Article

You promised you'd change: How incremental and entity theorists react to a romantic partner's promised change attempts

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Abstract

Research from multiple domains suggests that individuals benefit from having other people in their lives who endorse an incremental mindset, believing in humans' capacity to change and improve through effort. We hypothesize, however, that people high in incrementalism may have unrealistic expectations about the ease of change, leading them to become frustrated with others who promise change (change-strivers) but achieve only partial success. In a longitudinal study, change-strivers made promises of change to their romantic partners and attempted to keep those promises over two weeks. Romantic partners who were higher in incrementalism were initially more optimistic that change-strivers would successfully change, but subsequently more distrustful toward change-strivers whose change attempts failed. Furthermore, partners high in incrementalism were more likely to attribute failure to the change-striver's lack of effort, rather than to the difficulty of the behaviors. The findings highlight circumstances when incremental mindsets may have costs in relationships.

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... Associations with the concept of change might also depend on people's predisposition, for example, their lay theories about change: Indeed, incremental theorists (i.e., belief that people tend to change with time) appeared more satisfied in their relationship when anticipating change in the partner than entity theorists in exploratory analyses. This positive outcome of congruency between general beliefs and anticipated partner behavior reflects other documented benefits of a ''fit'' between lay theory orientation and partner perception (Kammrath & Peetz, 2012). ...
... On the one hand, people might expect a certain level of growth and change in a partnership-and when partners (or they themselves) fall short of these expectations, disillusionment with the partnership might be one consequence. The degree of such disillusionment should of course depend on peoples' attributions of the failure to change (Kammrath & Peetz, 2012) and the positivity of the expected change (Busseri et al., 2008). On the other hand, the detrimental effects of incongruent change between partners might suggest that selfactualization and personal growth may sometimes come at a cost if it is not matched by equal growth in the other partner. ...
... Change can be swift or slow. In an interpersonal context, swift change may be noticed more than incremental, slower change (Hui, Bond, & Molden, 2012;Kammrath & Peetz, 2012). Thus, anticipating steeper change trajectories might be linked more strongly to relationship outcomes than anticipating change that is gradual. ...
Article
People’s attitudes, social circumstances, and personalities can change over time. What might anticipating change in oneself and in one’s partner mean for romantic relationships? Two studies showed that expecting congruency in change for the self and the partner was linked to better relationship quality. While anticipating change in either partner by itself was associated with perceiving personal growth, individual-level change was only positively linked to relationship appraisals if both partners were expected to change in similar ways. Expecting a future in which both partners change—or both partners stay the same—facilitated higher current (Studies 1 and 2) and future (Study 2) relationship quality and stability compared to expecting a future in which only one of the partners changes.
... We will also develop and test the reliability and validity of a measurement for the 60 belief, and conduct studies to examine the causal relationship between the belief and change in 61 prosocial behavior with the measurement. 62 63 Implicit Theories of Intelligence and Ability 64 With the variation in motivational outcomes of students, much conversation exists about 65 why such differences occur and the many factors that contribute to a student's success or 66 failures. Particularly, attribution theory focuses on individuals' interpretations of these outcomes 67 and how they affect motivation, so it might provide us with useful insights about the 68 developmental aspects of motivation [12]. ...
... However, several limitations should be addressed by conducting future studies. First, 523 although we calculated one score, moral growth mindset, from responses to our revised 524 measurement containing both incremental and entity theories items [26,43], some previous 525 studies calculated two separate scores for incremental and entity implicit theories [63,64]. In fact, 526 denying the possibility to improve morality (low incremental implicit theories) does not 527 necessarily imply that believing that morality is fixed (high entity implicit theories). ...
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Incremental implicit theories are associated with a belief regarding it is possible to improve one’s intelligence or ability through efforts. Previous studies have demonstrated that incremental implicit theories contributed to better academic achievement and positive youth development. Our study aimed to examine whether incremental implicit theories of morality significantly influenced change in students’ engagement in voluntary service activities. In our study, 54 Korean college students for Study 1 and 180 Korean 8th graders for Study 2 were recruited to conduct two two-wave studies. We surveyed participants’ implicit theories of morality and participation in voluntary service activities. The effect of implicit theories of morality on change in service engagement was analyzed through regression analysis. In Study 1, the moral growth mindset significantly moderated longitudinal change in service engagement. In Study 2, the moral growth mindset significantly influenced engagement in art-related activities, while it significantly moderated change in engagement in youth-related activities.
... Research with adults has also indicated that those with a growth mindset about human traits, compared to those with a fixed mindset, may be more willing to update their initial impressions toward a target if they receive consistent evidence (i.e., evidence over multiple incidents or time) to support that impression. Thus, although individuals who believe that human traits are malleable are more forgiving and encouraging toward targets who have failed (e.g., witnessing one incident of negative behavior or exhibiting poor performance on a specific task), studies show that those with a growth mindset about human traits may decrease their positive attitudes when witnessing individuals who are struggling to change (Heslin et al., 2005;Kammrath Downloaded by: E. Fourie -588825 & Peetz, 2012;Ryazanov & Christenfeld, 2018). For example, when an individual with a growth mindset witnesses improvement from an individual with prior poor performance, they are more likely to change their performance evaluations (Heslin et al., 2005); however, individuals with a growth mindset who witness someone struggling to change may become more frustrated and disappointed at this person over time (Kammrath & Peetz, 2012). ...
... Thus, although individuals who believe that human traits are malleable are more forgiving and encouraging toward targets who have failed (e.g., witnessing one incident of negative behavior or exhibiting poor performance on a specific task), studies show that those with a growth mindset about human traits may decrease their positive attitudes when witnessing individuals who are struggling to change (Heslin et al., 2005;Kammrath Downloaded by: E. Fourie -588825 & Peetz, 2012;Ryazanov & Christenfeld, 2018). For example, when an individual with a growth mindset witnesses improvement from an individual with prior poor performance, they are more likely to change their performance evaluations (Heslin et al., 2005); however, individuals with a growth mindset who witness someone struggling to change may become more frustrated and disappointed at this person over time (Kammrath & Peetz, 2012). Since those with a fixed mindset tend to make dispositional judgements based on a single incident, such as poor performance or behavior, multiple incidents of poor performance or behavior, are not only unlikely to change their initial impression, but also likely to strengthen the confidence they have about their initial impressions. ...
Article
Previous studies have indicated a strong link between lay theories and the development of prejudice. The purpose of this article is to review past studies that have examined the relation between a specific lay theory (mindset) and the development of prejudice, as well as highlight areas for future research that will contribute to our theoretical understanding of mindsets (and their relation to prejudice). Specifically, we highlight the need for future studies to examine mindsets from the target’s perspective, to explore how contextual cues may influence the development of mindsets over time, and to observe how mindsets motivate collective action among majority group members. Future studies focused on these areas will deepen the field’s theoretical understanding of the impact of mindsets on the development of prejudice. Such knowledge, in turn, can inform the construction of future mindset interventions that foster sustainable and concrete improvements in interracial relations and ultimately promote racial equity.
... Growth mindset belief in change capacity results in more active problem solving and willingness to engage in communication (Kammrath & Dweck, 2006) but can result in judgments regarding change effort (Kammrath & Peetz, 2012). ...
