Research Library

Search over three decades of research on mindsets, including Mindset Scholars Network briefs and working papers, and other publications from Network studies and initiatives.

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Students from higher–socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds show a persistent advantage in academic outcomes over lower-SES students. It is possible that students’ beliefs about academic ability, or mindsets, play some role in contributing to these disparities. Data from a recent nationally representative sample of ninth-grade students in U.S. public schools provided evidence that higher SES was associated with fewer fixed beliefs about academic ability (a group difference of .22 standard deviations). Also, there was a negative association between a fixed mindset and grades that was similar regardless of a student’s SES. Finally, student mindsets were a significant but small factor in explaining the existing relationship between SES and achievement. Altogether, mindsets appear to be associated with socioeconomic circumstances and academic achievement; however, the vast majority of the existing socioeconomic achievement gap in the U.S. is likely driven by the root causes of inequality.

This article reports findings from the largest-ever randomized controlled trial of a growth mindset program in the United States in K-12 settings. The study combined a test for cause-and-effect (a randomized experiment) with a sample that enables claims about an entire population (a nationally representative probability sample). The study found that a short (less than one hour), online growth mindset intervention—which teaches that intellectual abilities can be developed—improved grades among lower-achieving students and increased enrollment in advanced mathematics courses among both higher- and lower-achieving students in a nationally representative sample of regular public high schools in the United States. Notably, the study identified school contexts that moderated the effects of the growth mindset intervention: the intervention had a stronger effect on grades when peer norms aligned with the messages of the intervention. In addition to its rigorous design, the study also featured independent data collection and processing, pre-registration of analyses, and corroboration of results by a blinded Bayesian analysis.

At the beginning of the development of meta‐analysis, understanding the role of moderators was given the highest priority, with meta‐regression provided as a method for achieving this goal. Yet in current practice, meta‐regression is not as commonly used as anticipated. This paper seeks to understand this mismatch by reviewing the history of meta‐regression methods over the past 40 years. We divide this time span into four periods and examine three types of methodological developments within each period: technical, conceptual, and practical. Our focus is broad and includes development of methods in the fields of education, psychology, and medicine. We conclude the paper with a discussion of five consensus points, as well as open questions and areas of research for the future.

The National Study of Learning Mindsets (NSLM) is a randomized trial evaluating an intervention in a national sample of schools that were selected to participate via probability sampling methods. The response rate for this study was 56%. This paper evaluates whether site-level non-response compromises the generalizability of the results from the achieved sample of schools in the NSLM. Comparisons of characteristics of schools taking part in the NSLM relative to national benchmarks shows that the NSLM sample has a high degree of similarity to the population of all regular, U.S. public high schools with at least 25 students in 9th grade and in which 9th grade is the lowest grade, via two metrics. Thus, full-sample estimates and conditional estimates (within school achievement and racial composition subgroups) are likely to be highly generalizable to the corresponding populations of inference.

Having surveyed the history and methods of meta-regression in a previous paper, in this paper the authors review which and how meta-regression methods are applied in recent research syntheses. To do so, they review studies published in 2016 across four leading research synthesis journals: Psychological Bulletin, the Journal of Applied Psychology, Review of Education Research, and the Cochrane Library. They find that the best practices defined in the previous review are rarely carried out in practice. In light of the identified discrepancies, they consider how to move forward, first by identifying areas where further methods development is needed to address persistent problems in the field, and second by discussing how to more effectively disseminate points of methodological consensus.

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