My work bridges developmental psychology, social psychology, and personality psychology, and examines the self-conceptions people use to structure the self and guide their behavior. My research looks at the origins of these self-conceptions, their role in motivation and self-regulation, and their impact on achievement and interpersonal processes.

Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology, Stanford University (2004 - Present)
  • Professor, Department of Psychology, Columbia University (1989 - 2004)
  • William B. Ransford Professor of Psychology, Columbia University (1989 - 2004)
  • Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Illinois (1985 - 1989)
  • Professor, Laboratory of Human Development, Harvard University (1981 - 1985)
  • Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Illinois (1977 - 1981)
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Illinois (1972 - 1977)
  • National Science Foundation Fellow, Yale University (1967 - 1971)

Honors & Awards

  • Book Award for Self-Theories, World Education Federation (an organization of the United Nations and UNICEF) (2004)
  • Donald Campbell Career Achievement Award in Social Psychology, Society for Personality and Social Psychology (2008)
  • Award for Innovative Program of the Year, “Brainology” (2008)
  • Ann L. Brown Award for Research in Developmental Psychology, University of Illinois (2009)
  • Klingenstein Award for Leadership in Education, Klingenstein Center, Columbia University (2010)
  • Thorndike Career Achievement Award in Educational Psychology, American Psychological Association (2010)
  • Beckman Mentoring Award, Columbia University (2011)
  • Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, American Psychological Association (2011)
  • Gallery of Scientists, Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences (2011)
  • James McKeen Cattell Lifetime Achievement Award, Association for Psychological Science (2013)
  • Distinguished Scholar Award, Society for Personality and Social Psychology (2013)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Elected Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2002 - Present)
  • Elected Member, Herbert Simon Fellow of the Academy of Political and Social Science (2010 - 2010)
  • Elected Member, National Academy of Sciences (2012 - 2012)

Professional Education

  • Ph.D., Yale University, Psychology (1972)
  • B.A., Barnard College, Columbia University, Psychology (1967)

2023-24 Courses

Stanford Advisees

All Publications

  • Growth mindset tempers the effects of poverty on academic achievement. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Claro, S., Paunesku, D., Dweck, C. S. 2016; 113 (31): 8664-8668


    Two largely separate bodies of empirical research have shown that academic achievement is influenced by structural factors, such as socioeconomic background, and psychological factors, such as students' beliefs about their abilities. In this research, we use a nationwide sample of high school students from Chile to investigate how these factors interact on a systemic level. Confirming prior research, we find that family income is a strong predictor of achievement. Extending prior research, we find that a growth mindset (the belief that intelligence is not fixed and can be developed) is a comparably strong predictor of achievement and that it exhibits a positive relationship with achievement across all of the socioeconomic strata in the country. Furthermore, we find that students from lower-income families were less likely to hold a growth mindset than their wealthier peers, but those who did hold a growth mindset were appreciably buffered against the deleterious effects of poverty on achievement: students in the lowest 10th percentile of family income who exhibited a growth mindset showed academic performance as high as that of fixed mindset students from the 80th income percentile. These results suggest that students' mindsets may temper or exacerbate the effects of economic disadvantage on a systemic level.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1608207113

    View details for PubMedID 27432947

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4978255

  • Teaching a lay theory before college narrows achievement gaps at scale PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Yeager, D. S., Walton, G. M., Brady, S. T., Akcinar, E. N., Paunesku, D., Keane, L., Kamentz, D., Ritter, G., Duckworth, A. L., Urstein, R., Gomez, E. M., Markus, H. R., Cohen, G. L., Dweck, C. S. 2016; 113 (24): E3341-E3348