Thesis
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What helps a client embrace change? Growth mindset and positive mental health aid psychotherapeutic change. Positive mental health facets aiding change include wellbeing, emotional regulation, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, self-control, self-awareness, and spirituality. The literature review examined the formulation, principles, critique, and function of growth mindset construct within contexts of success, talent, neuroscience, trauma, impairment, and each positive mental health facet. The review indicated growth mindset impacts change. The objective involved testing for evidence of associated relationship between growth mindset and positive mental constructs using Pearson's correlation coefficient. Utilization occurred of eight self-rating measures, one each for wellbeing, emotional regulation, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, self-control, self-awareness, and spirituality. Growth mindset measures received individual comparison with nine positive mental health measures. The null hypothesis was r ≤ .03. There were nine alternative hypotheses, one per positive mental health measure. The sample size was 148, obtained by internet survey distribution. The result was failure to reject the null hypotheses for all nine alternative hypotheses allowing for the following conclusions: no evidence of associated relationships; growth mindset and positive mental health constructs are meaningful and useful; belief alone does not lead to change effort. Recommended research includes qualitative case studies, quasi-experiment comparisons, development of enhanced measurements, or longitudinal observation. Keywords: growth mindset, fixed mindset, positive mental health, psychotherapeutic change, change beliefs
... There is increasing evidence that so called strengths can produce negative outcomes in certain contexts. For example, the 'strength' of forgiveness can be associated with decreasing marital satisfaction in some contexts (Mcnulty, 2008), persistence and grit can be focused on unproductive tasks (McFarlin et al., 1984), self-compassion without conscious attempt to improve oneself can lead to worsening marital relationships (Baker and McNulty, 2011), and believing one can improve oneself, a growth mindset, can lead one to be particularly judgmental of others who fail to change (Kammrath and Peetz, 2011). Without context we can forget that there is no strength that is strong or useful in every context, with every person. ...
Article
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There has been a rapid growth in positive psychology, a research and intervention approach that focuses on promoting optimal functioning and well-being. Positive psychology interventions are now making their way into classrooms all over the world. However, positive psychology has been criticized for being decontextualized and coercive, and for putting an excessive emphasis on positive states, whilst failing to adequately consider negative experiences. Given this, how should policy be used to regulate and evaluate these interventions? We review evidence that suggests these criticisms may be valid, but only for those interventions that focus almost exclusively on changing the content of people's inner experience (e.g., make it more positive) and personality (improving character strength), and overemphasize the idea that inner experience causes action. We describe a contextualized form of positive psychology that not only deals with the criticisms, but also has clear policy implications for how to best implement and evaluate positive education programs so that they do not do more harm than good.
... Lately, people's fundamental beliefs about themselves and the world have attracted an increased focus of attention in psychological research, which has shown that such beliefs critically shape the way people think, feel, and behave. This emerging field includes, for example, research on beliefs in a just world (Callan, Kay, Davidenko, & Ellard, 2009), beliefs in incrementalism (Kammrath & Peetz, 2012), and naive theories of intelligence (Miele & Molden, 2010). Similarly, more metaphysical beliefs, such as beliefs in free will or determinism, have been investigated with regard to their cognitive foundations (Aarts & van den Bos, 2011), as well as their effects on various cognitions and behaviors, including moral behavior (Vohs & Schooler, 2008) and interpersonal aggression (Baumeister, Masicampo, & DeWall, 2009). ...
Article
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Beliefs in mind-body dualism-that is, perceiving one's mind and body as two distinct entities-are evident in virtually all human cultures. Despite their prevalence, surprisingly little is known about the psychological implications of holding such beliefs. In the research reported here, we investigated the relationship between dualistic beliefs and health behaviors. We theorized that holding dualistic beliefs leads people to perceive their body as a mere "shell" and, thus, to neglect it. Supporting this hypothesis, our results showed that participants who were primed with dualism reported less engagement in healthy behaviors and less positive attitudes toward such behaviors than did participants primed with physicalism. Additionally, we investigated the bidirectionality of this link. Activating health-related concepts affected participants' subsequently reported metaphysical beliefs in mind-body dualism. A final set of studies demonstrated that participants primed with dualism make real-life decisions that may ultimately compromise their physical health (e.g., consuming unhealthy food). These findings have potential implications for health interventions.
... In Study 2 we pursued this idea one step further and asked, "Does the effect extend to beliefs about human abilities in general?" Previous work has demonstrated that entity versus incremental endorsement may be measured at the domain-specific level (e.g., the belief that a specific trait or ability-such as intelligence, moral character, or athletic ability-is fixed vs. malleable) or at the general level (i.e., the belief that, overall, people's personalities are fixed vs. malleable) by using different versions of the ITM (e.g., Dweck, 1999;Heslin, Latham, & Vanderwalle, 2005;Kammrath & Peetz, 2012). In many (though not all) cases, the domain-general and domain-specific versions predict behavior equivalently (e.g., Cury, Elliot, Da Fonseca, & Moller, 2006;Plaks, Stroessner, Dweck, & Sherman, 2001;Rydell et al. 2007). ...
Article
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The authors examined whether older adults' implicit theories regarding the modifiability of memory in particular (Studies 1 and 3) and abilities in general (Study 2) would predict memory performance. In Study 1, individual differences in older adults' endorsement of the "entity theory" (a belief that one's ability is fixed) or "incremental theory" (a belief that one's ability is malleable) of memory were measured using a version of the Implicit Theories Measure (Dweck, 1999). Memory performance was assessed with a free-recall task. Results indicated that the higher the endorsement of the incremental theory, the better the free recall. In Study 2, older and younger adults' theories were measured using a more general version of the Implicit Theories Measure that focused on the modifiability of abilities in general. Again, for older adults, the higher the incremental endorsement, the better the free recall. Moreover, as predicted, implicit theories did not predict younger adults' memory performance. In Study 3, participants read mock news articles reporting evidence in favor of either the entity or incremental theory. Those in the incremental condition outperformed those in the entity condition on reading span and free-recall tasks. These effects were mediated by pretask worry such that, for those in the entity condition, higher worry was associated with lower performance. Taken together, these studies suggest that variation in entity versus incremental endorsement represents a key predictor of older adults' memory performance. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
... Testing this idea, several studies have found that incremental theorists display motivated processing biases toward information of this type (Plaks et al., 2005;Plaks & Stecher, 2007;Xu & Plaks, 2012). Thus, it appears that although the incremental theory may hold the benefit of generally encouraging less stereotyping, it may carry its own set of costs-for example, refusing to accept someone's inability to change (see Kammrath & Peetz, 2012). Current studies are testing whether incremental theorists' processing biases are similarly amplified by accountability. ...
Article
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Does accountability (the expectation that one will be called on to justify one's beliefs or actions to others) attenuate or amplify stereotyping? The authors hypothesized that the effect of accountability on stereotype use in impression formation depends on perceivers' implicit theory (entity versus incremental). The authors assessed the effects of accountability and implicit theories on participants' impression of the target (Studies 1 and 2), attention to the target's stereotype-consistent versus-inconsistent behavior (Study 1), and sense of being entitled to judge the target (Study 2). In both studies, accountability amplified the stereotypicality of entity theorists' impressions but, if anything, attenuated the stereotypicality of incremental theorists' impressions. Moreover, in Study 1, the more attention accountable entity (but not incremental) theorists paid to counterstereotypic information, the more stereotype-driven were their impressions. In Study 2, for entity theorists but not incremental theorists, perceived judgeability mediated the relationship between accountability and stereotypicality of judgment.
... Researchers have richly applied this implicit theories framework to many important areas of life, including morality, emotions, relationships, and stress, (e.g., Chiu, Dweck, Tong, & Fu, 1997;Crum, Salovey, & Achor, 2013;Kammrath & Peetz, 2012;Tamir, John, Srivastava, & Gross, 2007). However, despite extensive popular discourse on passion for work, lay people's implicit beliefs about how this experience is attained have yet to be examined empirically. ...
Article
"Passion for work" has become a widespread phrase in popular discourse. Two contradictory lay perspectives have emerged on how passion for work is attained, which we distill into the fit and develop implicit theories. Fit theorists believe that passion for work is achieved through finding the right fit with a line of work; develop theorists believe that passion is cultivated over time. Four studies examined the expectations, priorities, and outcomes that characterize these implicit theories. Our results show that these beliefs elicit different motivational patterns, but both can facilitate vocational well-being and success. This research extends implicit theory scholarship to the work domain and provides a framework that can fruitfully inform career advising, life coaching, mentorship, and employment policies. © 2015 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.
... Previous work has explored the question of what makes people rise to a challenge as opposed to giving up in the face of difficulty within domains such as intelligence (Mueller & Dweck, 1998), personality (Plaks, Grant, & Dweck, 2005), and close relationships (Kammrath & Peetz, 2012;Knee, 1998;Knee, Patrick, & Longsbary, 2003;Knee, Patrick, Vietor, & Neighbors, 2004). When people are struggling with an academic challenge, an implicit belief that intelligence is malleable (vs. ...
