Thoughts on Traffic Flow, Traffic Lights, and More

Because I am eternally lazy, like most of my essays, I will not include any photos or diagrams here. While I do not plagiarize, when writing essays unrelated to my formal education, I enjoy making theoretical arguments that do not require me to cite any empirical evidence.

I always find it annoying to be stopped needlessly at red lights when there are no cars coming. We have an intersection in Daytona Beach, Nova Rd. and 3rd St., where, at night, like clockwork, the traffic light for the superior road turns red every few seconds, even when there are no cars coming. I suppose there are no car sensors for 3rd Street which is the reason for the needless cycling, but it is such a waste of time, fuel, and brake pads.

Superior and Inferior Roads

Civil engineers probably have their own jargon, but I would define superior roads as getting the majority of travel time (green light time) at an intersection and inferior roads as getting the minority. While roads are sometimes equally matched, in most cases, one is clearly superior. Typically, the superior road gets more traffic. Ironically, the inferior road often may have more travel lanes—for example, in Ormond Beach and Daytona Beach, FL, West Granada Blvd. (SR-40) and International Speedway Blvd. (US-92) are clearly superior in their intersections with Nova Rd. (SR-5A), but both have only six lanes at these intersections versus eight lanes for Nova Rd. (lane counts include turn lanes). While it is plainly obvious that a road will be superior at some intersections and inferior at others, it is perhaps less obvious that a road’s status may vary at different points or even at the same point at different times of the day or year.

Clues to the superiority of a road can often (but not always) be inferred by number of lanes and signals. In Daytona Beach, Dunn Ave.’s superiority to White St. and LPGA Blvd.’s superiority to Derbyshire Rd. are supported by the presence of protected right turns (arrows) while left turns on the inferior road are not offered protected turns. At stop signs where cross traffic does not stop, the road with stop signs is the de facto inferior road.

Red Arrows and Rubato

In most U.S. states, it is illegal to turn left on a red arrow, even when obviously safe to do so. This results in a lot of wasted time, not just for drivers turning left, but also for drivers going straight who are forced to stop so the left-turning drivers can receive a protected turn. In the Ormond and Daytona Beach areas, many left arrows were recently replaced with new signals that show a flashing yellow arrow at most times, allowing drivers more autonomy at these intersections. Of course, such arrows could be configured to offer a protected turn if a driver has been waiting a long time, and to show a solid red arrow during rush hour to discourage dangerous maneuvers.

Rubato is a musical term that means “the temporary disregarding of strict tempo to allow an expressive quickening or slackening, usually without altering the overall pace,” according to the top definition provided via Google Search. I think this is an apt term for referring to the practice of turning left on a late-yellow or red arrow. This practice definitely varies in different cultures and regions. For example, when visiting Los Angeles, I was alarmed to see drivers violating my right-of-way, continuing to turn left long after my light had turned green, particularly since this is a rare sight in Central Florida. Similarly, I think it’s rude when drivers without right-of-way make any maneuvers that require me to brake, even though other cultures may have an entirely different perspective on it.

While drivers practicing rubato may be delaying thru traffic for a couple seconds, they may also be providing a service by preventing left-turn lanes from becoming overfilled, which is a common phenomenon along Alafaya Trail near my university (University of Central Florida). Clearly, they are also self-motivated by saving a non-trivial amount of time—perhaps as much as two minutes, depending on the intersection.

All-Red Time

It would be unwise to go further without discussing all-red time, also known as clearing time. This is the time during which all directions of traffic at an intersection have a red light. Two seconds is the typical time in Central Florida. I was surprised to see zero all-red time in the East Bay area of California. Traffic is much denser there, putting time at a premium. In Daytona Beach, arrows often stay green even several seconds after all cars have turned left, followed by more seconds of yellow and two seconds all-red time. In the Bay Area, the arrow often turns yellow just a couple seconds after turning green, which is a more efficient use of time. (Note: Another possibility is that the East Bay area traffic signaling systems are antiquated and an all-red time simply cannot be set.)

Of course, all-red time has an interactive relationship with what is culturally acceptable when driving. With two seconds of all-red time, one can “run” a red light without cross traffic even noticing. While long all-red periods are inefficient, they may also be a function of state law—for example, in Florida, a driver who has cleared the crosswalk before a traffic light turns red has not committed an infraction, whereas in Oregon, any driver who could have stopped at a yellow light but failed to do so has committed an infraction. Obviously, Florida must be much more lenient with all-red time due to state laws.

Why “Running” Red Lights Does Not Typically Cause Accidents

The idea that “running” a red light can cause an accident is often a misnomer. What really causes accidents is plowing through a red light that has been red for a long time, due to failing to notice the traffic light itself. Especially in areas with two-second all-red times, most traffic in other directions is going to be stopped for 3–5 seconds after the light turns red for the red-light-runner. One possible exception is left-turning drivers who hang out in the middle of the intersection, expecting to turn left on late-yellow or red after oncoming traffic has halted. However, such drivers might be at fault for failing to yield or other infractions. My point here is that “running” a red light may be less dangerous than commonly perceived (though still illegal).

Aggressive Driving

On the Interstate highways (freeways) in Central Florida, it is alarming how aggressive many drivers are. At speeds over 80 miles per hour, they often succeed at squeezing between the nose of your car and the bumper of the car in front of you, despite having very little clearance, and often without even signaling. This usually helps them get a few seconds ahead, which is clearly, in their minds, worth endangering the lives of all the surrounding drivers and passengers. I have convex “spot” mirrors affixed to my left and right mirrors, which I check religiously since they reveal blind spots. Most other drivers do not think these mirrors are helpful and would prefer checking their rear-view mirror or looking over their shoulder, which is very stupid in my opinion.

Tailgating is also very common, which is the dangerous practice of following very closely to the car in front of you. I am not sure whether drivers do this out of deliberate intimidation, or as a habit to avoid other drivers inserting themselves in between. No matter what speed you go, there is always someone to tailgate you.

Toll Roads, Social Justice

Toll roads are simply a fact of life in the Orlando, FL area, due to I-4’s lack of capacity and widespread congestion. There are times of the day where it can be a lot faster to drive 10 miles extra on toll roads than to take a direct route on non-tolled roads. The I-4 Ultimate project, expected to be completed in the early 2020s, includes surge-priced toll lanes intended to keep traffic flowing at 50 miles per hour, which may cost over $10.00 for a one-way trip at peak times. From a social justice perspective, this is arguably similar to a caste system, and is certainly regressive. No consideration is given for the driver’s ability to pay—rich people should arguably have to pay more than poor people, but are charged the same rate. Though everyone has 24 hours in a day, the rich are further advantaged over the poor by being able to pay a sum inconsequential to them to avoid the crowded peasant lanes, while the peasants might literally have to give up several meals to avoid 30 minutes of heavy traffic. Is this just? Not by a long shot.