    Previous experiments have shown that college students benefit when they understand that challenges in the transition to college are common and improvable and, thus, that early struggles need not portend a permanent lack of belonging or potential. Could such an approach-called a lay theory intervention-be effective before college matriculation? Could this strategy reduce a portion of racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic achievement gaps for entire institutions? Three double-blind experiments tested this possibility. Ninety percent of first-year college students from three institutions were randomly assigned to complete single-session, online lay theory or control materials before matriculation (n > 9,500). The lay theory interventions raised first-year full-time college enrollment among students from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds exiting a high-performing charter high school network or entering a public flagship university (experiments 1 and 2) and, at a selective private university, raised disadvantaged students' cumulative first-year grade point average (experiment 3). These gains correspond to 31-40% reductions of the raw (unadjusted) institutional achievement gaps between students from disadvantaged and nondisadvantaged backgrounds at those institutions. Further, follow-up surveys suggest that the interventions improved disadvantaged students' overall college experiences, promoting use of student support services and the development of friendship networks and mentor relationships. This research therefore provides a basis for further tests of the generalizability of preparatory lay theories interventions and of their potential to reduce social inequality and improve other major life transitions.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1524360113

    View details for PubMedID 27247409

  • What Predicts Children's Fixed and Growth Intelligence Mind-Sets? Not Their Parents' Views of Intelligence but Their Parents' Views of Failure PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE Haimovitz, K., Dweck, C. S. 2016; 27 (6): 859-869


    Children's intelligence mind-sets (i.e., their beliefs about whether intelligence is fixed or malleable) robustly influence their motivation and learning. Yet, surprisingly, research has not linked parents' intelligence mind-sets to their children's. We tested the hypothesis that a different belief of parents-their failure mind-sets-may be more visible to children and therefore more prominent in shaping their beliefs. In Study 1, we found that parents can view failure as debilitating or enhancing, and that these failure mind-sets predict parenting practices and, in turn, children's intelligence mind-sets. Study 2 probed more deeply into how parents display failure mind-sets. In Study 3a, we found that children can indeed accurately perceive their parents' failure mind-sets but not their parents' intelligence mind-sets. Study 3b showed that children's perceptions of their parents' failure mind-sets also predicted their own intelligence mind-sets. Finally, Study 4 showed a causal effect of parents' failure mind-sets on their responses to their children's hypothetical failure. Overall, parents who see failure as debilitating focus on their children's performance and ability rather than on their children's learning, and their children, in turn, tend to believe that intelligence is fixed rather than malleable.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/0956797616639727

    View details for Web of Science ID 000378420100009

    View details for PubMedID 27113733

  • Using Design Thinking to Improve Psychological Interventions: The Case of the Growth Mindset During the Transition to High School JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY Yeager, D. S., Romero, C., Paunesku, D., Hulleman, C. S., Schneider, B., Hinojosa, C., Lee, H. Y., O'Brien, J., Flint, K., Roberts, A., Trott, J., Greene, D., Walton, G. M., Dweck, C. S. 2016; 108 (3): 374-391


    There are many promising psychological interventions on the horizon, but there is no clear methodology for preparing them to be scaled up. Drawing on design thinking, the present research formalizes a methodology for redesigning and tailoring initial interventions. We test the methodology using the case of fixed versus growth mindsets during the transition to high school. Qualitative inquiry and rapid, iterative, randomized "A/B" experiments were conducted with ~3,000 participants to inform intervention revisions for this population. Next, two experimental evaluations showed that the revised growth mindset intervention was an improvement over previous versions in terms of short-term proxy outcomes (Study 1, N=7,501), and it improved 9th grade core-course GPA and reduced D/F GPAs for lower achieving students when delivered via the Internet under routine conditions with ~95% of students at 10 schools (Study 2, N=3,676). Although the intervention could still be improved even further, the current research provides a model for how to improve and scale interventions that begin to address pressing educational problems. It also provides insight into how to teach a growth mindset more effectively.