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Sexual satisfaction is an important component of relationship well-being within romantic relationships. Yet, relatively little is known about the psychological factors that predict responses to the inevitable sexual challenges couples face. Four studies provide evidence that implicit theories of sexual attraction as either fixed or malleable predict responses to sexual challenges. In Studies 1 and 2, individual differences in these beliefs predicted (above and beyond other implicit theories, relationship beliefs, and measures of sexual desire) perceptions of success for a relationship lacking sexual chemistry. In Study 3, these beliefs predicted actual relationship outcomes in committed couples. Finally, in Study 4, these beliefs predicted willingness to engage in destructive behaviors in response to a sexual challenge- but not in response to a non-sexual challenge-in a hypothetical long-term relationship. This latter finding was mediated by expectations that the problem faced by the couple was solvable.
... 5 Finally, the critical dimension of the apparent source of achievement, naturalness versus striving, was included. The category terms were selected for their representativeness of the concepts tested and their accessibility and familiarity to the general population (Arsenault, Dolan, & van Ameringen, 1991;Gray & Plucker, 2010;Kammrath & Peetz, 2011;Nicholas, Stepick, & Stepick, 2008;Schevitz, 1967). These terms were also pretested on a different sample to determine how participants would interpret these brief and abstract concepts. ...
Article
A preference for "naturals" over "strivers" in performance judgments was investigated to test whether the effect is generalizable across domains, as well as to ascertain any costs imposed on decision quality by favoring naturals. Despite being presented with entrepreneurs equal in achievement, participants judged the natural and his business proposal to be superior to the striver and his proposal on multiple dimensions of performance and success (Study 1a and Study 1b). These findings were extended in Study 2, which quantified the costs of the naturalness bias using conjoint analysis to measure specific decision tradeoffs. Together, these three studies show that people tend to pass over better-qualified individuals in favor of apparent naturals.
... In the workplace, a manager who does not believe that her employees can improve their moral character may not foster the environment necessary to improve ethical conduct (Bazerman & Gino, 2012). In romantic relationships, failing to believe that one's partner can improve interpersonal shortcomings may lead to a long-term deterioration of the relationship (Hui, Bond, & Molden, 2012;Kammrath & Peetz, 2012;Overall, Fletcher, & Simpson, 2010). More generally, if people believe that others' potential for improvement is limited, then others' failures may seem indicative of stable and enduring shortcomings. ...
Article
Do people believe that others can improve their traits and personalities? Three experiments find that the answer depends on the trait in question. People believe that others’ potential for improving warmth traits is systematically lower than others’ potential for improving competence traits (Experiments 1a–1c). Consequently, shortcomings related to one's warmth are considered harder to overcome than shortcomings related to one's competence (Experiment 2). This asymmetry is partly rooted in people's relative inability to detect gradations in warmth-related behaviors (Experiments 3–5). Enabling participants to more easily distinguish between moderate and high levels of warmth also increased their beliefs that other people can improve warmth traits. Beliefs about potential for improvement depend on how easily a trait can be evaluated.
... Researchers have richly applied this implicit theories framework to many important areas of life, including morality, emotions, relationships, and stress, (e.g., Crum, Salovey, & Achor, 2013;Kammrath & Peetz, 2012;. However, despite extensive popular discourse on passion for work, lay people's implicit beliefs about how this experience is attained have yet to be examined empirically. ...
Article
The study of lay theories focuses on understanding people???s fundamental beliefs, the interpretations of the world that they shape, and their regulatory consequences. Central to this scientific endeavor is the subject of stability and changeability???a cornerstone concept of human motivation (Weiner, 1985). Theories of attribute stability motivate self-validation through performance and dispositional judgments of others, whereas theories of attribute malleability facilitate change-directed efforts and expectations of improvement (Kammrath & Peetz, 2012; Molden & Dweck, 2006). Thus far, research has primarily focused on people???s beliefs about their personal attributes (???self theories???); comparatively less has elucidated the implications of people???s beliefs about the external world (???situation theories???). The goal of this dissertation is to expand our understanding of how self theories and situation theories work and to introduce a new theoretical framework that integrates them. In Chapter 1, I introduce the lay theories of change literature and provide a general overview of the following chapters. In Chapter 2, I test an important boundary condition of previous self theory research: choice context. Four studies show that offering people the choice between persisting or quitting on an intellectual task replicates conventional lay theory differences in persistence, but these differences are eliminated when people???s choices are expanded to include switching problems. In Chapter 3, I examine the effects of people???s situation theories on behavior. Four studies show that construing situations as malleable rather than fixed galvanizes action to change unfavorable circumstances. In Chapter 4, I assess the implications of lay theories about how people should interact with their environments to achieve their goals. When it comes to achieving passion for work, some people believe that they should find work compatible with their interests whereas others believe that it comes through cultivating competence. These two mindsets lead to different affective forecasts and choices, but both are similarly effective at attaining passion. Assimilating these and past findings in Chapter 5, I propose the ???Self by Situation Change??? (SSC) model as a heuristic framework that integrates self and situation theories. Finally, I wrap up the dissertation with future directions and concluding thoughts in Chapter 6.
... An individual's belief in either the malleability or stability of personality traits can also influence their relationships (Kammrath & Dweck, 2006;Kammrath & Peetz, 2012;Ruvolo & Rotondo, 1998). Incremental and entity theorists approach their relationships differently. ...
Article
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This study examines how a person’s willingness to exert effort affects how others perceive their romantic desirability. The study also examines whether the participants’ implicit theory of personality (incremental or entity) influences ratings of the target’s romantic desirability based on the target’s level of effort. Seventy-eight (17 males, 61 females) single college students participated in the study. Participants read one of four descriptions of a target. The descriptions manipulated both the target’s ability (hard work or natural ability) and success (successful or unsuccessful). Participants also completed a measure to assess their implicit theory of personality. Participants then rated the target’s desirability. There was a significant difference in desirability ratings of the target for the main effect of ability. There were no other significant differences found between the variables. The findings suggest that when a person expends effort, they are more romantically desirable regardless of how successful they are. Findings also suggest that a person’s implicit theory of personality does not interact with the target’s effort to affect romantic desirability.
... Entity theorists believe that human characteristics are relatively stable and unchanging, whereas incremental theorists believe that human characteristics are relatively malleable and dynamic. These theories have been studied in many different domains, such as intelligence (Dweck, Chiu, & Hong, 1995), morality (Chiu, Dweck, Tong, & Fu, 1997), personality (Chiu, Hong, & Dweck, 1997), stereotyping and prejudice (Carr, Dweck, & Pauker, 2012;Levy, Stroessner, & Dweck, 1998), romantic relationships (Kammrath & Peetz, 2012;Knee, Patrick, & Lonsbary, 2003), and even branding (Park & John, 2012;Yorkston, Nunes, & Matta, 2010). Implicit theories can have important implications for perceptions and for goal pursuit. ...
Article
People with an entity theory of attitudes (i.e., the belief that attitudes are relatively unchanging) are more certain of their attitudes than are people with an incremental theory (i.e., the belief that attitudes are relatively malleable), and people with greater attitude certainty are generally more willing to try to persuade others. Combined, these findings suggest that an entity theory should foster greater advocacy. Yet, people with entity theories may be less willing to advocate because they also perceive others? attitudes as unchanging. Across 5 studies, we show that both of these countervailing effects occur simultaneously and cancel each other out. However, by manipulating how advocacy is framed (as standing up for one?s views or exchanging one?s views with others), whom people focus on (themselves or others), or which implicit theory applies to oneself versus others, each implicit theory can either increase or decrease willingness to advocate.
... Future research can continue to explore the potential boundaries of the benefits of sexual growth beliefs. For example, it is possible, similar to work in the general relationship domain (Kammrath, & Peetz, 2012), that those higher in sexual growth beliefs become more frustrated with their partners if their partner is not successful in making desired changes in the bedroom. This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. ...