Social justice can also be applied to civil engineering, pedestrians, and cyclists. Pedestrians and cyclists get the short shrift in Central Florida—drivers assert their dominance (in contradiction to the law) and “might is right” prevails. In contrast, San Francisco cyclists often have dedicated lanes and traffic signals, and may even outnumber motorists. As for civil engineering, getting drivers from point A to point B is often prioritized far too highly (the American love of Interstate motorways is a testament to this). For example, in constructing the recently-completed overpass for US 17–92 over SR 436 in Casselberry, FL, the cost of destroying local businesses (paying owners to buy land and bulldoze them) was $60 million! This far exceeded the cost of $21 million to build the overpass (including special, pricey palm trees). Why is it such a high priority of the State to save commuters, who may contribute nothing to the local economy, a few minutes of time, at such massive social, economic, and cultural cost?

Cultural Expectations of Car Ownership

Being that I mostly make friends with women, I often hear them complain about potential suitors not owning a car. Sometimes, the word “loser” is often thrown in for good measure. These kind of opinions perpetuate the problems we have with too many cars. The infrastructure costs alone are staggering. Currently, billions of dollars of road projects are underway in Orlando, Daytona Beach, Jacksonville, and across the country, just to provide capacity for the individuals who were derided as “losers” until they acquired a car. Not owning a car can be a legitimate choice. Just because car ownership was a marker of adulthood for past generations does not mean this expectation is virtuous or informed. Anyone who calls you a “loser” for not owning a car is not worth your time.

That’s all for now. I find the above topics very interesting, and current traffic flow theory does a surprisingly poor job of addressing them. I may eventually write about other topics such as speed limits, texting and driving, and carbon emissions.

The Implications of Mindsets for Learning and Instruction [Literature Review]

This literature review was completed 2016-04-21 for the course, EDF 6217: Seminar II in Applied Learning & Instruction, in partial fulfillment of my M.A. in Applied Learning & Instruction at University of Central Florida, awarded 2016-05-07.

This ground-breaking, expansive literature review is being presented in its entirety. It synthesizes the recent educational research on mindsets (implicit theories of intelligence), pioneered by Dr. Carol Dweck. Please feel free to cite this review. Feedback is welcome, via blog comments, my contact form, or Twitter.

PDF version | Microsoft Word 2013 version

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The Implications of Mindsets for Learning and Instruction

Richard Thripp

University of Central Florida

April 21, 2016

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Abstract

Believing that your abilities are fixed or malleable (entity versus incremental theory of intelligence; herein: fixed mindset versus growth mindset) has measurable impacts on academic performance, self-concept, and intelligence beliefs. This literature review is a thematic and topical synthesis of 51 peer-reviewed, empirical journal articles from 2009 to February 2016. Reviewed articles consider mindset alongside various aspects of learning and instruction. Overall, the literature indicates that mindsets are a recurring predictor of numerous facets of academic well-being and success, with growth mindsets almost universally being connected to more useful beliefs and superior outcomes. Mindset interventions, recommendations, limitations, and suggested research practices are discussed.

Keywords: mindsets, educational interventions, implicit theories of intelligence, self-theories, learning, instruction, academic achievement, teacher beliefs, effort, ability, praise

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The Implications of Mindsets for Learning and Instruction

This literature review will explore topical and thematic issues relating to implicit theories of intelligence (mindsets) and education. This is intended to be a comprehensive review of the relevant peer-reviewed journal articles from 2009 to February 2016.

Underpinnings

Problem Statement

Mindsets are important because of their consistent explanatory power for academic performance, behaviors, and intelligence beliefs (e.g., Burnette et al., 2013). Growth mindsets may be especially helpful during challenging periods such as the transition to high school (e.g., Blackwell, Trzesniewski, & Dweck, 2007). Unfortunately, recent mindset research lacks rigorous literature reviews. While this lack exists for consumer behavior and other disciplines, learning and instruction is where much of the research is focused, and where interventions may have lifelong, beneficial effects such as greater educational achievement, happiness, and higher income. Burnette et al.’s (2013) meta-analysis is insufficient, being five years out-of-date and having a primarily quantitative view. This review will fill this gap, synthesize the latest empirical research, and help new people understand the field.

Terminology

In this review, implicit theories of intelligence will be called mindsets, incremental theories of intelligence will be called growth mindsets, and entity theories of intelligence will be called fixed mindsets. Consistent with Yan, Thai, and Bjork (2014), incremental theorists will be referred to as growth theorists and entity theorists will be referred to as fixed theorists. The use of the term “mindsets” in this context was popularized by Dweck (2006), is more concise, and has become better known than “implicit theories” or “self-theories” among laypersons. A small but important distinction will be made between academic performance and academic achievement. Here, academic performance will include more than grades—academic effort (Sriram, 2013), well-being and emotional adjustment (Romero, Master, Paunesku, Dweck, & Gross, 2014), and avoidance of self-handicapping behaviors (Rickert, Meras, & Witkow, 2014) will be included. Academic achievement, on the other hand, will be defined based on grades.

Background

Dweck (1986) articulated the underpinnings for the mindset model, characterizing them as “adaptive and maladaptive motivational patterns” within the “social–cognitive framework” (p. 1040). These underpinnings were later crystallized in Dweck and Leggett (1988). While building on the base of achievement goal theory (for a contemporary overview, see Senko, Hulleman, & Harackiewicz, 2011), “mindsets,” as they became known in Dweck (2006), are distinct from achievement goals. Typically, they are quite stable after adolescence (Martin, 2015), and serve as a lens through which attributions are made and self-beliefs are constructed. Having a growth mindset means one believes abilities—and even intelligence—can be increased through diligent efforts (Dweck, 2006). In a fixed mindset, individuals believe their abilities are primarily based on raw talent, innate ability, or natural gifts. They do not believe they can get better, no matter how hard they try, and will often try to conceal or compensate for their lack of ability through superficial methods. Believing one is not a “math person” is a common example of fixed mindset (Rattan, Good, & Dweck, 2012). Mindset is a simple concept that can be effectively summarized as: growth mindset—good; fixed mindset—bad.

Measurement

Measuring mindsets is typically done with as few as the following three questions on a six-point Likert-type scale ranging from “Strongly Agree” to “Strongly Disagree”: “You have a certain amount of intelligence, and you really can’t do much to change it,” “Your intelligence is something about you that you can’t change very much,” and “You can learn new things, but you can’t really change your basic intelligence” (Dweck, 2000, p. 177). While additional questions are sometimes used, these three questions alone have demonstrated a high degree of reliability and validity (Dweck, Chiu, & Hong, 1995). Agreement with these questions is indicative of fixed mindset, while disagreement is indicative of growth mindset.

Preceding Literature Reviews

Burnette, O’Boyle, VanEpps, and Pollack (2013) have produced a comprehensive meta-analytic review examining the relationship between mindsets and self-regulation. They reviewed 85 sources, mainly from 1988 to October 2010. Synthesizing mindsets with achievement goal theory, Burnette et al. conclude that individuals with fixed mindsets are more likely to be performance- rather than mastery-oriented, with deleterious results. Promisingly, the meta-analysis revealed positive, statistically significant relationships of small to moderate effect sizes between growth mindsets and optimistic outlooks, reduced negative emotions regarding goals, and a bias for mastery orientation. However, the authors’ review did not focus singularly on mindsets nor academics—many mindset articles were excluded if they did not also focus on self-regulation, and 32% of articles were from other disciplines such as marketing. Also, compelling evidence has emerged since 2010, which will be explored in this paper.