    View details for DOI 10.1037/edu0000098

    View details for Web of Science ID 000373687300007

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4981081

  • Mind-Set Interventions Are a Scalable Treatment for Academic Underachievement PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE Paunesku, D., Walton, G. M., Romero, C., Smith, E. N., Yeager, D. S., Dweck, C. S. 2015; 26 (6): 784-793


    The efficacy of academic-mind-set interventions has been demonstrated by small-scale, proof-of-concept interventions, generally delivered in person in one school at a time. Whether this approach could be a practical way to raise school achievement on a large scale remains unknown. We therefore delivered brief growth-mind-set and sense-of-purpose interventions through online modules to 1,594 students in 13 geographically diverse high schools. Both interventions were intended to help students persist when they experienced academic difficulty; thus, both were predicted to be most beneficial for poorly performing students. This was the case. Among students at risk of dropping out of high school (one third of the sample), each intervention raised students' semester grade point averages in core academic courses and increased the rate at which students performed satisfactorily in core courses by 6.4 percentage points. We discuss implications for the pipeline from theory to practice and for education reform.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/0956797615571017

    View details for Web of Science ID 000355857100010

    View details for PubMedID 25862544

  • Implicit Theories About Willpower Predict Self-Regulation and Grades in Everyday Life JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Job, V., Walton, G. M., Bernecker, K., Dweck, C. S. 2015; 108 (4): 637-647


    Laboratory research shows that when people believe that willpower is an abundant (rather than highly limited) resource they exhibit better self-control after demanding tasks. However, some have questioned whether this "nonlimited" theory leads to squandering of resources and worse outcomes in everyday life when demands on self-regulation are high. To examine this, we conducted a longitudinal study, assessing students' theories about willpower and tracking their self-regulation and academic performance. As hypothesized, a nonlimited theory predicted better self-regulation (better time management and less procrastination, unhealthy eating, and impulsive spending) for students who faced high self-regulatory demands. Moreover, among students taking a heavy course load, those with a nonlimited theory earned higher grades, which was mediated by less procrastination. These findings contradict the idea that a limited theory helps people allocate their resources more effectively; instead, it is people with the nonlimited theory who self-regulate well in the face of high demands.

    View details for DOI 10.1037/pspp0000014

    View details for Web of Science ID 000352321900008

    View details for PubMedID 25844577

  • Reply to Warneken: Social experience can illuminate early-emerging behaviors. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Cortes Barragan, R., Dweck, C. S. 2015; 112 (10): E1053-?

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1500252112

    View details for PubMedID 25695973

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4364198

  • Emotion beliefs and cognitive behavioural therapy for social anxiety disorder. Cognitive behaviour therapy De Castella, K., Goldin, P., Jazaieri, H., Heimberg, R. G., Dweck, C. S., Gross, J. J. 2015; 44 (2): 128-141


    Despite strong support for the efficacy of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for social anxiety disorder (SAD), little is known about mechanisms of change in treatment. Within the context of a randomized controlled trial of CBT, this study examined patients' beliefs about the fixed versus malleable nature of anxiety-their 'implicit theories'-as a key variable in CBT for SAD. Compared to waitlist (n = 29; 58% female), CBT (n = 24; 52% female) led to significantly lower levels of fixed beliefs about anxiety (Mbaseline = 11.70 vs. MPost = 7.08, d = 1.27). These implicit beliefs indirectly explained CBT-related changes in social anxiety symptoms (κ(2) = .28, [95% CI = 0.12, 0.46]). Implicit beliefs also uniquely predicted treatment outcomes when controlling for baseline social anxiety and other kinds of maladaptive beliefs (perceived social costs, perceived social self-efficacy, and maladaptive interpersonal beliefs). Finally, implicit beliefs continued to predict social anxiety symptoms at 12 months post-treatment. These findings suggest that changes in patients' beliefs about their emotions may play an important role in CBT for SAD.

