identification as gifted) and how these relate to students’ beliefs about intelligence and effort. Also, we examined the role of parental antecedents on students’ beliefs. Participants were 3,329 seventh-grade students and their parents. Only being labeled as gifted was related to adopting a fixed mind-set. Regarding parental antecedents, parents’ intelligence and effort beliefs were related to students’ corresponding beliefs. Furthermore, parental feedback was associated with students’ beliefs, which was most pronounced when student-reports of feedback were used. In particular, person-oriented feedback related positively to a fixed mind-set and negatively to students’ appreciation of the role of effort in academic performance, while process-oriented feedback showed the opposite pattern. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
... These two studies provide clear evidence that, when compared to process-oriented positive feedback, person-oriented positive feedback negatively affects perseverance. Subsequent correlational studies confirmed that person-oriented and process-oriented positive feedback also have differential effects on children's motivation and behavior in real-life contexts (Gunderson et al. 2013(Gunderson et al. , 2018Pomerantz and Kempner 2013). ...
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Background It is widely recommended for teachers to provide positive feedback to foster the development and maintenance of children’s motivation and perseverance. However, not all positive feedback has positive consequences and an important differentiation can be made between positive person-oriented feedback (i.e. ‘you are very talented’) and process-oriented feedback (i.e. ‘you showed great perseverance’). Specific evidence- and theory-based recommendations regarding the impact of different types of positive feedback will benefit children’s experiences in physical education and sports. Purpose The present study addressed this topic by carrying out an experimental study on the provision of different types of positive feedback on children’s perseverance following failure experience in motor tasks. Since it has been suggested that children’s ability as well as their degree of insecurity or self-esteem may affect how they respond to different types of feedback, we also consider the role of individual differences between children. Specifically, it was examined whether the impact of the different types of feedback depends on children’s actual and perceived motor competence and narcissism levels. Methods A sample of 176 Flemish children (44.3% boys, 9–13 years) received either person-oriented, process-oriented or neutral positive feedback after a set of easy motor tasks in which they succeeded. Next, children engaged in motor tasks that were too difficult for their age so that they had a failure experiences after which they received negative feedback. Children’s perseverance following failure was measured by monitoring at which difficulty level and how long they kept on practicing. Prior to the experiment, children’s level of actual and perceived motor competence and narcissism was measured. Results Children who received process-oriented positive feedback chose more difficult exercises than children in the neutral positive feedback condition. Children in the process-oriented feedback condition also persisted longer than children in the person-oriented positive feedback and control condition. These effects were independent of both children’s level of actual and perceived motor competence and narcissism. Conclusion This study shows that not all forms of positive feedback are equally effective to increase perseverance. The results highlight the importance of offering process-oriented rather than person-oriented positive feedback to increase children’s perseverance when facing difficult tasks.
... Using parents alone is not enough to elicit impactful results however, according to the findings of this review. Evidence suggests praise mechanisms may also operate in the home learning environment [93], a context where children can also experience a more individualized attention, and thus parent-based interventions are a plausible and possibly fruitful avenue for future intervention research given the head-start parents have in creating a sense of relatedness. Information discussed thus far points to the home learning environment as a profitable context for intervention research for the following reasons: it affords the attention and knowledge required to design individualized challenging experiences for the child; one-on-one autonomy support and associated encouragement and feedback can be provided by the caregiver; it allows the child to make meaningful choices; and it occurs alongside an adult with whom the child has a deep, affectionate bond, from where the child feels secure and safe to take risks. ...
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Self-regulation (SR) is considered foundational in early life, with robust evidence demonstrating a link between early self-regulation and longer-term outcomes. This has been the impetus for a growing body of intervention research into how best to support early SR development, yet approaches and effects are diverse, which complicates an understanding of the critical characteristics for effective early SR intervention. Using Self-Determination Theory (SDT) as a guiding framework, we present a scoping review of early SR-intervention research to identify the characteristics of pre-school interventions that show significant and strong effects on young children’s SR. Studies from peer-reviewed journal articles were included if they evaluated a SR intervention with pre-school children, were published between 2010 and 2020, written in English, and included a SR outcome measure. This yielded 19 studies, each reporting the efficacy of a different SR intervention. Results showed that content factors (what interventions do) interacted with their implementation (how, when, and by whom interventions are implemented) to discriminate the more versus less efficacious interventions. Through the lens of SDT, results further suggested that targeting competence through encouragement and feedback, and nurturing children’s autonomy distinguished more from less effective interventions. Relatedness was least able to discriminate intervention efficacy.