No relevant, peer-reviewed literature reviews were found that included articles from 2011 and beyond. While several foundations have put out literature reviews (e.g., Farrington et al., 2012; Snipes, Fancsali, & Stoker, 2012), none have been comprehensive or rigorous.

The Present Review

Overview. This literature review of recent mindset research (2009 to February 2016) will examine intelligence mindsets (growth vs. fixed) in the contexts of learning and instruction. Results and implications will be synthesized. The work of Burnette et al. (2013), along with seminal articles and books (Dweck, 1986; Dweck & Leggett, 1988; Dweck, 2000; Dweck, 2006), will serve as underpinnings. Other mindsets, such as belongingness and sense of purpose, will not be covered. However, these mindsets have less research and seem unimportant to the present review, given that almost all the reviewed articles focused on intelligence mindsets without including other mindsets. Paunesku et al. (2015) is an exception, having included both growth mindset and sense-of-purpose mindset interventions, but combining the two was no more successful than implementing only a growth mindset intervention.

Search methods and inclusion criteria. Peer-reviewed articles, published between January 2009 and February 2016, with full text available, were searched for in ERIC and PsycINFO, using this “All Text” search query: (“implicit theor*” OR “growth mind*” OR “fixed-ability mind*” OR “fixed mind*”), returning over 350 results. These databases were selected because they include our target areas of education and psychological research. This query was searched as “All Text” due to an observed lack of consistency in “Subject Terms” between articles; it was feared that using subject terms would exclude relevant articles. The query has partial wildcards to pick up verbiage variations. The titles, abstracts, and subject terms of over 350 articles were individually examined to determine whether they 1) were empirical articles, 2) focused on growth- and fixed-ability mindsets, and 3) focused on academic performance or intelligence beliefs. Overall, 51 empirical articles met these criteria and were included.

Themes and Issues

Sociocultural Issues

Cross-cultural validity. Mindset research is being conducted in many nations and several cultural contexts. While 26 (51%) of articles contained only U.S. samples, studies in Brazil, China, India, the Philippines, Russia, and Taiwan replicated the mindset phenomenon. Western culture was over-represented, with three studies from Australia, and one or two studies from Canada, Germany, and many more western European countries. Several studies replicated mindset findings in populations with low socioeconomic status that were not primarily Caucasian (e.g., Esparza, Shumow, & Schmidt, 2014; McCutchen, Jones, Carbonneau, & Mueller, 2016; Paunesku et al., 2015), while others were less generalizable due to consisting of mostly wealthier whites (e.g., Davis, Burnette, Allison, & Stone, 2011; Haimovitz, Wormington, & Corpus, 2011; Kornilova, Kornilov, & Chumakova, 2009). Blackwell et al. (2007) made a large contribution to cross-cultural validity by performing a rigorous, multi-year experimental study on New York City students in two diverse middle schools. Overall, while mindset research could use more diversity, its cross-cultural validity is fairly robust.

Gender gap. Particularly for math and science, girls seem more likely than boys to hold fixed mindset. Lüftenegger et al. (2015) found that gifted Austrian girls were more likely than boys to have a fixed mindset for math. Rickert et al. (2014) observed that 9th grade girls in the Pacific Northwest were more likely than boys to be fixed theorists, resulting in self-handicapping behaviors and negative emotions for school. Among math and physics students in German gymnasiums (secondary schools that prepare students for university), Ziegler and Stoeger (2010) saw that boys earned better grades and had more adaptive achievement behavior. The evidence is somewhat mixed—Shively and Ryan (2013) found no gender effects for fixed mindset in undergraduate remedial math students in the Midwestern U.S. Overall, however, females seem more likely to have fixed mindsets for math, with deleterious effects. In the Southeastern U.S., Sriram (2013) found that a mindset intervention significantly improved the “academic self-confidence, general determination, and study skills” (p. 527) of at-risk, first-year female undergraduates. Mindset interventions may be a powerful tool in closing the gender gap for academic performance and achievement.

Teaching and Learning Issues

Academic achievement. Paunesku et al. (2015) offers the most compelling recent evidence that mindset interventions can improve academic achievement. In a sample of 1,594 high school students from 13 diverse high schools across the U.S., a simple online mindset intervention resulted in a 6.0% increase in satisfactory grades (C or higher), while a control group did not improve. Romero et al. (2014) followed 115 students from a U.S. middle school over a two-year period, finding that growth theorists not only earned significantly higher grades, but enrolled in challenging math courses and had better well-being. In three studies of California 9th graders, Yeager, Johnson, et al. (2014) found that fixed theorists received lower grades and were less resilient to social adversity. Other evidence is mixed: two studies observed a positive correlation between growth mindset and achievement (De Castella & Byrne, 2015; Diseth, Meland, & Breidablik, 2014), while Shively and Ryan (2013) found only a marginal correlation and Ziegler and Stoeger (2010) explained their results through other variables. Kornilova et al. (2009), in a study of 300 Russian undergraduates, found no relationship between mindset and achievement using Dweck’s (2000) questionnaires, but did find that peer-reported intelligence predicted achievement. Conversely, a very recent study by McCutchen et al. (2016) examined underprivileged elementary students (65% black, 19% Hispanic) in a southern U.S. city, finding that growth theorists performed significantly better on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, Form C (reading and math), a standardized achievement test. While growth mindset and academic achievement are often positively correlated, evidence is mixed, and self-efficacy can be a more powerful predictor (e.g., Komarraju & Nadler, 2013).

Educator beliefs. García-Cepero and McCoach’s (2009) purposive direct-mail campaign received 372 responses from K–12 teachers (45%) and professors (55%), revealing that U.S. educators unfortunately appear to hold a neutral mindset on average, but endorse multiple measures for giftedness determination. Through vignettes, Gutshall (2013) found that teachers in a southeastern school district frequently had no discernable mindset and did not perceive their students malleability differently based on gender or learning disability. While Jones, Bryant, Snyder, and Malone (2012) found 78% of preservice teachers had growth mindsets, theirs was a convenience sample (82% white) using only two, self-report based measures. Overall, the proportion of U.S. educators who endorse growth mindset does not appear to be larger than the American public. This is unfortunate, because students may benefit if educators convey growth mindsets (e.g., Rattan, Good, & Dweck, 2012). U.S. educators may be deficient compared to social science high school and preservice teachers in Sweden (Jonsson & Beach, 2010; Jonsson, Beach, Korp, & Erlandson, 2012), where growth mindset was more frequently observed. However, in these studies, fixed mindset was much more common among Swedish math and science teachers. Similarly, on an implicit-association test, French male science teachers negatively associated the terms “intelligence” and “modifiable,” while female science teachers and liberal arts teachers of both genders did not have this result (Mascret, Roussel, & Cury, 2015). Combined, these results imply that fixed mindset is more pervasive in math and science, which is unsettling because skipping math and science courses precludes many careers (Romero et al., 2014).