    View details for DOI 10.1080/16506073.2014.974665

    View details for PubMedID 25380179

  • Rethinking natural altruism: Simple reciprocal interactions trigger children's benevolence PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Barragan, R. C., Dweck, C. S. 2014; 111 (48): 17071-17074


    A very simple reciprocal activity elicited high degrees of altruism in 1- and 2-y-old children, whereas friendly but nonreciprocal activity yielded little subsequent altruism. In a second study, reciprocity with one adult led 1- and 2-y-olds to provide help to a new person. These results question the current dominant claim that social experiences cannot account for early occurring altruistic behavior. A third study, with preschool-age children, showed that subtle reciprocal cues remain potent elicitors of altruism, whereas a fourth study with preschoolers showed that even a brief reciprocal experience fostered children's expectation of altruism from others. Collectively, the studies suggest that simple reciprocal interactions are a potent trigger of altruism for young children, and that these interactions lead children to believe that their relationships are characterized by mutual care and commitment.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1419408111

    View details for Web of Science ID 000345920800033

    View details for PubMedID 25404334

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4260564

  • Who Accepts Responsibility for Their Transgressions? PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY BULLETIN Schumann, K., Dweck, C. S. 2014; 40 (12): 1598-1610
  • Addressing the Empathy Deficit: Beliefs About the Malleability of Empathy Predict Effortful Responses When Empathy Is Challenging JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Schumann, K., Zaki, J., Dweck, C. S. 2014; 107 (3): 475-493


    Empathy is often thought to occur automatically. Yet, empathy frequently breaks down when it is difficult or distressing to relate to people in need, suggesting that empathy is often not felt reflexively. Indeed, the United States as a whole is said to be displaying an empathy deficit. When and why does empathy break down, and what predicts whether people will exert effort to experience empathy in challenging contexts? Across 7 studies, we found that people who held a malleable mindset about empathy (believing empathy can be developed) expended greater empathic effort in challenging contexts than did people who held a fixed theory (believing empathy cannot be developed). Specifically, a malleable theory of empathy--whether measured or experimentally induced--promoted (a) more self-reported effort to feel empathy when it is challenging (Study 1); (b) more empathically effortful responses to a person with conflicting views on personally important sociopolitical issues (Studies 2-4); (c) more time spent listening to the emotional personal story of a racial outgroup member (Study 5); and (d) greater willingness to help cancer patients in effortful, face-to-face ways (Study 6). Study 7 revealed a possible reason for this greater empathic effort in challenging contexts: a stronger interest in improving one's empathy. Together, these data suggest that people's mindsets powerfully affect whether they exert effort to empathize when it is needed most, and these data may represent a point of leverage in increasing empathic behaviors on a broad scale.

    View details for DOI 10.1037/a0036738

    View details for Web of Science ID 000348334600006

    View details for PubMedID 25133727

  • Behavioral and neural correlates of increased self-control in the absence of increased willpower PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Magen, E., Kim, B., Dweck, C. S., Gross, J. J., McClure, S. M. 2014; 111 (27): 9786-9791


    People often exert willpower to choose a more valuable delayed reward over a less valuable immediate reward, but using willpower is taxing and frequently fails. In this research, we demonstrate the ability to enhance self-control (i.e., forgoing smaller immediate rewards in favor of larger delayed rewards) without exerting additional willpower. Using behavioral and neuroimaging data, we show that a reframing of rewards (i) reduced the subjective value of smaller immediate rewards relative to larger delayed rewards, (ii) increased the likelihood of choosing the larger delayed rewards when choosing between two real monetary rewards, (iii) reduced the brain reward responses to immediate rewards in the dorsal and ventral striatum, and (iv) reduced brain activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (a correlate of willpower) when participants chose the same larger later rewards across the two choice frames. We conclude that reframing can promote self-control while avoiding the need for additional willpower expenditure.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1408991111

    View details for Web of Science ID 000338514800030

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4103380

  • 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 Yeager, D. S., Johnson, R., Spitzer, B. J., Trzesniewski, K. H., Powers, J., Dweck, C. S. 2014; 106 (6): 867-884


