Mental muscularity: shaping implicit theories of intelligence via metaphor

dc.contributor.advisorMcGlone, Matthew S., 1966-en
dc.creatorAnderson, Scott Victoren
dc.date.accessioned2010-06-01T15:15:09Zen
dc.date.available2010-06-01T15:15:09Zen
dc.date.issued2009-08en
dc.descriptiontexten
dc.description.abstractMotivating students is a central challenge for many teachers, particularly in subjects students commonly perceive as “impenetrable,” such as statistics. One line of motivation research by C.S. Dweck (2006) has found that when students believe their intelligence is malleable (i.e., a growth mindset) and that learning is a function of effort, they show greater motivation, accept more learning challenges, and have improved performance outcomes relative to students who believe their intelligence is fixed (e.g., “I’m not a math person”). This dissertation extends research regarding implicit theories of intelligence by examining how metaphors of the growth mindset (e.g., the mind is a muscle) can be integrated as feedback into a computer program to encourage students to implicitly adopt the growth mindset relevant to statistics. The present study manipulated framing conditions with metaphorical, literal, and no feedback about the growth mindset. Results show that framing feedback implicitly in terms of the “mind as muscle” metaphor increased non-math major undergraduates’ willingness to accept learning challenges and their overall score on testing items relevant to statistical literacy, as compared to students who received literal feedback or no feedback about the growth mindset. Also, overall, gender differences were noted, with males accepting more learning challenges, passing on fewer difficult items, and having higher scores on testing items than females. Findings also indicate that participants’ psychological reactance and interest in fitness and muscularity (metaphor resonance) did not meaningfully change participants’ learning outcomes.en
dc.description.departmentCommunication Studiesen
dc.format.mediumelectronicen
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/2152/7557en
dc.language.isoengen
dc.rightsCopyright is held by the author. Presentation of this material on the Libraries' web site by University Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin was made possible under a limited license grant from the author who has retained all copyrights in the works.en
dc.subjectMotivationen
dc.subjectLearningen
dc.subjectStatisticsen
dc.subjectMetaphoren
dc.subjectIntelligenceen
dc.subjectTeachingen
dc.subjectGrowthen
dc.subjectMinden
dc.subjectMuscleen
dc.titleMental muscularity: shaping implicit theories of intelligence via metaphoren
thesis.degree.departmentCommunication Studiesen
thesis.degree.disciplineCommunication Studiesen
thesis.degree.grantorThe University of Texas at Austinen
thesis.degree.levelDoctoralen
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophyen

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