... For example, Gunderson and colleagues examined parents' use of ability and effort praise in the presence of their children aged 1-3 years. They demonstrated that parents' use of effort praise predicted children's incremental theory of intelligence 5 years later (Gunderson et al, 2013). Furthermore, in a study conducted by Pomerantz and Kempner (2013), parents of 8 to 10 year-olds were interviewed on a daily basis, in order to track their use of ability and effort-focused praise. ...
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Recent research suggests that implicit self-theories—a theory predicated on the idea that people’s underlying beliefs about whether self-attributes, such as intelligence, are malleable (incremental theory) or unchangeable (entity theory), can influence people’s perceptions of emerging social robots developed for everyday use. Other avenues of research have identified a close link between ability and effort-focused praise and the promotion of individual implicit self-theories. In line with these findings, we posit that implicit self-theories and robot-delivered praise can interactively influence the way people evaluate a social robot, after a challenging task. Specifically, we show empirically that those endorsing more of an entity theory, indicate more favorable responses to a robot that delivers ability praise than to one that delivers effort praise. In addition, we show that those endorsing more of an incremental theory, remain largely unaffected by either praise type, and instead evaluate a robot favorably regardless of the praise it delivers. Together, these findings expand the state-of-the-art, by providing evidence of an interactive match between implicit self-theories and ability, and effort-focused praise in the context of a human-robot interaction.
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The existing research has explored the effects of growth mindset intervention on individuals in Western culture. This study sought to determine whether growth mindset intervention has a positive impact on adolescents in economically disadvantaged areas of China. Participants in this study were 324 junior high school students who were randomly divided into the intervention group and the control group. The intervention group received six weeks of intervention classes designed to help students learn, internalize, and reinforce the concept of growth mindset. The aims of intervention were to build students’ beliefs that the brain is plastic and that individuals can change by their efforts and help students acquire the strategies to cope with the difficulties. The control group was given six classes on mental health, including time management, habit formation, and memory strategies, which were unrelated to growth mindset. All participants’ implicit theory of intelligence, fixed-trait attributions, grit, and state anxiety were assessed in the pre-test and post-test. The results showed that compared with the control group, the intervention group had a significant increase in growth mindset, the level of grit, and decrease in fixed-trait attributions. That is, for students in the intervention group, strengthening of growth mindset was accompanied by more frequent use of process-focused attribution styles, more perseverance, and greater efforts when faced with challenges and setbacks. Collectively, the results suggested that having a strong growth mindset of intelligence may help students adopt more proactive coping strategies and protect them from the deleterious effects of poverty on student development.
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Parenting is a critical influence on the development of children across the globe. This handbook brings together scholars with expertise on parenting science and interventions for a comprehensive review of current research. It begins with foundational theories and research topics, followed by sections on parenting children at different ages, factors that affect parenting such as parental mental health or socioeconomic status, and parenting children with different characteristics such as depressed and anxious children or youth who identify as LGBTQ. It concludes with a section on policy implications, as well as prevention and intervention programs that target parenting as a mechanism of change. Global perspectives and the cultural diversity of families are highlighted throughout. Offering in-depth analysis of key topics such as risky adolescent behavior, immigration policy, father engagement, family involvement in education, and balancing childcare and work, this is a vital resource for understanding the most effective policies to support parents in raising healthy children.
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This chapter examines the role of language in children’s categorization. Children categorize every time they treat discriminably different items as in some way the same. A nine-month-old tosses a foam ball, a round candle, and American football, treating them all as throwable objects. A toddler points to a cow and calls it a “dog,” treating all four-legged mammals as somehow alike. A three-year-old wisely observes, “Butterflies have bones,” making a general claim about the abstract set of butterflies. Categories organize human experience, provide the building blocks of thought, and operate on every sort of content: objects, persons, events, mental states, abstract ideas, and logical elements.