Shim, Cho, and Cassady (2013), in their K–12 sample of schoolteachers in the Midwestern U.S., found that fixed mindset for students’ intelligence often went hand-in-hand with a performance-avoidance goal orientation for teaching. In two case studies, Schmidt, Shumow, and Kackar-Cam (2015) found that imparting growth mindsets on students requires frequent reinforcement and is aided by internalization of the belief. The cost of educators’ fixed mindsets may be quite high—Rattan, Good, and Dweck (2012) found that fixed-mindset educators are apt to harshly judge student intelligence based on a single exam score; moreover, they give comforting feedback that derails self-efficacy and stymies student motivation, rather than orienting students toward the strategies that would improve academic performance. The importance of getting educators onboard with growth mindset cannot be overstated, but many educators, such as Celia from Schmidt et al.’s (2015) case study, believe they are holding and imparting growth mindsets, despite doing just the opposite.

Helplessness and help-seeking behaviors. When Davis et al. (2011) told undergraduates they would be competing in a math contest against MIT students, fixed theorists gave questionnaire responses indicative of helplessness, while growth theorists had higher self-efficacy and were action-oriented. On manipulated anagram tasks in a public classroom, Marshik, Kortenkamp, Cerbin, and Dixon (2015) failed to corroborate, which may be due to lack of statistical power—they used only 71 subjects in a 2 × 2 between-subjects design. Shively and Ryan (2013) longitudinally assessed mindset and help-seeking behaviors for undergraduate remedial and college algebra students, finding that growth theorists sought help more, spent more hours in the lab, and had marginally better grades. In studies of 7th and 10th graders in urban Chinese schools, Wang and Ng (2012) established fixed mindsets for intelligence and fixed mindsets for school performance as distinct predictors for feelings of helplessness. Sadly, for Taiwanese students with gelotophobia—a fear of being laughed at—Lin, Chiu, Chen, and Lin (2014) found growth mindset showed no positive correlation with challenge-confronting tendencies, although the correlation was present for low-gelotophobia students. From these five articles, growth mindset emerges as a useful tool, but not a panacea.

Giftedness. Gifted learners are not necessarily growth theorists, but the ones who are seem to have better outcomes. Lüftenegger et al. (2015) compared high- and lower-achieving mathematically gifted high school students in Austria, based on actual standardized test scores and course grades. The 66 high-achieving gifted students scored significantly higher on growth mindset, mastery goals, and academic self-concept, self-efficacy, and interest than the 144 lower-achieving gifted students. Esparza et al. (2014) applied Brainology to 80 gifted 7th grade science students in the U.S., finding not only that growth mindset was high to begin with, but it dramatically increased with the intervention (the mean score of 4.5 increased to 5.19 on a four-item instrument using a 1–6 Likert-type scale). Giftedness and growth mindset appear a powerful duo—gifted students with fixed mindsets seem to fall short of their potential. In contrast, Ziegler and Stoeger (2010) argued that fixed mindsets can be adaptive or even protective, because academic beliefs might be explained through various combinations of other predictors. However, their sample was not generalizable, consisting of German gymnasium students who typically have high socioeconomic status. Overall, research lends support to the claim that mindset may play a primary or mediating role between giftedness and achievement.

Perfectionism. Having high standards for personal performance can be empowering for growth theorists, but debilitating for fixed theorists. Chan’s (2012) study of 251 gifted students in China (grades 5–12) revealed that fixed mindset was correlated with unhealthy perfectionism, including decreased happiness and life satisfaction. As defined by Chan (2012), unhealthy perfectionists may be performance-avoidant, to such an extent that they fail to even get started on important tasks. On the other hand, healthy perfectionists are successful at completing work, though they may exceed the point of diminishing returns in the amount of effort they exert. However, this is typically a better outcome than completing no work at all. More research is needed to determine whether mindset plays a causal role in perfectionism style.

Motivation. Motivation’s relationship with mindset has a storied history. In a study of 650 French-Canadian high school students, Renaud-Dubé, Guay, Talbot, Taylor, and Koestner (2015) endeavored to establish the four types of extrinsic motivation from self-determination theory (Ryan & Deci, 2000) as mediators between mindset and school persistence intentions, but failed miserably. In fact, direct effects were found between growth mindset and both school persistence intentions and intrinsic motivation, with no support for external, introjected, identified, nor integrated regulation as mediators. Haimovitz et al.’s (2011) rigorous study of Oregon students in grades 3–8 points toward fixed mindset being a significant damper on intrinsic motivation. It would appear mindset has a fairly direct impact on motivation; fixed mindset has even failed to correlate with performance-avoidance goals in several studies (De Castella & Byrne, 2015; Dinger, Dickhäuser, Spinath, & Steinmayr, 2013; Howell & Buro, 2009), though others have found a relationship (Chen & Pajares, 2010; Shim et al., 2013). Because motivation is so important to outcomes in academics and elsewhere, finding a direct relationship between mindsets and motivation greatly elevates the importance of mindsets. However, locus of control may deserve more research because, in the present review, only Bodill and Roberts (2013) considered it. They studied Western Australia undergraduates and found support for external locus as a mediator between fixed mindset and fewer study hours per week.

Self-handicapping behaviors. Results for Brazilian university students of pedagogy (da Silva Marini & Boruchovitch, 2014) suggest mindset may be a mediator between motivation and self-handicapping, though intrinsic motivation was a much stronger factor. However, in a large sample (n = 680) of Australian high school students (De Castella & Byrne, 2015), fixed mindset predicted a host of deleterious outcomes including self-handicapping, helpless feelings, disengagement, and lower self-reported grades, especially when fixed mindset was directed inwardly rather than outwardly. For U.S. 9th graders, self-handicapping, procrastination, and feeling bad about school were predicted by fixed mindset (Rickert et al., 2014). Habitual procrastination (Howell & Buro, 2009) and other self-handicapping behaviors may also be a product of fixed mindset.

Students’ math and writing perceptions. While we have established that educators may be more likely to hold fixed mindsets for math and science ability (e.g., Jonsson & Beach, 2010; Mascret et al., 2015), we have not yet looked at student perceptions and interventions. In a study by Limpo and Alves (2014), Portuguese middle-school students wrote longer and higher-quality essays after a 12-week, fairly intensive growth mindset intervention. Typically, fixed mindset has been particularly common and deleterious for math intelligence beliefs (Shively & Ryan, 2013) and course enrollment decisions (Romero et al., 2014)—in fact, fixed mindset for math ability may cut off entire career paths that require courses like College Algebra or Calculus I. Endorsing a growth mindset appears to improve math and writing outcomes (e.g., Lüftenegger et al., 2015). Therefore, mindset interventions may be valuable for students’ perceptions, performance, and overall career trajectories, particularly for math and writing abilities.