Article
How do people believe they can best maintain sexual satisfaction in their romantic relationships? In the current research, we draw upon the literature on implicit theories of relationships to develop and validate a scale examining 2 types of lay beliefs about how sexual satisfaction can be maintained over time. Individuals high in sexual growth beliefs think that sexual satisfaction is attained from hard work and effort, whereas individuals high in sexual destiny beliefs think that sexual satisfaction is attained through finding a compatible sexual partner. Across 6 studies (2 cross-sectional online studies, a 21-day daily experience study, 2 dyadic studies, and an experimental manipulation; N � 1,896), we find evidence that those higher in sexual growth beliefs experience higher relationship and sexual satisfaction, and have partners who are more satisfied. Conversely, the effects of sexual destiny beliefs on satisfaction are contingent upon signs of partner compatibility: When individuals high in sexual destiny beliefs experience greater sexual disagreements in their relationship, they experience lower relationship quality. These results are independent of general relationship implicit beliefs, providing evidence for the uniqueness of these 2 constructs and the importance of examining implicit beliefs in the domain of sexuality. Overall, these results provide novel evidence that individuals’ lay beliefs about maintaining sexual satisfaction are important for understanding the quality of their sex lives and relationships.
... Second, prior studies have found that incremental theorists show higher tolerance to other people's immoral behaviors than entity theorists. For instance, incremental theorists made fewer negative evaluations, showed more empathy, and recommended less punishment to an immoral target (Erdley and Dweck, 1993;Gervey et al., 1999), because they believed that human actions were dynamic and malleable, and thus the problem behaviors could be educated or reformed (Kammrath and Peetz, 2012). By contrast, entity theorists had a greater tendency to support rigid punishment and to show more negative attitudes toward moral transgressions (Chiu et al., 1997a;Miller et al., 2007;Tam et al., 2013), because they believed that traits were fixed and essential, and thus those who had once offended moral principles were very likely to recidivate (Tam et al., 2013;Williams, 2015). ...
Article
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Implicit theories drastically affect an individual’s processing of social information, decision making, and action. The present research focuses on whether individuals who hold the implicit belief that people’s moral character is fixed (entity theorists) and individuals who hold the implicit belief that people’s moral character is malleable (incremental theorists) make different choices when facing a moral decision. Incremental theorists are less likely to make the fundamental attribution error (FAE), rarely make moral judgment based on traits and show more tolerance to immorality, relative to entity theorists, which might decrease the possibility of undermining the self-image when they engage in immoral behaviors, and thus we posit that incremental beliefs facilitate immorality. Four studies were conducted to explore the effect of these two types of implicit theories on immoral intention or practice. The association between implicit theories and immoral behavior was preliminarily examined from the observer perspective in Study 1, and the results showed that people tended to associate immoral behaviors (including everyday immoral intention and environmental destruction) with an incremental theorist rather than an entity theorist. Then, the relationship was further replicated from the actor perspective in Studies 2–4. In Study 2, implicit theories, which were measured, positively predicted the degree of discrimination against carriers of the hepatitis B virus. In Study 3, implicit theories were primed through reading articles, and the participants in the incremental condition showed more cheating than those in the entity condition. In Study 4, implicit theories were primed through a new manipulation, and the participants in the unstable condition (primed incremental theory) showed more discrimination than those in the other three conditions. Taken together, the results of our four studies were consistent with our hypotheses.
... This research highlights the interdependent nature of selfchange-members of a couple mutually influence each other (Thibaut & Kelley, 1959), and one partner's change affects both people in the relationship. This research complements a growing literature examining the role of individual differences in people's reactions when their partners fail at self-change, people's skill at helping their partners change, and people's tendency to attempt to change their partners (Jayamaha, Antonellis, & Overall, 2016;Kammrath & Peetz, 2012;Kumashiro et al., 2007). ...
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People often pursue self-change, and having a romantic partner who supports these changes increases relationship satisfaction. However, most existing research focuses only on the experience of the person who is changing. What predicts whether people support their partner’s change? People with low self-concept clarity resist self-change, so we hypothesized that they would be unsupportive of their partner’s changes. People with low self-concept clarity did not support their partner’s change (Study 1a), because they thought they would have to change, too (Study 1b). Low self-concept clarity predicted failing to support a partner’s change, but not vice versa (Studies 2 and 3), and only for larger changes (Study 3). Not supporting a partner’s change predicted decreases in relationship quality for both members of the couple (Studies 2 and 3). This research underscores the role of partners in self-change, suggesting that failing to support a partner’s change may stem from self- concept confusion.
... Kammrath and Dweck (2006) found those with an entity theory regarding personality were more accepting of the faults of a dating partner following relationship transgressions, although at the cost of not working towards making changes that could improve the relationship. Subsequent research showed that incrementalist romantic partners, though initially more optimistic about their partners ability to change negative behaviors, were more likely to attribute failure to lack of effort and were more distrustful of partners exhibiting partial success at changing over a two-week period (Kammrath & Peetz, 2012). ...
Article
Holding an incremental, rather than fixed, mindset confers wide-ranging benefits. Such benefits may, however, be accompanied by increased judgmental harshness of others' shortcomings. Across 3 studies (Studies 1, 2a, 2b; N = 416), after an induction of either an entity or incremental view of empathy, aggression, or motivation, participants were asked to imagine someone continually failing to show, or showing in abundance, the particular trait, and were then asked how blameworthy/praiseworthy each of these individuals was. Incremental-induced participants blamed a person showing consistently maladaptive levels of the trait more than did entity-induced participants. Increased blame was mediated by increased perceived control over behavior. Study 3 (N = 107) extended findings regarding lay theories of empathy to protagonists in short narratives. Study 4 (N = 184) attempted to reconcile our findings with previous research, showing that increased blame attribution by in-cremental theorists occurs for continual, but not single failures. Overall results suggest that the benefits of an incremental mindset may be partially offset by greater judgmental harshness of others.
... In relationships, accuracy can be more important at some stages of the relationship than others (Gagné & Lydon, 2004). We argue that because falling short on expectations or breaking promises can cause a number of problems in relationships (Cameron et al., 2002;Hui, Bond, & Molden, 2012;Kammrath & Peetz, 2012;Metts, 1994), improving the accuracy of specific predictions about behavior relevant to the relationship is beneficial. ...
Article
People tend to be overly optimistic when predicting their future behaviors. This research examines how taking someone else’s perspective affects predictions of relationship behaviors. Study 1 (N = 82) showed that taking the partner’s perspective when predicting how many relationship-enhancing behaviors one might perform over the next week reduced the number of predicted behaviors and consequently reduced optimistic bias. Study 2 (N = 244) replicated the reduction in predicted behaviors when taking the partner’s or a friend’s perspective. Study 2 also showed that predictions from another person’s view are similar to predictions for another person’s behavior. Study 3 (N = 149) replicated the reduction in predicted behaviors and the similarity to predictions for other people’s behavior. Furthermore, Study 3 suggests that one reason why adopting another’s perspective affects predictions is an attenuation of the link between forecasts and relationship quality and increase of the link of forecasts with conscientiousness, which tends to be a better predictor of behavior.
... Last, it is reasonable to expect that there are limits to the benefits of sexual growth beliefs and that there are times when trying to "work it out" may not be best for one's sexual relationship. For example, it is possible, similar to work in the general relationship domain (Kammrath & Peetz, 2012), that those higher in sexual growth beliefs become more frustrated if they perceive a partner is not working hard enough to make desired changes in the bedroom. ...
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... However, several limitations should be addressed by conducting future studies. First, although we calculated one score, moral growth mindset, from responses to our revised measurement containing both incremental and entity theories items [26,43], some previous studies calculated two separate scores for incremental and entity implicit theories [63,64]. In fact, denying the possibility to improve morality (low incremental implicit theories) does not necessarily imply that believing that morality is fixed (high entity implicit theories). ...
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Incremental implicit theories are associated with a belief regarding it is possible to improve one’s intelligence or ability through efforts. Previous studies have demonstrated that incremental implicit theories contributed to better academic achievement and positive youth development. Our study aimed to examine whether incremental implicit theories of morality significantly influenced change in students’ engagement in voluntary service activities. In our study, 54 Korean college students for Study 1 and 180 Korean 8th graders for Study 2 were recruited to conduct two two-wave studies. We surveyed participants’ implicit theories of morality and participation in voluntary service activities. The effect of implicit theories of morality on change in service engagement was analyzed through regression analysis. In Study 1, the moral growth mindset significantly moderated longitudinal change in service engagement. In Study 2, the moral growth mindset significantly influenced engagement in art-related activities, while it significantly moderated change in engagement in youth-related activities.