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Behavioral science interventions have the potential to address longstanding policy problems, but their effects are typically heterogeneous across contexts (e.g., teachers, schools, geographic regions). This contextual heterogeneity is poorly understood, however, which reduces the field’s impact and its understanding of mechanisms. Here we present an efficient way to interrogate heterogeneity and address these gaps in knowledge. This method (a) presents scenarios that vividly represent different moderating contexts, (b) measures a short-term behavioral outcome (e.g., an academic choice) that is known to relate to typical intervention outcomes (e.g., academic achievement), and (c) assesses the causal effect of the moderating context on the link between the psychological variable typically targeted by interventions and this short-term outcome. We illustrated the utility of this approach across four experiments (total n = 3,235) that directly tested contextual moderators of the links between growth mindset, which is the belief that ability can be developed, and students’ academic choices. The present results showed that teachers’ growth mindset-supportive messages and the structural opportunities they provide moderated the link between students’ mindsets and their choices (Studies 1-3). This pattern was replicated in a nationally representative sample of adolescents and did not vary across demographic subgroups (Study 2), nor was this pattern the result of several possible confounds (Studies 3-4). Discussion centers on how this method of interrogating contextual heterogeneity can be applied to other behavioral science interventions and broaden their impact in other policy domains.
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This paper contends that supporting young people to hold a growth mindset – the belief that intelligence is malleable and within an individual’s power to develop – offers a potential psychological contribution to existing educational inequalities in the UK. A role for educational psychologists (EPs) in extending research insights from experiment contexts to real-world educational settings is developed, by critically examining Dweck’s intelligence mindset theory in practice: firstly, in terms of key themes and controversies within existent research literature; secondly, utilising an implementation science lens; and finally, through an example of EP involvement in partnership with young people and educators. The understanding accrued permits considerations for a rigorous implementation of growth mindset in schools. These considerations extend beyond much of the existing research about growth mindset at the level of the individual student and utilise the professional expertise and strengths of EPs in seeking to make changes to the system around a child.
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Estamos viviendo momentos de transformación en el ámbito educativo, de cambios en los que se están cuestionando y repensando modelos, metodologías y creencias que se han mantenido durante mucho tiempo y que ahora se encuentran en un proceso de redefinición. En la búsqueda de nuevos caminos que transitar, nuevas evidencias, ideas y estrategias para mejorar la educación, estamos convencidas de que una de las claves para lograrlo es entender cómo se desarrolla y funciona el cerebro y cómo aprenden las personas. En este capítulo, haremos un recorrido por la plasticidad cerebral, la influencia del entorno, la mentalidad fija y la mentalidad de crecimiento y su impacto en el aprendizaje para, al mismo tiempo, reflexionar y preguntarnos sobre su relevancia y sobre su incorporación a nuestra práctica profesional. Palabras clave: mentalidad de crecimiento, mentalidad fija, creencias, inteligencia, plasticidad cerebral, aprendizaje.
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This chapter reveals how mathematics plays a central role in infant, primary, and secondary education curriculums and has a decisive bearing in study plans for many university qualifications. For the dismantling of the stereotype of mathematical brilliance, this chapter examines the construction of this myth from its historical roots and how misconceptions have been created among teachers, parents, students, and society as a whole. Thus, the negative myth impacts on teaching and learning mathematics are described from a historical basis. In considering the work of disassembling the notion of an exceptionally gifted for mathematics, strategies are outlined, including prioritising process, investigation, and experimentation over the outcome. The idea is to aid with acquiring, understanding, and using mathematical language and establishing the teaching-learning dialectic on corporative work, in which errors are not signs of incompetence but symptoms of experimentation and learning.
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This chapter explores how student affairs professionals in higher education in the United States can benefit from integrating a growth mindset grounded in empathy in their professional life. The authors examine ways a fixed mindset can impede learning and perpetuate inequities and how a growth mindset can encourage student affairs professionals to see themselves and the students they serve as capable of learning and growth. Therefore, the objectives of this chapter are (1) to provide insight into the meaning of mindset, (2) to highlight how the development of a growth mindset can help student affairs professionals nurture and sustain their capacity for empathy, (3) to examine how empathy supports the building of meaningful relationships with students, (4) how these relationships influence student success more equitably, and (5) provide recommendations on how student affairs professionals can actively develop and maintain an empathic growth mindset.