Emotion and well-being. When it comes to coping with exams, seeking social support, self-esteem, positive affect and emotions, and relationship harmony, growth mindset has yielded better results among French undergraduates (Doron, Stephan, Boiche, & Le Scanff, 2009) and in Filipino secondary schools (King, 2012). In U.S. middle- and high-school students, growth theorists have been found to enjoy higher well-being, well-adjusted emotions, better health, less stress, greater achievement, and more adaptive reactions to social adversity, as compared to fixed theorists (Romero et al., 2014; Yeager, Johnson, et al., 2014). Clearly, the benefits of growth mindset go far beyond academic achievement.

Self-regulation. Paradoxically, among a U.S. sample of 450 adults solicited online via Amazon Mechanical Turk, growth theorists were even more deadline-driven than entity theorists, though both types reported poor self-regulation (Yan et al., 2014). This is particularly distressing given that 52% reported having Bachelor’s degrees or higher, yet still had not developed effective self-regulation strategies. However, this sample was based on self-report and was highly vulnerable to self-selection bias. Other research has been less discouraging: among Portuguese 5th and 6th graders, Limpo and Alves (2014) used a mindset intervention rooted in self-regulated strategy development to produce robust writing improvement. In U.S. undergraduate psychology students, fixed mindset has been predictive of mastery-avoidance goals and frequent procrastination (Howell & Buro, 2009). More research is needed, since mindsets’ relationships with self-regulation are not clear-cut. For instance, Dinger et al. (2013), in their rather rigorous study of 524 German gymnasium 11th and 12th graders, found that while mindsets predicted perceived competence, achievement motives, and intrinsic motivation, there was no connection to performance-avoidance goals, which may be a key component of self-regulation for high-stakes tasks.

Self-efficacy and challenges. Another study of U.S. undergraduate psychology students found that students with high self-efficacy scores were more likely to exhibit growth mindset, learning goals, mastery goals, and higher grade-point averages (Komarraju & Nadler, 2013). In a study of Norwegian 6th- and 8th-graders (Diseth et al., 2014), no negative relationship was found between fixed mindset and “evaluative components of self-beliefs” (p. 7), but growth mindset correlated positively with self-efficacy, self-esteem, and academic achievement. Similar results have been found among Spanish university students in group settings (Beckmann, Wood, Minbashian, & Tabernero, 2012). When Davis et al. (2011) presented undergraduates with a math competition scenario, self-efficacy was the same for “topdogs,” but the self-efficacy of “underdogs” was significantly worse for fixed theorists. These results suggest that while either mindset may serve in favorable academic conditions, growth mindset becomes particularly valuable during academic challenges. In support, Blackwell et al. (2007) found growth mindset predicted math achievement beginning only in 7th grade, coinciding with the transition to junior high. Also, in a qualitative science task, Braasch, Bråten, Strømsø, and Anmarkrud (2014) found that Norwegian students with growth mindset identified more scientific tasks and made better intertextual references, but fixed mindset was not a negative predictor (prior knowledge and working memory span was controlled for among all participants). They concluded that fixed mindset may only be detrimental under challenging, high-stakes conditions.

Intelligence and epistemological beliefs. Regarding science beliefs among 6th grade middle-school students in the southeastern U.S., Chen and Pajares (2010) found that growth mindset correlated with “sophisticated” epistemological beliefs such as development and justification of scientific knowledge, while fixed mindset correlated with “naïve” beliefs based on source and certainty (p. 80). Rattan, Savani, et al. (2012) compared college students in California and India, finding Indians more likely to endorse the universal potential for high intelligence, and that this belief correlates significantly, albeit weakly, with growth mindset. Intelligence mindsets are domain-specific—Furnham (2014) applied Gardner’s multiple intelligences to mindsets, finding that Londoners had a strong growth mindset for verbal and naturalistic intelligences, while creative and musical domains were seen as fixed. From a performance standpoint, the objective degree of intelligence fixedness, universally or in specific domains, may be a non-issue. Far more often, individual potential may be limited by fixed mindset than lack of raw materials.

Neuropsychological evidence. Even interventions as simple as reading a two-page article that endorses brain plasticity has been shown to encourage mastery performance orientations on a Flankers task, with measurable changes in EEG readings (Schroder, Moran, Donnellan, & Moser, 2014). In this task, participants were asked to evaluate whether the middle character in a displayed, five-letter string was the same or different from the others (e.g., MMMMM or NNMNN). Those who read a growth-mindset article allocated more attention to task-relevant stimuli and recovered from errors more quickly than those who read a fixed-mindset article. From results on another experiment with Flankers tasks, Kappes, Stephens, and Oettingen (2011) concluded that imagining academic successes can aid performance for growth theorists, while entity theorists may be more motivated by picturing setbacks. Dyczewski and Markman (2012) echoed these remarks—from U.S. undergraduates’ performance on an imagination task, they found that imagining upward counterfactuals motivated growth theorists, whereas downward counterfactuals motivated fixed theorists. Overall, growth mindset may produce significant improvements in visual search performance and measurable changes in brain activity. This is important because visual search performance is of clear value to common tasks such as reading and driving. More research is needed to determine how imagining good versus bad outcomes relates to holding growth versus fixed mindset, however.

Mindset Interventions

Process praise. Praising the process of learning rather than the person can lead to growth theorizing. In a groundbreaking, seven-year longitudinal study of 53 Chicago-area parent–child dyads, Gunderston et al. (2013) found that parent praise at ages 1–3 predicted mindset at ages 7–8. Children who frequently received praise such as “you’re so smart” and “good girl” at 1–3 were more likely to endorse fixed mindsets at 7–8, while receiving praise such as “you’re doing a good job” and “good throw” predicted growth mindsets (p. 1533). This study was a longitudinal validation of Mueller and Dweck’s (1998) seminal findings, where 5th graders assigned to receive person praise become discouraged and demotivated with difficult tasks; consistent with a fixed mindset, they preferred easy tasks with low risk of failure. Parents and educators alike can promote growth mindsets by giving process praise for desired behaviors.

Brainology. Brainology is a for-profit, online mindset intervention program (http://www.mindsetworks.com). Through four, 40-minute animated units, it aims to teach middle- and high-school students that ability and intelligence are malleable. Esparza et al.’s (2014) application of Brainology to gifted students was a success, increasing their pre-existing growth mindsets to higher levels. Schmidt et al.’s (2015) teacher–classroom case studies revealed that Brainology’s effectiveness may require teachers to habitually support growth mindset in the classroom. Donohoe, Topping, and Hannah (2012) deliver a repudiation of Brainology. In a sample of 33 Scottish 13–14 year olds, the 18 students in the experimental group had higher growth mindset a week after the four-week intervention, but not three months later. However, this sample was small, and Donohoe was the teacher of the class, potentially confounding the results. Nevertheless, Brainology requires more empirical study.