... However, the strength of work meaningfulness depends to some extent on which virtuous moral traits are central to each employee's self-concept, that is, moral identity centrality (Aquino & Reed, 2002). Having fixed moral standards that are central to one's self-concept would relate negatively with the ability to adapt to ever-changing nature of organizational processes, policies, and businesses (Kammrath & Peetz, 2012). Taken together, incremental moral beliefs and moral identity centrality would be expected to jointly moderate the effect of CSR on work meaningfulness and thus employee engagement. ...
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This study investigated the mediating role of work meaningfulness on the relationship between employees' perception about organization's corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices and their engagement. Moreover, the joint moderating effects of incremental moral belief and moral identity centrality were also tested. Utilizing survey‐based data, this study analyzed the responses of 622 employees working in various industries. Results showed that incremental morality beliefs strengthened the effect of CSR perceptions on work meaningfulness, especially when moral identity centrality was weaker. Specifically, CSR perceptions had the strongest positive effect on work meaningfulness among employees with stronger incremental morality beliefs and weaker moral identity centrality. Another interesting finding of this study was that incremental morality beliefs strengthened the effect of CSR perception on employee engagement via work meaningfulness, especially when moral identity centrality was lower. This study found that CSR perceptions had the strongest positive effect on employee engagement via work meaningfulness among employees with stronger incremental morality beliefs and weaker moral identity centrality. The findings confirmed that incremental morality beliefs and moral identity centrality jointly moderated these relationships.
... However, more recent evidence suggests that incremental beliefs can also have negative side effects. Incremental theorists tend to endorse the view that everyone could change through effort if only they wanted to (Kammrath & Peetz, 2012). As such, incremental theorists display a tendency of attributing failure to change one's body weight to lack of effort. ...
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... Despite relationship-relevant beliefs having been a prolific research area over the past years (e.g., Kammrath & Peetz, 2012), there has been only little research on the downstream consequences of zero-sum beliefs (but see Crocker et al., 2017). Yet, prior research indicates that people's construal of their social interactions may be a powerful moderator of hypocritical versus hypercritical double moral standards (Lammers et al., 2010;Weiss et al., 2018). ...
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Extending research on self-serving double moral standards (hypocrisy), we examine the reverse pattern of other-serving hypercrisy toward close relationship partners. In three studies (N = 1,019), for various imagined transgressions, people made more lenient moral judgments for their close friends (Studies 1 & 2) and romantic partners (Study 3) compared to themselves. This hypercrisy effect emerged both for transgressions toward third parties (Study 1) and toward each other (i.e., within the relationship; Studies 2 & 3). Moreover, it was moderated by perceptions of the relationship: Participants who more strongly believed their relationship to be a zero-sum game (i.e., needs can only be met competitively) showed greater leniency for themselves and attenuated hypercrisy for mutual transgressions (Studies 2 & 3). Investigating people’s close others rather than strangers as targets of moral judgment thus suggests that other-serving hypercrisy is more prevalent than previously thought, but sensitive to people’s conceptualizations of their relationships.
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Implicit theories have great potential relevance to shape theory and research in consumer psychology. Beliefs about the stability or malleability of human characteristics can affect the behaviors of companies and customers alike, including the ways in which the two interact with one another. In this paper, we speculate about potential extensions and boundary conditions for the effects of implicit theories on consumer behavior. We also propose a number of new directions for future research, especially regarding the role that implicit theories can play in persuasion and social influence.
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With friends, family members, romantic partners, and coworkers, people form interdependent units, shaping each other's everyday experiences. According to the Transactive Goal Dynamics model, goal pursuit occurs within these units, not apart from them. As a result, a great deal of goal pursuit is interpersonally driven and influenced. Although historically, social psychological research has focused on the intrapersonal drivers of goal pursuit, recent research has also highlighted the interpersonal drivers. In this article, we review research that goes beyond the independent agent view of goal pursuit, exploring how people possess and pursue goals that are affected by and oriented toward their relationship partners.
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The goal of the current manuscript is to embed the theory of mindsets about malleability in workplace contexts. We first define fixed-growth mindsets and the methods that have to date been used to study them. We then briefly review the domains in which mindsets have been documented to shape outcomes meaningfully, linking each to exciting research questions that we hope will soon be studied in workplace contexts. We also highlight some of the fascinating, new questions scholars can study by considering how mindsets might shape outcomes across a diversity of workplaces (e.g., the workforce of low wage and vulnerable populations). We further propose that studying mindsets in workplace contexts can develop mindset theory. We first ask whether workplace contexts provide opportunities to test for moderation on mindset expression. Second, we see opportunity for studying moderation of mindset processes – evaluating whether the psychological processes through which mindsets shape outcomes may differ based on contextual factors that vary across workplaces. We argue that investigating these possibilities will advance both the theory of mindsets about malleability and the study of human flourishing in the workplace. We invite scholars to join us in this endeavour.
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Despite the possible costs, confronting prejudice can have important benefits, ranging from the well-being of the target of prejudice to social change. What, then, motivates targets of prejudice to confront people who express explicit bias? In three studies, we tested the hypothesis that targets who hold an incremental theory of personality (i.e., the belief that people can change) are more likely to confront prejudice than targets who hold an entity theory of personality (i.e., the belief that people have fixed traits). In Study 1, targets' beliefs about the malleability of personality predicted whether they spontaneously confronted an individual who expressed bias. In Study 2, targets who held more of an incremental theory reported that they would be more likely to confront prejudice and less likely to withdraw from future interactions with an individual who expressed prejudice. In Study 3, we manipulated implicit theories and replicated these findings. By highlighting the central role that implicit theories of personality play in targets' motivation to confront prejudice, this research has important implications for intergroup relations and social change.
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The relationships of teachers' epistemological beliefs, motivation, and goal orientation to their instructional practices that foster student creativity were examined. Teachers' perceived instructional practices that facilitate the development of multiple perspectives in problem solving, transfer, task commitment, creative skill use, and collaboration were measured as indicators of their effort to foster creative thinking in students. Participants were 178 elementary-school teachers of third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders. Teachers' learning goal orientation was the most significant teacher attribute that demonstrated significant impacts on all five creativity-fostering instructional practices. Teachers with sophisticated beliefs about knowledge and with high intrinsic motivation for creative work also reported supporting student creativity through some of their instructional practices. However, teachers' motivation for challenging work, beliefs about learning, or performance goals did not significantly predict most of the creativity-fostering instructional practices. Educational implications of the current findings are offered.
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Perceived discrepancy between one’s ideal and actual partner has been shown to predict relationship satisfaction. The goal of two studies was to examine whether implicit theories of relationships moderate this association. In Study 1, data from 177 undergraduates in romantic relationships showed that the perception that one’s partner falls short of one’s ideal was generally linked to lower satisfaction, except under cultivation (high growth/low destiny). In Study 2, data from 61 couples showed (a) viewing one’s partner favorably was associated with more satisfaction but less so among those who were higher in growth belief; and (b) cultivation predicted increased positivity, whereas evaluation (high destiny/low growth) predicted increased hostility when discussing discrepancies in how they and their partner view the relationship. Results are discussed in terms of the controversy over idealization and authenticity in romantic relationships.