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Growth mindset continues to be a popular topic of conversation in the field of education and Physical Education (PE). However, despite the existence of various schemes for delivering curriculum PE, there are limited studies analysing how they seek to directly develop children’s mindsets. This study analyses the process taken for one of these frameworks, Real PE, to be implemented within a school to develop their growth mindset culture, drawing upon the theories of key educational thinkers. The study is based upon the authors’ experiences as PE Subject Leader and member of the school Senior Leadership Team (SLT) within a single-form entry primary school in Leicestershire, United Kingdom; testimonials from other schools who utilise Real PE and existing literature on the effectiveness of growth mindset. Implementing a growth mindset culture is not straightforward; although important, it is not solely about intelligence and praising effort, nor a battle of fixed versus growth mindsets as within PE, mixed mindsets exist, and, the fixed mindset should be legitimised. Therefore, a long-term, rigorous approach to change considering policies, individual beliefs, training needs, strategies and feedback methods needs to be developed. This study adds to the growing conversation about growth mindset and seeks to support other school settings considering embedding mindset culture within their school setting and PE provision.
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Two studies were conducted to determine how gender and age moderate the long‐term and post‐failure motivational consequences of person versus performance praise. In Study 1, fourth‐ and fifth‐grade students (n = 93) engaged in a puzzle task while receiving either no praise, person praise, product praise, or process praise. Following a subsequent failure experience, behavioural measures indicated that product and process praise enhanced motivation and person praise dampened motivation for girls, but that there were few effects of praise on subsequent motivation for boys. In Study 2, a parallel procedure with preschool children (n = 76) showed that person, product, and process praise all enhanced motivation, relative to neutral feedback, for both girls and boys.
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Five experiments supported the hypothesis that peoples' implicit theories about the fixedness versus malleability of human attributes (entity versus incremental theories) predict differences in degree of social stereotyping. Relative to those holding an incremental theory, people holding an entity theory made more stereotypical trait judgments of ethnic and occupational groups (Experiments 1, 2, and 5 ) and formed more extreme trait judgments of novel groups ( Experiment 3 ). Implicit theories also predicted the degree to which people attributed stereotyped traits to inborn group qualities versus environmental forces (Experiment 2). Manipulating implicit theories affected level of stereotyping (Experiment 4), suggesting that implicit theories can play a causal role. Finally, implicit theories predicted unique and substantial variance in stereotype endorsement after controlling for the contributions of other stereotype-relevant individual difference variables (Experiment 5). These results highlight the importance of people's basic assumptions about personality in stereotyping. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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This research sought to integrate C. S. Dweck and E. L. Leggett's (1988) model with attribution theory. Three studies tested the hypothesis that theories of intelligence—the belief that intelligence is malleable (incremental theory) versus fixed (entity theory)—would predict (and create) effort versus ability attributions, which would then mediate mastery-oriented coping. Study 1 revealed that, when given negative feedback, incremental theorists were more likely than entity theorists to attribute to effort. Studies 2 and 3 showed that incremental theorists were more likely than entity theorists to take remedial action if performance was unsatisfactory. Study 3, in which an entity or incremental theory was induced, showed that incremental theorists' remedial action was mediated by their effort attributions. These results suggest that implicit theories create the meaning framework in which attributions occur and are important for understanding motivation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Smiley, Patricia A., and Dweck, Carol S. Individual Differences in Achievement Goals among Young Children. Child Development, 1994 65, 1723–1743. Developmental research has generally not found evidence of helpless responses to failure in young children; a prevailing view is that young children lack the cognitive prerequisite for helplessness. However, recent evidence suggests that even preschoolers are vulnerable to helplessness in some situations. In the present study with 4- and 5-year-olds, we tested a goal-confidence model that predicts achievement behavior during failure for older children. We first categorized preschoolers' orientations toward “learning” or “performance” goals based on their preference for a challenging or nonchallenging task. As for older children, goal orientation was independent of ability and predicted cognitions and emotions during failure. Further, consistent with the model, within a learning goal, children displayed the mastery-oriented pattern regardless of confidence level, whereas within a performance goal, children with low confidence were most susceptible to helplessness. These behavior patterns were found on a second task as well. Thus, our findings show that individual differences in achievement goals emerge very early.
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This prospective study examined the contribution of maternal history of depression, mothers' cognitive style, mothers' parenting style, and stressful life events to depressive cognitions in 240 young adolescents. Mothers and adolescents were assessed annually over 3 years starting in sixth grade. The cognitions examined were derived from cognitive models of depression and included self-worth, attributional style, and hopelessness. Maternal history of depression was associated with all three types of negative cognitions in offspring; maternal parenting style and stressful life events significantly incremented the prediction of teens' negative cognitions beyond maternal depression. Adolescents' self-worth was significantly predicted by low maternal acceptance. Attributional style was associated with maternal attributional style for child-focused events, and significantly predicted by maternal psychological control and negative life events. Hopelessness was predicted by high levels of stressful life events, particularly among youth with low self-worth.
