Blackwell, Trzesniewski & Dweck (2007)

  • Created by: nichollsa
  • Created on: 26-06-18 09:36

Core Study: Blackwell, Trzesniewski & Dweck (2007)

Theories of intelligence and achievement



  • The study was designed to look at whether student’s theory of intelligence correlated with academic achievement in maths and to test the impact of academic intervention.


  • A longitudinal study that took place over five years.

  • Took place in their natural setting (school in New York)

  • The variables studied were:

  1. Students’ theories of intelligence

  2. Students’ achievement-related beliefs

  3. Maths achievement in the 7th and 8th grade

  • Sample: 373 students from four successive 7th grade classes at a public secondary school in New York City.


  • Scores on a standard maths test was taken in the spring term of 6th grade and again in the autumn and spring terms of 7th and 8th grade.

  • A motivational questionnaire which assessed:

  1. Theory of intelligence

  2. Learning goals

  3. Effort beliefs

  4. Helpless responses to failure


  • At the start of 7th grade, participants completed the motivational questionnaire.

  • Participants had only one teacher during 7th and 8th grade.


  • There was no significant correlation between theory of intelligence (fixed or growth mindset) and maths test scores when measured at the start of 7th grade.

  • When participants were tested in the autumn term of 7th grade and the spring term of 8th grade, theory of intelligence became a significant predictor of maths achievement.

  • Participants who held the belief that they had the ability to change


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