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Classroom self-fulfilling prophecies are reviewed in terms of 3 sequential stages: (a) Teachers develop expectations, (b) teachers treat students differently depending on their expectations, and (c) students react to this treatment in expectancy-confirming ways. The focus is on the social and psychological events occurring at each of these stages, the causal processes linking one stage to the next, and the conditions limiting the occurrence of self-fulfilling prophecies, particularly the self-schemas and self-esteem of the student. It is suggested that this model provides a theoretical framework for both understanding past research and guiding future research on self-fulfilling prophecies. (92 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Throughout life, people must grapple with the challenge of changing their behavior. Successful behavior change requires that people are not only motivated and capable of initiating a change in their behavior, but also able to sustain that change over time. In this chapter, we examine the psychological processes that guide the decisions people make as they work to change their behavior, with a particular focus on health behavior change. Our review is guided by the thesis that the factors that underlie people's decision to initiate a change in behavior are distinct from those that underlie their decision to maintain that pattern of behavior over time. Specifically, we propose that once people have chosen to initiate a new pattern of behavior, four distinct phases in the behavior change process can be identified (i.e., initial response, continued response, maintenance, and habit) and, moreover, that the primary determinants of people's behavior shift as people transition from one phase to the next. The implications of this perspective for theory and practice in self-regulation and behavior change are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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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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In this article, the authors propose that individuals' moral beliefs are linked to their implicit theories about the nature (i.e., malleability) of their social-moral reality. Specifically, it was hypothesized that when individuals believe in a fixed reality (entity theory), they tend to hold moral beliefs in which duties within the given system are seen as fundamental. In contrast, when individuals believe in a malleable reality (incremental theory), one that can be shaped by individuals, they hold moral beliefs that focus on moral principles, such as human rights, around which that reality should be organized. Results from 5 studies supported the proposed framework: Implicit theories about the malleability of one's social-moral reality predicted duty-based vs. rights-based moral beliefs.
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People often try to improve their interpersonal skills to satisfy romantic partners. However, when and why a partner appreciates these efforts is an important but underaddressed question. The present research explored how people's theories that interpersonal abilities are either fixed entities or can be changed incrementally affect their responses to relationship partner's efforts at self-improvement. Study 1 validated a new measure for these theories and showed that, compared to the former entity theorists, the latter incremental theorists were less likely to attribute recalled instances of partners' negative behaviors to dispositional causes and perceive these behaviors as fixed and stable. An experiment that induced these different implicit theories (Study 2) and a longitudinal study (Study 3) further demonstrated that perceptions of partners' self-improvement efforts led to greater increases in relationship security and quality among incremental than among entity theorists. How implicit theories may shape the interpersonal dynamics of self-improvement is discussed.
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A physically active lifestyle during midlife is critical to the maintenance of high physical functioning. This study tested whether an intervention that combined information with cognitive-behavioral strategies had a better effect on women's physical activity than an information-only intervention. A 4-month longitudinal RCT comparing two brief interventions was conducted between July 2003 and September 2004. Analyses were completed in June 2008. 256 women aged 30-50 years in a large metropolitan area in Germany. The study compared a health information intervention with an information + self-regulation intervention. All participants received the same information intervention; participants in the information + self-regulation group additionally learned a technique that integrates mental contrasting with implementation intentions. Self-reported minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per week. Participants in the information + self-regulation group were twice as physically active (i.e., nearly 1 hour more per week) as participants in the information group. This difference appeared as early as the first week after intervention and was maintained over the course of the 4 months. Participants in the information group slightly increased their baseline physical activity after intervention. Women who learned a self-regulation technique during an information session were substantially more active than women who participated in only the information session. The self-regulation technique should be tested further as a tool for increasing the impact of interventions on behavioral change.
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This integrative study investigated the generalization of the transtheoretical model across 12 problem behaviors. The cross-sectional comparisons involved relationships between two key constructs of the model, the stages of change and decisional balance. The behaviors studied were smoking cessation, quitting cocaine, weight control, high-fat diets, adolescent delinquent behaviors, safer sex, condom use, sunscreen use, radon gas exposure, exercise acquisition, mammography screening, and physicians' preventive practices with smokers. Clear commonalities were observed across the 12 areas, including both the internal structure of the measures and the pattern of changes in decisional balance across stages.
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Two studies tested whether action control by implementation intentions is sensitive to the activation and strength of participants' underlying goal intentions. In Study 1, participants formed implementation intentions (or did not) and their goal intentions were measured. Findings revealed a significant interaction between implementation intentions and the strength of respective goal intentions. Implementation intentions benefited the rate of goal attainment when participants had strong goal intentions but not when goal intentions were weak. Study 2 activated either a task-relevant or a neutral goal outside of participants' conscious awareness and found that implementation intentions affected performance only when the relevant goal had been activated. These findings indicate that the rate of goal attainment engendered by implementation intentions takes account of the state (strength, activation) of people's superordinate goal intentions.
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The way individuals choose to handle their feelings during interpersonal conflicts has important consequences for relationship outcomes. In this article, the authors predict and find evidence that people's implicit theory of personality is an important predictor of conflict behavior following a relationship transgression. Incremental theorists, who believe personality can change and improve, were likely to voice their displeasure with others openly and constructively during conflicts. Entity theorists, who believe personality is fundamentally fixed, were less likely to voice their dissatisfactions directly. These patterns were observed in both a retrospective study of conflict in dating relationships (Study 1) and a prospective study of daily conflict experiences (Study 2). Study 2 revealed that the divergence between incremental and entity theorists was increasingly pronounced as conflicts increased in severity: the higher the stakes the stronger the effect.
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The authors hypothesized that reactions to performance feedback depend on whether one's lay theory of intelligence is supported or violated. In Study 1, following improvement feedback, all participants generally exhibited positive affect, but entity theorists (who believe that intelligence is fixed) displayed more anxiety and more effort to restore prediction confidence than did incremental theorists (who believe that intelligence is malleable). Similarly, when performance declined, entity theorists displayed more anxiety and compensatory effort than incremental theorists. However, when performance remained rigidly static despite a learning opportunity, incremental theorists evinced more anxiety and compensatory effort than entity theorists. In Study 2, this pattern was replicated when the entity and incremental theories were experimentally manipulated. Study 3 demonstrated that for both groups, theory violation impairs subsequent task performance. Taken together, these studies provide evidence that lay theory violation and damaged prediction confidence have significant and measurable effects on emotion and motivation. The authors discuss the implications of these findings for the literature on achievement success and failure.
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Two principles for progressing from the precontemplation stage of change to the action stage were discovered. The strong principle states that progression from precontemplation to action is a function of approximately a 1 standard deviation increase in the pros of a health behavior change. The weak principle states that progression from precontemplation to action is a function of approximately a 1/2 standard deviation decrease in the cons of a health behavior change. In Study 1, these principles were derived from cross-sectional data on 12 problem behaviors relating the pros and cons of changing to the stages of change. In Study 2, these principles were validated on cross-sectional data from an independent sample of 1,466 smokers. Discussion focuses on the implications of these principles for individual psychology and public health policy.
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In this article, the authors propose that individuals' moral beliefs are linked to their implicit theories about the nature (i.e., malleability) of their social-moral reality. Specifically, it was hypothesized that when individuals believe in a fixed reality (entity theory), they tend to hold moral beliefs in which duties within the given system are seen as fundamental. In contrast, when individuals believe in a malleable reality (incremental theory), one that can be shaped by individuals, they hold moral beliefs that focus on moral principles, such as human rights, around which that reality should be organized. Results from 5 studies supported the proposed framework: Implicit theories about the malleability of one's social-moral reality predicted duty-based vs. rights-based moral beliefs.
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This study examined the extent to which 3 dimensions of personal goals-commitment, attainability, and progress-were predictive of students' subjective well-being over 1 semester. At the beginning of a new term, 88 Ss provided a list of their personal goals. Goal attributes and subjective well-being were measured at 4 testing periods. Goal commitment was found to moderate the extent to which differences in goal attainability accounted for changes in subjective well-being. Progress in goal achievement mediated the effect of the Goal Commitment × Goal Attainability on Subjective Well-Being interaction. Results are discussed in terms of a need for addition and refinement of assumptions linking personal goals to subjective well-being.
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Investigated the generalization of the transtheoretical model across 12 problem behaviors. The cross-sectional comparisons involved relationships between 2 key constructs of the model, the stages of change and decisional balance. The behaviors studied were smoking cessation, quitting cocaine, weight control, high-fat diets, adolescent delinquent behaviors, safer sex, condom use, sunscreen use, radon gas exposure, exercise acquisition, mammography screening, and physicians' preventive practices with smokers. Clear commonalities were observed across the 12 areas, including both the internal structure of the measures and the pattern of changes in decisional balance across stages.
