Whether and how can a growth mindset intervention help students in a non-western culture? Evidence from a field experiment in China

Zhen HUANG, Xiangdong WEI, Runhao LU, Jiannong SHI

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

Abstract

An increasing amount of research has indicated that the effectiveness of growth mindset (GM) intervention is sensitive to population characteristics. However, few studies have investigated whether GM interventions can be leveraged to promote academic performance among non-westerners such as Chinese students. Attuning to the Chinese background, we developed an extended GM intervention by incorporating both the malleability of intelligence and that of emotion. We examined the effect of the intervention in 11 schools across 48 classes in China and found that the intervention significantly improved students’ maths achievement with intrinsic motivation playing a partial mediating role. Different from the mechanism in the Western, the implicit theories of emotion, rather than implicit theories of intelligence, are more likely to play a role in the effects of the GM intervention on intrinsic motivation and maths achievement. Future studies are required for directly examining the role of implicit theories of emotion.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalEducational Psychology
Early online date14 Jun 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Zhen Huang wishes to thank the Chinese Academy of Sciences for its generous post-doctoral fellowship. We are also grateful for the funding support of the Hong Kong Research Grant Council (Ref. No. D00971). Any remaining errors are ours.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Chinese students
  • Growth mindset
  • academic achievement
  • intrinsic motivation
  • randomised controlled trial

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