Search over three decades of research on mindsets, including Mindset Scholars Network briefs and working papers, and other publications from Network studies and initiatives.
Broad-access institutions play a democratizing role in American society, opening doors to many who might not otherwise pursue college. Yet these institutions struggle with persistence and completion. Do feelings of nonbelonging play a role, particularly for students from groups historically disadvantaged in higher education? Is belonging relevant to students’ persistence—even when they form the numerical majority, as at many broad-access institutions? We evaluated a randomized intervention aimed at bolstering first-year students’ sense of belonging at a broad-access university (N = 1,063). The intervention increased the likelihood that racial-ethnic minority and first-generation students maintained continuous enrollment over the next two academic years relative to multiple control groups. This two-year gain in persistence was mediated by greater feelings of social and academic fit one-year post-intervention. Results suggest that efforts to address belonging concerns at broad-access, majority-minority institutions can improve core academic outcomes for historically disadvantaged students at institutions designed to increase college accessibility.
In this study, men and women viewed corporate mission statements and websites conveying that the organization espoused an entity (fixed) or incremental (malleable) theory. Results revealed that women—more so than men—trusted the entity company less than the incremental company. Furthermore, only women’s mistrust of the entity company was driven by their expectations about being stereotyped by its management. Notably, when combined with high or low representations of female employees, only these organizational lay theories predicted trust. People’s—particularly women’s—mistrust of the entity company led them to disengage more before interacting with a representative.