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Evaluative processes are often considered to be a cornerstone of social perception. The present study seeks to understand an individual-difference factor that is linked to evaluative processing. Specifically, past studies have shown that individuals who believe that people have fixed traits (“entity theorists”) are more inclined to diagnose traits from person information than are those who believe that people's personality is malleable (“incremental theorists”). Because evaluation is typically an integral part of trait diagnosis, we hypothesized that relative to incremental theorists, entity theorists would process person information in a more evaluative manner. To test this, subjects were presented with the test scores of a fictitious pilot trainee. Later, they were asked to perform on a priming task in which the test scores were used as primes on some trials. As predicted, entity theorists' response times indicated that they attached evaluative meaning to the test scores, but those of incremental theorists did not. In addition, subjects' judgments of the trainee's performance and recall of his test scores suggested different processing strategies among entity theorists than among incremental theorists.
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The story of Magic Johnson, the renowned basketball star who now carries the acquired immunodeficiency (AIDS) virus, pervaded the popular press and media in 1991, not just in the United States but around the world as well. In addition to pointing out the extensity of responsibility judgments in everyday life, the chapter analyzes the responsibility inference process and relates responsibility to emotional and social behavior. In this chapter, the emotional and behavioral significance of inferences of responsibility are addressed. The relations among responsibility judgments, feelings, and social action are considered. Three broad categories of behavior have been examined: going toward (help giving), going against (aggression), and going away from (rejection). The chapter elaborates on excuse giving, leaving aside denial, justification, and confession; although these are common tactics used to diffuse responsibility. One of the tables shows the mean anticipated anger and revealing judgments as a function of the subject population and the controllability of the cause of the broken social contract.
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Hint: Don't tell your kids that they are. More than three decades of research shows that a focus on effort—not on intelligence or ability—is key to success in school and in life
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Intimate partners described a past transgression in which one of them had been a victim and the other a perpetrator and then evaluated each other and their relationship. Participants had been randomly assigned to the perpetrator or victim role. Perpetrators described their actions as more justifiable, perceived greater improvement since the transgression, and were more optimistic about the future of their relationship than were their victims or control participants. The results support the authors' contention that temporal appraisals are an important mechanism enabling people to maintain positive images of themselves and their relationships.
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The major patterns of self-regulatory failure are reviewed. Underregulation occurs because of deficient standards, inadequate monitoring, or inadequate strength. Misregulation occurs because of false assumptions or misdirected efforts, especially an unwarranted emphasis on emotion. The evidence supports a strength (limited resource) model of self-regulation and suggests that people often acquiesce in losing control. Loss of control of attention, failure of transcendence, and various lapse-activated causes all contribute to regulatory failure.
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This research studies the effect of consumers’ lay theories of self control on their choices of products for young children. The authors find that people who hold the implicit assumption that self-control is a small resource that can be increased over time ('limited-malleable theorists') are more likely to engage in behaviors that may benefit children’s self control. In contrast, people who believe either that self-control is a large resource ('unlimited theorists') or that it cannot increase over time ('fixed theorists') are less likely to engage in such behaviors. Field experiments conducted with parents demonstrate that limited-malleable theorists take their children less frequently to fast-food restaurants, give their children unhealthful snacks less often, and prefer educational to entertaining television programs for them. Similar patterns are observed when nonparent adults make gift choices for children or while babysitting. The authors obtain these effects with lay theories both measured and manipulated and after they control for demographic and psychological characteristics, including own self-control. These results contribute to the literature on self-control, parenting, and consumer socialization.
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This study examined the extent to which 3 dimensions of personal goals (commitment, attainability, and progress) were predictive of students' subjective well-being over 1 semester. At the beginning of a new term, 88 Ss provided a list of their personal goals. Goal attributes and subjective well-being were measured at 4 testing periods. Goal commitment was found to moderate the extent to which differences in goal attainability accounted for changes in subjective well-being. Progress in goal achievement mediated the effect of the goal commitment × goal attainability on subjective well-being interaction. Results are discussed in terms of a need for addition and refinement of assumptions linking personal goals to subjective well-being. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Causal and responsibility attributions for spouse behavior are examined in couples seeking therapy and in nondistressed community couples. Eighty spouses rated the causes of positive and negative partner behaviors, made attributions of responsibility for the behaviors, indicated their affective impact, and, finally, specified what they would do in response to each behavior. Distressed spouses saw the causes of negative partner behavior as more global and considered the behavior to be more negative in intent, selfishly motivated, and blameworthy than did nondistressed spouses. The inverse pattern of results was obtained for positive spouse behavior. Only responsibility attributions predicted the affective impact and intended responses to the behavior. These findings are discussed in terms of the role of attribution processes in martial dysfunction, and their implications for therapy are outlined.
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Self-determination theory (SDT) maintains that an understanding of human motivation requires a consideration of innate psychological needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness. We discuss the SDT concept of needs as it relates to previous need theories, emphasizing that needs specify the necessary conditions for psychological growth, integrity, and well-being. This concept of needs leads to the hypotheses that different regulatory processes underlying goal pursuits are differentially associated with effective functioning and well-being and also that different goal contents have different relations to the quality of behavior and mental health, specifically because different regulatory processes and different goal contents are associated with differing degrees of need satisfaction. Social contexts and individual differences that support satisfaction of the basic needs facilitate natural growth processes including intrinsically motivated behavior and integration of extrinsic motivations, whereas those that forestall autonomy, competence, or relatedness are associated with poorer motivation, performance, and well-being. We also discuss the relation of the psychological needs to cultural values, evolutionary processes, and other contemporary motivation theories.
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How people intentionally change addictive behaviors with and without treatment is not well understood by behavioral scientists. This article summarizes research on self-initiated and professionally facilitated change of addictive behaviors using the key transtheoretical constructs of stages and processes of change. Modification of addictive behaviors involves progression through five stages—pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance—and individuals typically recycle through these stages several times before termination of the addiction. Multiple studies provide strong support for these stages as well as for a finite and common set of change processes used to progress through the stages. Research to date supports a transtheoretical model of change that systematically integrates the stages with processes of change from diverse theories of psychotherapy.
Article
This research tested three models of how the relationship evaluation components of satisfaction, commitment, intimacy, trust, passion, and love a structured and cognitively represented. Participants in Study 1 rated their intimate relationships on six previously developed scales that measured each construct and on a new inventory-the Perceived Relationship Quality Components (PRQC) Inventory. As predicted, confirmatory factor analysis revealed that, for both sets of scales, the best-fitting model was one in which the appropriate items loaded reliably on the six first-order factors, which in turn loaded reliably on one second-order factor reflecting overall perceived relationship quality. These results were replicated on a different sample in Study 2 and across sex. Implications and advantages of the PRQC Inventory are discussed.
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People make and break promises frequently in interpersonal relationships. In this article, we investigate the processes leading up to making promises and the processes involved in keeping them. Across 4 studies, we demonstrate that people who had the most positive relationship feelings and who were most motivated to be responsive to the partner's needs made bigger promises than did other people but were not any better at keeping them. Instead, promisers' self-regulation skills, such as trait conscientiousness, predicted the extent to which promises were kept or broken. In a causal test of our hypotheses, participants who were focused on their feelings for their partner promised more, whereas participants who generated a plan of self-regulation followed through more on their promises. Thus, people were making promises for very different reasons (positive relationship feelings, responsiveness motivation) than what made them keep these promises (self-regulation skills). Ironically, then, those who are most motivated to be responsive may be most likely to break their romantic promises, as they are making ambitious commitments they will later be unable to keep.
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This research examined the role of mothers' mindsets about the malleability of children's ability in the quality of their involvement in children's learning. Mothers (N = 79) of early elementary school children (mean age = 7.65 years) were induced to hold either an entity mindset, in which children's ability is seen as unchangeable, or an incremental mindset, in which children's ability is seen as changeable. Mothers and children were then observed as they worked on a set of challenging problems for 15 min. Unconstructive involvement (i.e., performance-oriented teaching, control, and negative affect) was more frequent among mothers induced to hold an entity mindset than those induced to hold an incremental mindset. Mothers with an entity (vs. incremental) mindset also responded to children's helplessness more unconstructively.
