Friday, July 22, 2016

Growth mindset study

Students in poverty are less likely that others to have a growth mindset, but those who do can be more resilient to poverty's effects, a new study finds. But poor students studied by researchers were also less likely to have a growth mindset than their higher income peers, researchers found.
Dweck, C., Claro, S., & Paunesku, D. (2016). Growth mindset tempers the effects of poverty on academic achievement. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.A.

Students who have a growth mindset are more likely to consider poor academic performance as a temporary setback that can be overcome, according to a recent study. The study's lead author looked at students' reactions to transitioning to high school by tracking their levels of the stress hormone cortisol. For most students it drops back down to normal levels a day later, but for some it stays high. These students remain fixated on the setback and have difficulty moving forward. A majority of these students—68 percent—experienced a drop in grades in the first semester and reported feeling stressed as a result. In how they handled that stress, two clear groups emerged. Students who believed that intelligence can be developed—a growth mindset—were more likely to see setbacks as temporary, and not only had lower overall cortisol levels but were able to return to lower levels shortly after a setback. Students who believed that intelligence is fixed, on the other hand, felt threatened by the setback and had trouble thinking about solutions.
Lee, H. et al. (2018).  An entity theory of intelligence predicts high cortisol levels when high school grades are declining. Child Development.

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