Our overall goal was to empirically test what we called the “growth mindset as inoculation” hypothesis using a series of latent profile analytical approaches. This inoculation hypothesis, which is consistent with the way in which Dweck and Leggett (1988) described their social cognitive approach, states that believing in the malleability of intelligence serves a protective role against negative motivational and achievement outcomes. Participants were Grade 6 students (n = 504) from a middle school and Grade 10 students (n = 354) from two high schools in the Southeastern part of the United States. Two distinct patterns emerged, which corresponded to a growth mindset profile, and an all moderate profile. Our findings did not completely confirm or disconfirm the inoculation hypothesis – rather, a more nuanced conclusion should be drawn. Although there was evidence that the growth mindset profile evinced more adaptive outcomes compared to the all moderate alternative, which reinforced Dweck and Leggett’s claims, there was no evidence of any profiles with a distinct fixed theory of ability. This was true even when we forced our data to conform to such a model. Results refine Dweck and Leggett’s social cognitive approach to motivation.
Zeitschrift für Psychologie
Chen, J. A., Tutwiler, M. S. (2017). Implicit theories and self-efficacy: Testing alternative social cognitive models to science motivation. Zeitschrift für Psychologie, 225, 127-136. doi: 10.1027/2151-2604/a000289