Brain Awareness. Fitzakerley, Michlin, Paton, and Dubinsky (2013) studied the Brain Awareness campaign, a longstanding program where neuroscientists speak about the functions and plasticity of the human brain. In a two-year qualitative and quantitative analysis that surveyed 4,805 students and 147 teachers in 4th–6th grade Minnesota science classrooms, this one-hour intervention was well-received by teachers and resulted in higher science enjoyment and growth mindset among students. Workshops like Brain Awareness are an exciting and evidently efficacious way to spread growth mindset.

Inducing fixed mindset. Jonnson and Beach (2010) successfully induced fixed mindset in a sample of 102 Swedish preservice teachers. The experimental group was assigned to read an article about the g factor psychometric construct, which conceptually advocates an entity theory of intelligence. Subjects exposed to g factor exhibited greater fixed mindset on subsequent instruments. Schroder et al. (2014) induced fixed mindset by having undergraduates read a short article presenting intelligence as a matter of good genes, leading to a performance- rather than mastery-orientation in a Flankers task. These studies imply that educators and other leaders may induce fixed mindset as easily as growth mindset, depending on their behaviors. Awareness and rigorous self-analysis may be necessary to ensure one is not conveying a fixed mindset.

Strategy-oriented feedback. Giving comforting but demotivating feedback such as “I want to assure you that I know you are a talented student in general—it’s just not the case that everyone is a ‘math person’” (Rattan, Good, & Dweck, 2012, p. 735) can have horrifying results—it can lead to students withdrawing from early math courses, completing cutting off many majors and career paths that require higher math. Moreover, in Rattan et al.’s study, even instructors at a competitive university endorsed fixed mindset and gave comfort-oriented feedback, despite their students being highly intelligent even from an entity theorist’s perspective. The antidote is strategy-oriented feedback, which encourages students to try different approaches to problems and assignments, as well as pursuing help such as tutoring and supplemental instruction. Consistently giving strategy-oriented feedback encourages growth mindset and resilience.

Mindset Kit. Mindset Kit is a free, online knowledge base developed by Stanford University’s PERTS Lab (http://www.mindsetkit.org), aimed at educating teachers, parents, and mentors on mindset research and methods for imparting growth mindset. Paunesku et al. (2015) adapted Mindset Kit into two 45-minute sessions applied to high school students, where it significantly improved grades for at-risk students. Mindset Kit may be an excellent intervention for educators, who may incorporate growth mindset in their lessons and share it with their colleagues.

Implications. Providing process feedback that suggests strategies may aid students’ performance and encourage them to view their intelligence and abilities as malleable. It is possible to induce both growth and fixed mindsets. Educators might unknowingly induce fixed mindsets through their actions, such as not giving enough time to solve problems. Interventions such as Brainology and the Mindset Kit may be useful for students and educators, given their strong results in studies such as Paunesku et al. (2015). Changing the beliefs and practices of educators may be very important because of their direct influence on students.

Discussion

Summary

The results are clear and have been replicated repeatedly in diverse cultures, age groups, and contexts: growth mindsets predict adaptive intelligence beliefs and better academic performance. On the other hand, fixed mindsets predict detrimental outcomes, especially when individuals are stressed or challenged. Therefore, adopting a growth mindset is frequently a statistically powerful predictor of academic performance, achievement, and a host of other beneficial learner outcomes, typically with small to medium effect sizes (Burnette et al., 2013).

Long-Term Recommendations

Self-transcendent purpose. Self-transcendent purpose goes beyond self-interest, perhaps involving service to others, commitment to ideals, or religiosity. It has been correlated with a host of beneficial beliefs and outcomes, including ability mindsets (Yeager, Henderson, et al., 2014). Sense-of-purpose mindsets are certainly a vector for long-lasting personal change, and require a focus on motives rather than outcomes, e.g., “helping people” instead of “being an engineer” (p. 560). When they practice and articulate their beliefs, educators who manifest self-transcendent purpose may serve as role models.

Policy recommendations. Rattan, Savani, Chugh, and Dweck (2015) have produced an excellent list of policy recommendations for American education, based primarily on large-scale implementation of the interventions put forth in the literature. Doing this within the strictures of the American education system is no easy task, given its many entrenched practices and divergent governance among the states.

Broad public awareness. Carol Dweck has been fantastic at bring mindsets into public awareness through books (Dweck, 2000; Dweck, 2006), popular articles (Dweck, 2007; Dweck, 2010), and efforts to apply mindsets to conflict resolution and reconciliation in the Middle East (Dweck, 2012). Given these efforts and the converging empirical evidence, it is no wonder that the U.S. Department of Education (2015) has announced $2 million in “Skills for Success” grants to support mindset research. Hopefully, more researchers, practitioners, and public figures will study, implement, and recognize mindsets. Regarding public awareness, it may be difficult to say that mindsets have “arrived” until they eclipse the debunked “learning styles” movement (Kirschner & van Merriënboer, 2013).

Limitations of the Present Review

Looking only at peer-reviewed journal articles from the past seven years presents a narrowed view that excludes many important findings from conference proceedings, dissertations, and other sources. However, a comprehensive evaluation of these sources would be far more labor intensive than reviewing 51 empirical journal articles. Limiting the scope of the literature review to a subset of academic or intelligence implications would be difficult, given that many sub-concepts have had limited study from a mindset perspective, and given the overlapping nature of the research. The strength of this review may lie in its panoramic view of the last seven years of peer-reviewed journal articles, which are arguably more putatively sound than other sources. While think tanks and organizations have put out reports and policy recommendations (e.g., Farrington et al., 2012; Snipes et al., 2012), many of these merely regurgitate the recommendations put forth in journal articles.

Suggested Research Practices

One potential challenge for mindset research is the fact that many individuals simply do not have a discernable mindset. This, along with the observation that growth and fixed mindsets may be distinct concepts rather than part of a unipolar scale, were major grievances voiced by Tempelaar, Rienties, Giesbers, and Gijselaers (2015). Dweck has addressed this, recommending that individuals who score in the 3.1–3.9 range on six-point Likert-type scales be excluded from mindset data analyses—typically 15% of the population (Dweck et al., 1995). However, an argument can be made that this is essentially cherry-picking. Given that mindset interventions often have small effect sizes already (Burnette et al., 2013), if researchers included individuals with no clear mindset, significance might disappear in many studies. A solution may be to retain scores as continuous, rather than dichotomous, variables. It may be useful to specifically research lack of mindset, which might be labeled neutral mindset.

Mindsets are a very active research area—over 300 mindset articles covering non-education topics and fields were published in 2009–2016 alone. Developing a cohesive model that discerns relationships between the mindset model and other motivational concepts may help guide this burgeoning field. Moreover, it is very important that researchers not succumb to causal inferences. No amount of mindset research can prove that mindsets are a larger factor than innate ability. Finally, researchers should be careful not to adopt a dichotomous view of mindsets—they exist on continuums and can change over time and between tasks and domains.

Conclusion

Mindsets are an appealing concept. They are relatively easy to study, because they are quite vulnerable to manipulations and interventions. They can also be reliably assessed with short and simple questionnaires (Dweck, 2000). Combined with their stability and explanatory power for a wide variety of learning and performance processes and outcomes, they are a rare find in psychology. Given the current velocity of research, in the coming years, we can expect many replications and new applications of mindsets for educational psychology, social psychology, and other fields.