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In this study, we examined the role of three social learning mechanisms in the development of undergraduates' depressogenic cognitive styles: modeling of parents' negative cognitive styles; negative inferential feedback from parents regarding the causes and consequences of stressful events in the child's life; and negative parenting practices. We obtained partial support for each of the three hypotheses. Compared to the parents of cognitively low-risk students, cognitively high-risk students' mothers exhibited more negative dysfunctional attitudes and inferential styles themselves; high-risk students' fathers showed less emotional acceptance and warmth; and high-risk students' mothers and fathers both communicated more stable, global attributional feedback and negative consequence feedback for stressful events in their children's lives. In addition, both parents' inferential feedback and fathers' emotional acceptance predicted their undergraduate children's likelihood of developing an episode of major or minor depression or the subtype of hopelessness depression during a 2.5-year prospective follow-up period, with some of these predictive associations mediated totally or in part by the students' cognitive vulnerability status.
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Nuances in how adults talk about ability may have important consequences for children's sustained involvement and success in an activity. In this study, I tested the hypothesis that children would be less motivated while performing a novel activity if they were told that boys or girls in general are good at this activity (generic language) than if they were told that a particular boy or girl is good at it (non-generic language). Generic language may be detrimental because it expresses normative societal expectations regarding performance. If these expectations are negative, they may cause children to worry about confirming them; if positive, they may cause worries about failing to meet them. Moreover, generic statements may be threatening because they imply that performance is the result of stable traits rather than effort. Ninety-seven 4- to 7-year-olds were asked to play a game in which they succeeded at first but then made a few mistakes. Since young children remain optimistic in achievement situations until the possibility of failure is made clear, I hypothesized that 4- and 5-year-olds would not be affected by the implications of generic language until after they made mistakes; 6- and 7-year-olds, however, may be susceptible earlier. As expected, the older children who heard that boys or girls are good at this game displayed lower motivation (e.g., more negative emotions, lower perceived competence) from the start, while they were still succeeding and receiving praise. Four- and 5-year-olds who heard these generic statements had a similar reaction, but only after they made mistakes. These findings demonstrate that exposure to generic language about ability can be an obstacle to children's motivation and, potentially, their success.
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Prior studies indicate that children vary widely in their mathematical knowledge by the time they enter preschool and that this variation predicts levels of achievement in elementary school. In a longitudinal study of a diverse sample of 44 preschool children, we examined the extent to which their understanding of the cardinal meanings of the number words (e.g., knowing that the word "four" refers to sets with 4 items) is predicted by the "number talk" they hear from their primary caregiver in the early home environment. Results from 5 visits showed substantial variation in parents' number talk to children between the ages of 14 and 30 months. Moreover, this variation predicted children's knowledge of the cardinal meanings of number words at 46 months, even when socioeconomic status and other measures of parent and child talk were controlled. These findings suggest that encouraging parents to talk about number with their toddlers, and providing them with effective ways to do so, may positively impact children's school achievement.
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Two studies explored the role of implicit theories of intelligence in adolescents' mathematics achievement. In Study 1 with 373 7th graders, the belief that intelligence is malleable (incremental theory) predicted an upward trajectory in grades over the two years of junior high school, while a belief that intelligence is fixed (entity theory) predicted a flat trajectory. A mediational model including learning goals, positive beliefs about effort, and causal attributions and strategies was tested. In Study 2, an intervention teaching an incremental theory to 7th graders (N=48) promoted positive change in classroom motivation, compared with a control group (N=43). Simultaneously, students in the control group displayed a continuing downward trajectory in grades, while this decline was reversed for students in the experimental group.
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The authors tested a developmental model of children's theories about intelligence in kindergarten, second grade, and fourth grade children by using paper-and-pencil maze tasks. Older children were more likely than younger children to espouse learning goals (e.g., that they preferred difficult mazes to improve their skill), and less likely to espouse performance goals (e.g., that they preferred easy mazes to be successful). Children in all 3 age groups reported stronger beliefs in the malleability of intelligence than the stability of intelligence. In general, the results supported the authors' hypotheses about developmental change in children's theory-like conceptions of intelligence: Beliefs, goals, and motivation were related in expected ways for second and fourth graders more than for kindergartners. The authors discussed contextual influences on children's beliefs and the development of children's conceptualizations of intelligence.