    The belief that personality is fixed (an entity theory of personality) can give rise to negative reactions to social adversities. Three studies showed that when social adversity is common-at the transition to high school-an entity theory can affect overall stress, health, and achievement. Study 1 showed that an entity theory of personality, measured during the 1st month of 9th grade, predicted more negative immediate reactions to social adversity and, at the end of the year, greater stress, poorer health, and lower grades in school. Studies 2 and 3, both experiments, tested a brief intervention that taught a malleable (incremental) theory of personality-the belief that people can change. The incremental theory group showed less negative reactions to an immediate experience of social adversity and, 8 months later, reported lower overall stress and physical illness. They also achieved better academic performance over the year. Discussion centers on the power of targeted psychological interventions to effect far-reaching and long-term change by shifting interpretations of recurring adversities during developmental transitions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).

    View details for DOI 10.1037/a0036335

    View details for PubMedID 24841093

  • Mechanisms of motivation-cognition interaction: challenges and opportunities COGNITIVE AFFECTIVE & BEHAVIORAL NEUROSCIENCE Braver, T. S., Krug, M. K., Chiew, K. S., Kool, W., Westbrook, J. A., Clement, N. J., Adcock, R. A., Barch, D. M., Botvinick, M. M., Carver, C. S., Cools, R., Custers, R., Dickinson, A., Dweck, C. S., Fishbach, A., Gollwitzer, P. M., Hess, T. M., Isaacowitz, D. M., Mather, M., Murayama, K., Pessoa, L., Samanez-Larkin, G. R., Somerville, L. H. 2014; 14 (2): 443-472


    Recent years have seen a rejuvenation of interest in studies of motivation-cognition interactions arising from many different areas of psychology and neuroscience. The present issue of Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience provides a sampling of some of the latest research from a number of these different areas. In this introductory article, we provide an overview of the current state of the field, in terms of key research developments and candidate neural mechanisms receiving focused investigation as potential sources of motivation-cognition interaction. However, our primary goal is conceptual: to highlight the distinct perspectives taken by different research areas, in terms of how motivation is defined, the relevant dimensions and dissociations that are emphasized, and the theoretical questions being targeted. Together, these distinctions present both challenges and opportunities for efforts aiming toward a more unified and cross-disciplinary approach. We identify a set of pressing research questions calling for this sort of cross-disciplinary approach, with the explicit goal of encouraging integrative and collaborative investigations directed toward them.

    View details for DOI 10.3758/s13415-014-0300-0

    View details for Web of Science ID 000338516800001

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4986920

  • Academic and emotional functioning in middle school: The role of implicit theories. Emotion Romero, C., Master, A., Paunesku, D., Dweck, C. S., Gross, J. J. 2014; 14 (2): 227-234


    Adolescents face many academic and emotional challenges in middle school, but notable differences are evident in how well they adapt. What predicts adolescents' academic and emotional outcomes during this period? One important factor might be adolescents' implicit theories about whether intelligence and emotions can change. The current study examines how these theories affect academic and emotional outcomes. One hundred fifteen students completed surveys throughout middle school, and their grades and course selections were obtained from school records. Students who believed that intelligence could be developed earned higher grades and were more likely to move to advanced math courses over time. Students who believed that emotions could be controlled reported fewer depressive symptoms and, if they began middle school with lower well-being, were more likely to feel better over time. These findings illustrate the power of adolescents' implicit theories, suggesting exciting new pathways for intervention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).