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Yeager, D. S., Johnson, R., Spitzer, B. J., Trzesniewski, K. H., Powers, J., & Dweck, C. S. (2014). The far-reaching effects of believing people can change: Implicit theories of personality shape stress, health, and achievement during adolescence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 106, 867–884. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0036335

Ziegler, A., & Stoeger, H. (2010). Research on a modified framework of implicit personality theories. Learning and Individual Differences, 20, 318–326. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2010.01.007

Chick-fil-A’s Religious Hypocrisy—Closed on Sundays, Except for Builders, Pavers, and Landscapers

Chick-fil-A, in their February 2009 press release [local mirror], alleges that being closed on Sundays is meant “to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”

Evidently, this does not extend to contract workers, even though Chick-fil-A could easily stipulate that contract workers must perform work on Monday–Saturday.

At the Daytona Beach Chick-fil-A, I have commonly seen landscapers or paving crews working on Sunday.

A commentator on Reddit states: “Interesting note, while Chick-Fil-A stores are closed on Sunday, they have no problem having construction workers build their stores on Sunday.”

Because Chick-fil-A alleges their closed-on-Sunday policy is religiously based, it is hypocritical that they use Sunday to get all sorts of work done on their restaurants.

Other restaurants that do not close on Sunday must perform such contracted work during business hours or overnight. Chick-fil-A’s supposed “sacrifice” is diminished when we consider they have an entire day to perform contracted work without pesky customers. Further, any moral authority they have with respect to the “Lord’s day” is denuded.

Unlike with Amazon, I do not have a specific reason to pick on Chick-fil-A.

As a young child, I often visited my grandmother and step-grandfather (who passed away in 2003). I would go with them in the mornings to a meetup of seniors who met for friendship and to discuss various issues. After Target in Orange City, FL replaced their cafe with a Starbucks, we would meet at the Orange City Chick-fil-A. In the photo below from Friday, December 31, 2004, I am pictured far right, age 13.

Richard Thripp and friends at Chick-fil-A, 2004-12-31

As long as Chick-fil-A continues to conveniently employ contracted workers on Sundays, they will never have moral authority regarding the Sabbath. Their hypocrisy is on full display when they claim such authority, such as in deceased founder S. Truett Cathy’s claim from their February 2009 press release: “Cathy credits ‘blessings from the Lord’ for the great success the company has enjoyed, and he remains as committed as ever to maintaining the Closed-on-Sunday policy.”

I Stand with Donald Trump Against Amazon.com, Inc.

Donald Trump and Jeff Bezos

Amazon, in their sole discretion, reserves the right to blacklist customers and steal the existing Amazon gift card account balance tied to their Amazon account. Like other gift cards, these gift cards are NOT reward points, coupons, or promotions. However, Amazon’s hubris is so massive that they will admittedly refuse to refund gift card balances in written statements to the Attorney Generals of Washington state and Florida, and no one will rein Amazon in, except Donald Trump.

Amazon’s behavior regarding gift cards is NOT appropriate nor legal. Jeff Bezos says Donald Trump’s attack on Amazon is “not an appropriate way for a presidential candidate to behave.” Amazon’s behavior regarding gift card balances is inappropriate and illegal. Jeff Bezos is in no position to claim the moral high ground and never will be.

Amazon is also known for withholding or permanently stealing account balances from Amazon Marketplace Sellers. Amazon encourages buyers to seek recourse against marketplace sellers through their A–Z guarantee policy. It is practically unheard of for a case to be decided in the seller’s favor. Amazon uses such complaints as ammo to justify permanently banning sellers and seizing their account balances, even when buyers may have been in the wrong, such as by refusing to return the allegedly defective items or even to acknowledge basic troubleshooting requests.

Amazon and CEO Jeff Bezos are at the apex of hypocrisy. Customers who complain too frequently about items ordered directly from Amazon, or receive too many “concessions” from Amazon, are blacklisted, in Amazon’s sole discretion. This includes theft of their gift card balances, and may occur even if all complaints were legitimate. Amazon profits by stealing gift card balances from blacklisted buyers, as well as from stealing account balances from blacklisted sellers. These illegal acts help Amazon undercut competitors and continue to report high free cash flow, increasing their valuation and potentially swindling investors. At all times, Amazon, in an Enron-like fashion, refuses to follow generally accepted accounting principles.

Amazon and Enron logos

Below are actual quotes from official emails from Amazon employees:

Regarding your gift card funds: We closed your account because you reported an unusual number of problems with your orders. As a result, your unused gift card balance is no longer available.” — Excerpt from an actual message sent by Amazon to Louis Morgan regarding his Amazon gift card balance of over $400.

I’m sorry for any inconvenience caused by the closing of your Amazon.com account. I’ve reviewed the account and our previous communications with you, and can confirm the decision was a valid one. Please note this isn’t a decision we can reconsider, and we won’t be able to issue a refund for the gift card balance.” – Excerpt from an actual message from Suresh Potnuru of Amazon.com to Richard Thripp, regarding his $451.20 gift card balance.

As noted in our Conditions of Use, in the section, ‘Your Account’: ‘Amazon reserves the right to refuse service, terminate accounts, remove or edit content, or cancel orders in its sole discretion.‘ – Suresh Potnuru, Amazon.com, Inc., 9/29/2015, in communication with the Better Business Bureau of Alaska, Oregon & Western Washington in regards to Complaint #10830673 by Richard Thripp.

Due to the proprietary nature of our business, we’re unable to discuss with you, and the decision to close your account is a final one.” – Suresh Potnuru, Amazon.com, Inc., 9/29/2015, in communication with the Better Business Bureau of Alaska, Oregon & Western Washington in regards to Complaint #10830673 by Richard Thripp.

At the end of the day, you should do what you need to do to maximize free cash flow for the device. Do what you need to do to make more money. I don’t know if exposing that we have 100 orders gets us there [obviously exposing that we only got 100 orders on a major advertising media buy is not a good result], but you can decide what to do to maximize FCF [Free Cash Flow]” — Jeff Blackburn, Senior Vice President of Amazon.com, Inc., advocating lying to Discover Financial Services about a joint promotion botched by Amazon.com, Inc.

Justice

The only way to get a settlement from Amazon is to take them to court. The only court you can take them to is small claims, because you already agreed to binding arbitration by using Amazon—a legal fiction that the United States Supreme Court ludicrously upholds, again and again.

Amazon’s corruption may be far more pervasive and systematic than generally known. Amazon is well-known for treating employees like shit, including securing their “agreement” to 2-year non-compete agreements, effectively ruining their career prospects after Amazon summarily dismisses employees like Kivin Varghese for standing up against Amazon’s institutionalized corruption. For employees, Amazon acts as a total institution, shredding normal Americans who desire time with their kids or a social life. Amazon is a narcissist’s dream, apparently existing for, to quote George from Seinfeld, the glorification of Jeff Bezos’ massive ego—the ultimate narcissist of them all.