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This research sought to integrate C. S. Dweck and E. L. Leggett's (1988) model with attribution theory. Three studies tested the hypothesis that theories of intelligence-the belief that intelligence is malleable (incremental theory) versus fixed (entity theory)-would predict (and create) effort versus ability attributions, which would then mediate mastery-oriented coping. Study 1 revealed that, when given negative feedback, incremental theorists were more likely than entity theorists to attribute to effort. Studies 2 and 3 showed that incremental theorists were more likely than entity theorists to take remedial action if performance was unsatisfactory. Study 3, in which an entity or incremental theory was induced, showed that incremental theorists' remedial action was mediated by their effort attributions. These results suggest that implicit theories create the meaning framework in which attributions occur and are important for understanding motivation.
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The present study examines mother-child conversations about gender, to examine (1) children's essentialist beliefs about gender, and (2) the role of maternal input in fostering such beliefs. We videotaped 72 mothers and their sons/daughters (mean ages 2.7, 4.7, or 6.7) discussing a picture book that depicted stereotypical and counter-stereotypical gendered activities (e.g., a boy playing football; a woman race-car driver). Mothers and children also completed measures of gender stereotyping and gender constancy. Results indicate more explicit endorsement of gender stereotypes among children than among mothers. Indeed, mothers provided little in the way of explicit stereotyped input. Nonetheless, mothers expressed gender concepts through a number of more implicit means, including reference to categories of gender (generics), labeling of gender, and contrasting males versus females. Gender-stereotype endorsement from children emerged early (by 2-1/2 years of age), but also underwent important developmental changes, most notably a rapid increase between 2 and 4 years of age in the focus on generic categories of gender. Variation in speech (across individuals and across contexts) cannot be characterized along a single dimension of degree of gender-typing; rather, there seemed to be differences in how focused a speaker was on gender (or not), with some speakers providing more talk about gender (both stereotyped and non-stereotyped) and others providing less such talk. Finally, there were variations in both mother and child speech as a function of child gender and gender of referent. In sum, by age 2, there is much essentialist content in mother-child conversations, even for mothers who express gender egalitarian beliefs. Mothers' linguistic input conveys subtle messages about gender from which children may construct their own essentialist beliefs.
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To examine gender differences in attributions for success and failure across subject areas, the Survey of Achievement Responsibility (SOAR), a school-related attribution scale, was administered to a randomly selected sample from a large urban school district in the Northwest. The SOAR assesses attributions for success and failure in language arts and mathematics/science. Gender differences for the 165 girls and 160 boys did emerge. As the literature might suggest, girls had a more learned-helpless orientation in mathematics/science than did boys. In language arts, however, both were somewhat mastery oriented. Overall, both reflected a more adaptive pattern in language arts than in mathematics/science.
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African American college students tend to obtain lower grades than their White counterparts, even when they enter college with equivalent test scores. Past research suggests that negative stereotypes impugning Black students' intellectual abilities play a role in this underperformance. Awareness of these stereotypes can psychologically threaten African Americans, a phenomenon known as “stereotype threat” (Steele & Aronson, 1995), which can in turn provoke responses that impair both academic performance and psychological engagement with academics. An experiment was performed to test a method of helping students resist these responses to stereotype threat. Specifically, students in the experimental condition of the experiment were encouraged to see intelligence—the object of the stereotype—as a malleable rather than fixed capacity. This mind-set was predicted to make students' performances less vulnerable to stereotype threat and help them maintain their psychological engagement with academics, both of which could help boost their college grades. Results were consistent with predictions. The African American students (and, to some degree, the White students) encouraged to view intelligence as malleable reported greater enjoyment of the academic process, greater academic engagement, and obtained higher grade point averages than their counterparts in two control groups.
