Investigating the Impact of an Incremental Mindset Intervention on Students’ Beliefs and Programming Performance

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G Celis Rangel, Maria Jakeline De Guadalupe




Implicit theories of personal ability identify two kinds of mindsets, incremental and entity. Individuals with an incremental mindset believe that ability is malleable, while the opposite is true for entity individuals. Incremental beliefs can be taught via mindsetinterventions, and improvements in academic achievement were associated with these interventions, especially for challenging subjects such as math. Programing is another challenging subject, but to date little research exists on the impact of implicit theories in this domain. To address this gap, this research tests the effect of an incremental mindset intervention on students’ beliefs and programming performance. Our key results show that the incremental mindset intervention made participants significantly less entity oriented in their beliefs towards programming, and in turn they exhibited marginally more persistence in their programming activities, especially among those with less prior programming experience. However, this did not translate to improvements in performance on the programming activity.


Behaviorism (Psychology)




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Cognitive Science: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Cognitive Science

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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