Bezos is forever inured with colonizing space, at immense cost in the face of evidently insurmountable challenges, while having no interest in meaningful charitable work that might benefit blighted Americans in Detroit or Oakland. In classic narcissistic style, Bezos’ flagship donations to Princeton University and the Seattle’s Museum of History & Industry involve centers and buildings being conspicuously named after him, even though, unlike Trump, Bezos does not capitalize on his name as a brand.

Here is another gem from an Amazon’s Suresh Potnuru, responding to my BBB complaint on 9/27/2016:

“I realize you’re upset, and I regret we’ve been unable to address your concerns to your satisfaction. However, we’ll not be able to offer any additional insight or action on these matters, and any further inquiries on this matter won’t receive a response.”

Oh, the condescension and hubris! Like a child throwing a hissy fit, I must be consoled and put in my place by my CORPORATE OVERLORDS at AMAZON.COM, INC. No one can dispute that Jeff Bezos runs a tight ship at Amazon.com, Inc.—unlike Steve Jobs, he has retained control of the company through it’s entire lifespan. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mr. Bezos was directly and gleefully involved in writing Amazon’s patronizing canned replies to blacklisted customers, merchants, and vendors.

COMMENTATORS WHO ARGUE the baselessness of Donald Trump’s claim that Amazon is guilty of antitrust violations seem far to quick to forget that Amazon wields its clout mightily against authors and booksellers. While Amazon alleges these actions benefit consumers, Amazon itself demands extremely favorable terms from partners, including high fees and COMPLETE OPACITY regarding web traffic analytics, enabling them to conceal breaches of contract as with Discover Financial Services. In all of its businesses, any benefit that Amazon yields to its customers or clients may merely be a side-effect of its ceaseless narcissistic rampage against its competition and against the laws of the United States, evidenced by its blatant, orchestrated theft of the gift card and seller account balances of thousands of clients.

JEFF BEZOS PURCHASE AND CONTINUED OWNERSHIP OF THE WASHINGTON POST is clearly a massive, irreconcilable conflict of interest, and yet goes largely unacknowledged, except by Donald Trump, who is continually and unsuccessfully dismissed as a crackpot by the Washington Post and others. While it would not be accurate to claim that criticism of Trump is solely fueled by establishment interests, the media’s preference for Hilary Rodham Clinton is palpable—if Trump had laughed about getting a pedophile acquitted on a technicality, we would certainly not hear the end of it. What the New York Times has succeeded in dredging up about Trump pales in comparison.

Corporate consolidation is clearly out of control—Theodore Roosevelt would not be pleased. For the love of Jeff, KRAFT AND HEINZ ARE ONE COMPANY. Imagine being blacklisted by Kraft Heinz and being denied access to BOTH CHEESE AND KETCHUP. Unlike the Bell System breakup, no one is calling for Amazon Web Services to be split off from the mothership. No one is protesting Amazon developing its own trucking network, television studios, or transoceanic shipping lanes. Fortunately, the government of the United States is making antitrust decisions conveniently beneficent to Amazon, such as forbidding the Staples–Office Depot merger. What is kosher in Seattle is clearly not permissible in Framingham.

No one is protesting that Amazon effectively owns the Washington Post. The control that Bezos wields over Amazon is far more totalitarian than the control Jobs wielded over Apple. No one seems to notice but Donald Trump. Fortunately, based on the results of the Republican primaries, it seems bad publicity only vindicates Trump as an underdog outsider who the elites don’t want us to have. They obviously do not have the type of dirt on Trump they wish they had, or we would certainly be hearing about it.

Amazon’s crimes only became of earnest interest to me when they banned my account and stole my gift card balance in August 2015. Amazon continually concealed, misled, and treated me like crap—their legal department even refused my small claims summons on the basis that a summons against Jeffrey Preston Bezos could not be accepted because they could not accept a summons on “BEHALF OF AN EMPLOYEE.” The ludicrousness of Amazon’s position was abundantly clear to an editor for consumer advocate, Christopher Elliott. However, few people care about injustice, particularly financial injustice, unless it personally affects them. To Make America Great Again™, we need to start caring about financial injustice. My course, Introduction to American Personal Financial Literacy, partially completed in partial fulfillment of my Master of Arts in Applied Learning & Instruction from University of Central Florida, conferred May 7, 2016, aims to do this. I will get to work on finishing it soon…

To Amazon: When you decided to defraud Richard Thripp, you pissed off the wrong dude. Yes, a settlement was reached. However, your egregious activities continue unabated. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE. May your joy turn to ashes in your mouth for the love of $451.20 (George R. R. Martin, Clash of Kings).

Donald Trump and Jeff Bezos (flipped)

How to Use Toastmasters Club Central: A Guide for Club Officers [Presentation]

How to Use Toastmasters Club Central: A Guide for Club Officers from Richard Thripp on SlideShare

Presentation Summary: Learn how to use Club Central on www.toastmasters.org to add new members to a club, pay dues, and submit educational awards.


Additional material regarding updating club meeting information, submitting officer lists, searching club receipts, understanding club membership rosters, and understanding Addendums of Standard Club Options is provided below:

Please review the CLUB CENTRAL TIP SHEET [local mirror] from District 3 Toastmasters and/or the GETTING COMFORTABLE WITH CLUB CENTRAL guide [local mirror] by Debbie Hardy, DTM as noted below.

• The Addendum of Standard Club Options (“Club Bylaws”) can be adjusted online via Club Central. Significant changes should not be made without a majority vote of the officers at an officers’ meeting. Most of this is fairly self-explanatory. Note that the new member fee and dues INCLUDES International dues. I have uploaded Port Orange Toastmasters’ bylaws for reference. Our new member fee is $25 because $20 goes to TI and $5 goes to our club. Similarly, our dues are $48 per 6 months because $36 goes to TI and $12 goes to our club. See also: page 7 of Club Central Tip Sheet.

• Searching club receipts: See page 6 of Club Central Tip Sheet.

• Updating club meeting information—see page 3 of Club Central Tip Sheet or page 12 of Getting Comfortable with Club Central.

• Submitting officer lists—see page 1 of Club Central Tip Sheet or pages 13–15 of Getting Comfortable with Club Central.

• Understanding club membership rosters—see page 6 of Club Central Tip Sheet or page 19 of Getting Comfortable with Club Central. Additional notes: members in “grace” are late on paying their dues. After 2 months, they are removed from the roster. Members who are “active” are up-to-date on their dues.


Download slides in PDF format (4.5 MB)

Created by Richard Thripp and presented on 5/11/2016 at Port Orange Toastmasters to fulfill Project 5: Enhancing a Technical Talk with the Internet from the Technical Presentations manual in the Toastmasters Advanced Communication Series.

Tags: toastmasters, club central, toastmasters officers, public speaking, leadership, club administration, nonprofits, toastmasters clubs, toastmasters chapters, web guides

Writing on education, psychology, and philosophy