Article
This study is concerned with the attribution of secondary students. Causal interpretations for academic success and failure were analysed to investigate the effect of gender, year level and achievement level on students’ academic attributions in Hong Kong, a Confucian Heritage Culture. The sample for the study comprised 14,846 students currently enrolled in Secondary 1 to Secondary 6 in Hong Kong. Multivariate analyses of variance found significant gender differences in ascriptions to ability, effort and strategy use reasons for school performance of students who shared a common cultural background. These effects remained after controlling for achievement and year levels. Chinese females in this sample were more inclined than Chinese males to explain their academic failure in terms of their lack of ability and strategy use. Females were also more likely to explain their academic success in terms of their effort or strategy use. Nevertheless, the study found secondary students of both genders and across all achievement and year levels, consistently ascribed to effort as the most important reason for academic outcomes. Secondary 4 students were significantly more inclined than students of lower levels to attribute their academic outcomes to effort and strategy use. Cultural influences are discussed in interpreting the findings.
Article
Examines the role of exposure to speech in children's early vocabulary growth. It is generally assumed that individual differences in vocabulary depend, in large part, on variations in learning capacity. However, variations in exposure have not been systematically explored. In this study vocabulary growth rates are characterized for each of 22 children by using data obtained at several time points from 14 to 26 mo. A substantial relation between individual differences in vocabulary acquisition and variations in the amount that particular mothers speak to their children was found. It is argued that the relation between amount of parent speech and vocabulary growth reflects parent effects on the child, rather than child-ability effects on the parent or hereditary factors. It was also found that gender is an important factor in rate of vocabulary growth. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Girls show greater evidence than boys of learned helplessness in achievement situations with adult (but not peer) evaluators: They attribute their failures to lack of ability rather than motivation and thus show impaired performance under failure. Two studies are reported linking sex differences in attributions to adults' use of evaluative feedback. Study 1, with 52 4th graders and 27 5th graders, revealed that both the contingencies of feedback in classrooms and the attributions made by teachers were ones that would render negative evaluation more indicative of ability for girls than boys. For example, negative evaluation of girls' performance referred almost exclusively to intellectual inadequacies, whereas 45% of boys' work-related criticism referred to nonintellectual aspects. Moreover, teachers attributed the boys' failures to lack of motivation significantly more than they did the girls' failures. In Study 2, with 60 5th graders, teacher–boy and teacher–girl contingencies of work-related criticism observed in classrooms were programmed in an experimental situation. Both boys and girls receiving the teacher–girl contingency were more likely to view subsequent failure feedback from that evaluator as indicative of their ability. Implications for developmental theories and for development are addressed. (26 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Past work has documented and described major patterns of adaptive and maladaptive behavior: the mastery-oriented and the helpless patterns. In this article, we present a research-based model that accounts for these patterns in terms of underlying psychological processes. The model specifies how individuals' implicit theories orient them toward particular goals and how these goals set up the different patterns. Indeed, we show how each feature (cognitive, affective, and behavioral) of the adaptive and maladaptive patterns can be seen to follow directly from different goals. We then examine the generality of the model and use it to illuminate phenomena in a wide variety of domains. Finally, we place the model in its broadest context and examine its implications for our understanding of motivational and personality processes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
A sample of 194 3rd graders and 279 junior high school students completed questionnaires measuring achievement-related beliefs before and after they took a regularly scheduled mathematics exam. Girls rated their ability lower, expected to do less well, were less likely than boys to attribute success to high ability and failure to luck, and were more likely to attribute failure to low ability. Girls also reported less pride in their success and a stronger desire to hide their paper after failure and were less likely to believe that success could be achieved through effort. Further associations were observed between attributions and the belief that success could be achieved by effort on one hand and a desire to avoid math tasks and future performance expectations on the other. The results expand understanding of achievement-related beliefs that might explain gender differences in performance and in future course and occupational choices. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Predicted that sex differences in learned helplessness (attributions of failure to uncontrollable factors) and the impaired performance associated with it would be agent specific. Two experiments were conducted with 105 female and 111 male 4th and 5th graders. Among girls, failure feedback from adults led to little improvement in performance on a series of digit-letter substitution problems, but failure from peers led to immediate and sustained improvement. Among boys, however, failure feedback from adults led to rapid improvement, but failure from peers led to no improvement over trials. Moreover, girls' and boys' attributions for failure varied systematically with the agent of evaluation. (34 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Recent cognitive-developmental research has contributed much to our understanding of children's stereo-typing. The present research identified another factor influencing stereotyping—children's theories about the malleability of human attributes. In two studies, 122 sixth graders learned about several different students' be-haviors in unknown schools. In Study 1, they judged a school characterized by mostly negative behaviors, and in Study 2 they judged two schools (characterized by either mostly negative or positive behaviors). Across studies, children with a fixed view of personality (relative to those with a more malleable view of personality) made more extreme trait ratings of both the "positive" and "negative" schools, generalized their trait judg-ments to an unknown student, perceived greater within-school similarity and between-school differences, and showed less desire to interact with students in the "negative" school. Ways in which examining these theories may broaden our understanding of the origins of stereotyping and how to lessen it are discussed.
