Search over three decades of research on mindsets, including Mindset Scholars Network briefs and working papers, and other publications from Network studies and initiatives.
To reduce the anxiety-inducing effects of stereotype threat, 7th grade students were divided into four groups to be mentored by college students. Three groups heard different messages about the malleability of intelligence, how difficulties in 7th grade were normal, or both. A control group was given a message about the harm of drug use. Girls in both experimental conditions did better on standardized math tests.
College students who wrote motivational letters to middle schoolers after learning about the malleability of intelligence later earned higher grades than those in a control group. The effect was most pronounced for African American students, who also reported enjoying school more.
Instructors holding more of an entity theory (fixed mindset) of math intelligence were quicker to judge students as having low ability and more likely to comfort students for low math ability and use "kind" strategies unlikely to promote engagement with the field (e.g., assigning less homework). Students receiving comfort-oriented feedback perceived the instructor's entity theory and low expectations, and reported lowered motivation and performance expectations.