NEW: Find great deals on the latest gadgets and more in the ScienceDaily Store!
Science News
from research organizations

Students Who Believe Intelligence Can Be Developed Perform Better

Date:
February 7, 2007
Source:
Society for Research in Child Development
Summary:
Two studies that followed junior high students have demonstrated that students who believe intelligence can be developed may improve their math achievement. In each study, which each involved two groups of 12-year-olds, one group believed that intelligence could be expanded. This group in both studies showed improvement in math achievement over time. The findings underscore the importance of students' beliefs about their efforts and the need to strengthen motivation and achievement.
Share:
FULL STORY

Research on how junior high school students' beliefs about intelligence affect their math grades found that those who believed that intelligence can be developed performed better than those who believed intelligence is fixed.

The findings come from two studies conducted by researchers at Columbia University and Stanford University, and are published in the January/February 2007 issue of the journal Child Development.

One study looked at 373 12-year-olds over two years of junior high school. Although all students began the study with equivalent achievement levels in math, students who believed that their intelligence could be developed outperformed those who believed their intelligence was fixed. Furthermore, the researchers found, the gap between these two groups widened over the two-year period.

Researchers concluded that the difference between the two sets of students stems from the fact that students who believed their intelligence could be developed placed a higher premium on learning, believed more in the power of effort, and had more constructive reactions to setbacks in school.

A second study looked at 91 12-year-olds in two groups, both of whom had shown declines in their math grades. One group was taught the expandable theory of intelligence as part of an eight-session workshop on study skills. Another group participated in the same workshop, but did not receive information on the expandable intelligence qualities of the brain. The students who learned about the intelligence theory reversed their decline and showed significantly higher math grades than their peers in the other group, whose grades continued to decline.

"These findings highlight the importance of students' beliefs for their academic progress," said Carol Dweck, one of the researchers and professor of psychology at Stanford University. "They also show how these beliefs can be changed to maximize students' motivation and achievement."

Summarized from Child Development, Vol. 78, Issue 1, Implicit Theories of Intelligence Predict Achievement Across an Adolescent Transition: A Longitudinal Study and an Intervention, by Blackwell, LS (Columbia University), and Trzesniewski, KH, and Dweck, CS (Stanford University).


Story Source:

Materials provided by Society for Research in Child Development. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for Research in Child Development. "Students Who Believe Intelligence Can Be Developed Perform Better." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 February 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070207090949.htm>.
Society for Research in Child Development. (2007, February 7). Students Who Believe Intelligence Can Be Developed Perform Better. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 20, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070207090949.htm
Society for Research in Child Development. "Students Who Believe Intelligence Can Be Developed Perform Better." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070207090949.htm (accessed February 20, 2017).