Article
The relation between 3- to 5-year-old children's beliefs about sociomoral stability (the tendency for antisocial behavior to remain stable over time) and their reasoning about peer interactions was examined. Participants were 100 preschoolers enrolled in a Head Start program. Children who endorsed sociomoral stability beliefs were less likely than their peers to make prosocial inferences, were rated by their teachers as less likely to engage in prosocial behavior, and were more likely to endorse the use of aggression to solve conflict with peers. These findings suggest that as early as preschool, children have general patterns of beliefs about the stability of antisocial behavior that predict a tendency to de-emphasize prosocial strategies that can mediate social challenges.
Article
Social judgment and trait ascription have long been central issues in psychology. Two studies tested the hypothesis that children who believe that personality is a fixed quality (entity theorists) would make more rigid and long-term social judgments than those who believe that personality is malleable (incremental theorists). Fourth and fifth graders (mean age 10.2 years) viewed a slide show of a boy displaying negative behaviors (Study 1—being shy, clumsy, and nervous; Study 2—lying, cheating, and stealing) and then made a series of ratings. Half of the subjects saw a consistent (negative) ending, and half saw an inconsistent (more positive) ending. Even when they viewed positive counterevidence, entity theorists did not differ in their ratings of the focal traits, but incremental theorists did. Entity theorists in Study 2 also predicted significantly less change in the short term and the long term than did incremental theorists. Study 2 further revealed that, when the behaviors were more negative, entity theorists made more generalized and global negative trait evaluations of the target, showed less empathy, and recommended more punishment. Differences in the social judgment processes of entity and incremental theorists are discussed, and implications for issues (such as stereotyping) are explored.
Article
The relation between the way in which children interpret human behavior and their beliefs about the stability of human traits is investigated. In interviews with 202 7- and 8-year-olds across 2 studies, the belief that traits are stable predicted a greater tendency to make trait judgments, and an increased focus on outcomes and behaviors through which traits can be judged. In the academic domain, a belief in trait stability was associated with an emphasis on the evaluative meanings of performance outcomes, as opposed to mediating processes such as effort. In the sociomoral domain, the same belief was associated with an emphasis on the evaluative meanings of behaviors (e.g., whether the person is good or bad), as opposed to factors that mediate behavior, such as intention. Results suggest that beliefs about the stability of traits may serve an important role in thinking about and functioning within the academic and sociomoral domains.
Article
The role of gender in shaping achievement motivation has a long history in psychological and educational research. In this review, gender differences in motivation are examined using four contemporary theories of achievement motivation, including attribution, expectancy-value, self-efficacy, and achievement goal perspectives. Across all theories, findings indicate girls' and boys' motivation-related beliefs and behaviors continue to follow gender role stereotypes. Boys report stronger ability and interest beliefs in mathematics and science, whereas girls have more confidence and interest in language arts and writing. Gender effects are moderated by ability, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and classroom context. Additionally, developmental research indicates that gender differences in motivation are evident early in school, and increase for reading and language arts over the course of school. The role of the home and school environment in the development of these gender patterns is examined. Important implications for school professionals are highlighted.
Article
Standardized tests continue to generate gender and race gaps in achievement despite decades of national attention. Research on “stereotype threat” (Steele & Aronson, 1995) suggests that these gaps may be partly due to stereotypes that impugn the math abilities of females and the intellectual abilities of Black, Hispanic, and low-income students. A field experiment was performed to test methods of helping female, minority, and low-income adolescents overcome the anxiety-inducing effects of stereotype threat and, consequently, improve their standardized test scores. Specifically, seventh-grade students in the experimental conditions were mentored by college students who encouraged them either to view intelligence as malleable or to attribute academic difficulties in the seventh grade to the novelty of the educational setting. Results showed that females in both experimental conditions earned significantly higher math standardized test scores than females in the control condition. Similarly, the students—who were largely minority and low-income adolescents—in the experimental conditions earned significantly higher reading standardized test scores than students in the control condition.