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To What Extent and Under Which Circumstances Are Growth Mind-Sets Important to Academic Achievement? Two Meta-Analyses

Abstract

"Mind-sets (aka implicit theories) are beliefs about the nature of human attributes (e.g., intelligence). The theory holds that individuals with growth mind-sets (beliefs that attributes are malleable with effort) enjoy many positive outcomes-including higher academic achievement-while their peers who have fixed mind-sets experience negative outcomes. Given this relationship, interventions designed to increase students' growth mind-sets-thereby increasing their academic achievement-have been implemented in schools around the world. In our first meta-analysis (k = 273, N = 365,915), we examined the strength of the relationship between mind-set and academic achievement and potential moderating factors. In our second meta-analysis (k = 43, N = 57,155), we examined the effectiveness of mind-set interventions on academic achievement and potential moderating factors. Overall effects were weak for both meta-analyses. However, some results supported specific tenets of the theory, namely, that students with low socioeconomic status or who are academically at risk might benefit from mind-set interventions."