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The purpose of the current study was to examine the influence of perceived motivational climate on achievement goals in physical education using a structural equation mixture modeling (SEMM) analysis. Within one analysis, we identified groups of students with homogenous profiles in perceptions of motivational climate and examined the relationships between motivational climate, 2 x 2 achievement goals, and affect, concurrently. The findings of the current study showed that there were at least two distinct groups of students with differing perceptions of motivational climate: one group of students had much higher perceptions in both climates compared with the other group. Regardless of their grouping, the relationships between motivational climate, achievement goals, and enjoyment seemed to be invariant. Mastery climate predicted the adoption of mastery-approach and mastery-avoidance goals; performance climate was related to performance-approach and performance-avoidance goals. Mastery-approach goal had a strong positive effect while performance-avoidance had a small negative effect on enjoyment. Overall, it was concluded that only perception of a mastery motivational climate in physical education may foster intrinsic interest in physical education through adoption of mastery-approach goals.
Article
Despite the possible costs, confronting prejudice can have important benefits, ranging from the well-being of the target of prejudice to social change. What, then, motivates targets of prejudice to confront people who express explicit bias? In three studies, we tested the hypothesis that targets who hold an incremental theory of personality (i.e., the belief that people can change) are more likely to confront prejudice than targets who hold an entity theory of personality (i.e., the belief that people have fixed traits). In Study 1, targets' beliefs about the malleability of personality predicted whether they spontaneously confronted an individual who expressed bias. In Study 2, targets who held more of an incremental theory reported that they would be more likely to confront prejudice and less likely to withdraw from future interactions with an individual who expressed prejudice. In Study 3, we manipulated implicit theories and replicated these findings. By highlighting the central role that implicit theories of personality play in targets' motivation to confront prejudice, this research has important implications for intergroup relations and social change.
Article
A model of mutual responsiveness in adult romantic relationships is proposed. Behaving responsively in conflict-of-interest situations requires one partner to resist the temptation to be selfish and the other partner to resist the temptation to protect against exploitation. Managing risk and the attendant temptations of self-interest require the interpersonal mind to function in ways that coordinate trust and commitment across partners. The authors describe a system of procedural or "if... then" rules that foster mutuality in responsiveness by informing and motivating trust and commitment. The authors further argue that tuning rule accessibility and enactment to match the situations encountered in a specific relationship shapes its personality. By imposing a procedural structure on the interdependent mind, the proposed model of mutual responsiveness reframes interdependence theory and generates important research questions for the future.
Article
Traditionally, researchers have conceptualized implicit theories as individual differences-lay theories that vary between people. This article, however, investigates the consequences of organization-level implicit theories of intelligence. In five studies, the authors examine how an organization's fixed (entity) or malleable (incremental) theory of intelligence affects people's inferences about what is valued, their self- and social judgments, and their behavioral decisions. In Studies 1 and 2, the authors find that people systematically shift their self-presentations when motivated to join an entity or incremental organization. People present their "smarts" to the entity environment and their "motivation" to the incremental environment. In Studies 3a and 4, they show downstream consequences of these inferences for participants' self-concepts and their hiring decisions. In Study 3b, they demonstrate that the effects are not due to simple priming. The implications for understanding how environments shape cognition and behavior and, more generally, for implicit theories research are discussed.
Article
How people intentionally change addictive behaviors with and without treatment is not well understood by behavioral scientists. This article summarizes research on self-initiated and professionally facilitated change of addictive behaviors using the key trans-theoretical constructs of stages and processes of change. Modification of addictive behaviors involves progression through five stages--pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance--and individuals typically recycle through these stages several times before termination of the addiction. Multiple studies provide strong support for these stages as well as for a finite and common set of change processes used to progress through the stages. Research to date supports a trans-theoretical model of change that systematically integrates the stages with processes of change from diverse theories of psychotherapy.
Article
Two principles for progressing from the precontemplation stage of change to the action stage were discovered. The strong principle states that progression from precontemplation to action is a function of approximately a 1 standard deviation increase in the pros of a health behavior change. The weak principle states that progression from precontemplation to action is a function of approximately a 1/2 standard deviation decrease in the cons of a health behavior change. In Study 1, these principles were derived from cross-sectional data on 12 problem behaviors relating the pros and cons of changing to the stages of change. In Study 2, these principles were validated on cross-sectional data from an independent sample of 1,466 smokers. Discussion focuses on the implications of these principles for individual psychology and public health policy.
Article
Numerous theories in social and health psychology assume that intentions cause behaviors. However, most tests of the intention- behavior relation involve correlational studies that preclude causal inferences. In order to determine whether changes in behavioral intention engender behavior change, participants should be assigned randomly to a treatment that significantly increases the strength of respective intentions relative to a control condition, and differences in subsequent behavior should be compared. The present research obtained 47 experimental tests of intention-behavior relations that satisfied these criteria. Meta-analysis showed that a medium-to-large change in intention (d = 0.66) leads to a small-to-medium change in behavior (d = 0.36). The review also identified several conceptual factors, methodological features, and intervention characteristics that moderate intention-behavior consistency.
Article
Recent studies suggest that implementation planning exercises may not be as helpful for long-term, self-initiated goals as for short-term, assigned goals. Two studies used the personal goal paradigm to explore the impact of implementation plans on goal progress over time. Study 1 examined whether administering implementation plans in an autonomy supportive manner would facilitate goal progress relative to a neutral, control condition and a condition in which implementation plans were administered in a controlling manner. Study 2 examined whether combining implementation plans with a self-efficacy boosting exercise would facilitate goal progress relative to a neutral, control condition and a typical implementation condition. The results showed that implementation plans alone did not result in greater goal progress than a neutral condition but that the combination of implementation plans with either autonomy support or self-efficacy boosting resulted in significantly greater goal progress.
Article
Two studies examined how destiny beliefs (that potential relationships are or are not "meant to be") interact with state attachment anxiety to predict forgiveness tendencies. In Study 1, participants experienced an experimental manipulation of attachment anxiety (vs. security) before indicating the degree to which they would forgive a series of hypothetical partner offenses. In Study 2, participants reported every 2 weeks for 6 months (14 waves in total) on offenses enacted by their partner and indicated the degree to which they forgave the partner, both concurrently and 2 weeks later. Consistent with predictions, results revealed Destiny Beliefs x State Attachment Anxiety interaction effects: Strong (relative to weak) destiny beliefs predicted reduced forgiveness tendencies for individuals experiencing state attachment anxiety, but such beliefs were not associated with forgiveness for individuals experiencing state attachment security. Results from Study 2 suggest that this interaction effect was significantly mediated through trust in the partner.
Article
The current longitudinal study examined the consequences of spouses' tendencies to forgive their partners over the first 2 years of 72 new marriages. Though positive main effects between forgiveness and marital outcomes emerged cross-sectionally, spouses' tendencies to forgive their partners interacted with the frequency of those partners' negative verbal behaviors to predict changes in marital outcomes longitudinally. Specifically, whereas spouses married to partners who rarely behaved negatively tended to remain more satisfied over time to the extent that they were more forgiving, spouses married to partners who frequently behaved negatively tended to experience steeper declines in satisfaction to the extent that they were more forgiving. Similar patterns emerged for changes in the severity of husbands' problems, such that husbands married to wives who frequently behaved negatively reported sharper increases in problem severity to the extent that they were more forgiving but reported more stable problem severity to the extent that they were less forgiving. These findings question whether all spouses should benefit from forgiveness interventions and thus highlight the need for further research on the most appropriate targets for such interventions.
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Self-regulation of action and affect handbook of self-regulation: Research, theory, and applications
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Implicit theories and conceptions of morality
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Who confronts prejudice? the role of implicit theories in the motivation to confront prejudice
  • A Rattan
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Rattan, A., & Dweck, C. S. (2010). Who confronts prejudice? the role of implicit theories in the motivation to confront prejudice. Psychological Science, 21(7), 952-959 Retrieved fromhttp://search.proquest.com/docview/754054711?accountid=9894