    View details for DOI 10.1037/a0035490

    View details for PubMedID 24512251

  • The Role of Forgetting in Undermining Good Intentions PLOS ONE Olson, K. R., Heberlein, A. S., Kensinger, E., Burrows, C., Dweck, C. S., Spelke, E. S., Banaji, M. R. 2013; 8 (11)


    Evaluating others is a fundamental feature of human social interaction-we like those who help more than those who hinder. In the present research, we examined social evaluation of those who not only intentionally performed good and bad actions but also those to whom good things have happened (the lucky) and those to whom bad things have happened (the unlucky). In Experiment 1a, subjects demonstrated a sympathetic preference for the unlucky. However, under cognitive load (Experiment 1b), no such preference was expressed. Further, in Experiments 2a and 2b, when a time delay between impression formation (learning) and evaluation (memory test) was introduced, results showed that younger (Experiment 2a) and older adults (Experiment 2b) showed a significant preference for the lucky. Together these experiments show that a consciously motivated sympathetic preference for those who are unlucky dissolves when memory is disrupted. The observed dissociation provides evidence for the presence of conscious good intentions (favoring the unlucky) and the cognitive compromising of such intentions when memory fails.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0079091

    View details for Web of Science ID 000327254700091

    View details for PubMedID 24236093

  • Beliefs About Emotion: Links to Emotion Regulation, Well-Being, and Psychological Distress BASIC AND APPLIED SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY De Castella, K., Goldin, P., Jazaieri, H., Ziv, M., Dweck, C. S., Gross, J. J. 2013; 35 (6): 497-505
  • Beliefs about willpower determine the impact of glucose on self-control PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Job, V., Walton, G. M., Bernecker, K., Dweck, C. S. 2013; 110 (37): 14837-14842


    Past research found that the ingestion of glucose can enhance self-control. It has been widely assumed that basic physiological processes underlie this effect. We hypothesized that the effect of glucose also depends on people's theories about willpower. Three experiments, both measuring (experiment 1) and manipulating (experiments 2 and 3) theories about willpower, showed that, following a demanding task, only people who view willpower as limited and easily depleted (a limited resource theory) exhibited improved self-control after sugar consumption. In contrast, people who view willpower as plentiful (a nonlimited resource theory) showed no benefits from glucose-they exhibited high levels of self-control performance with or without sugar boosts. Additionally, creating beliefs about glucose ingestion (experiment 3) did not have the same effect as ingesting glucose for those with a limited resource theory. We suggest that the belief that willpower is limited sensitizes people to cues about their available resources including physiological cues, making them dependent on glucose boosts for high self-control performance.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1313475110

    View details for Web of Science ID 000324125100020

    View details for PubMedID 23959900

  • Parent Praise to 1-to 3-Year-Olds Predicts Children's Motivational Frameworks 5Years Later CHILD DEVELOPMENT Gunderson, E. A., Gripshover, S. J., Romero, C., Dweck, C. S., Goldin-Meadow, S., Levine, S. C. 2013; 84 (5): 1526-1541


    In laboratory studies, praising children's effort encourages them to adopt incremental motivational frameworks--they believe ability is malleable, attribute success to hard work, enjoy challenges, and generate strategies for improvement. In contrast, praising children's inherent abilities encourages them to adopt fixed-ability frameworks. Does the praise parents spontaneously give children at home show the same effects? Although parents' early praise of inherent characteristics was not associated with children's later fixed-ability frameworks, parents' praise of children's effort at 14-38 months (N = 53) did predict incremental frameworks at 7-8 years, suggesting that causal mechanisms identified in experimental work may be operating in home environments.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/cdev.12064

    View details for Web of Science ID 000323829300005

    View details for PubMedID 23397904

  • Implicit Theories of Personality and Attributions of Hostile Intent: A Meta-Analysis, an Experiment, and a Longitudinal Intervention CHILD DEVELOPMENT Yeager, D. S., Miu, A. S., Powers, J., Dweck, C. S. 2013; 84 (5): 1651-1667


    Past research has shown that hostile schemas and adverse experiences predict the hostile attributional bias. This research proposes that seemingly nonhostile beliefs (implicit theories about the malleability of personality) may also play a role in shaping it. Study 1 meta-analytically summarized 11 original tests of this hypothesis (N = 1,659), and showed that among diverse adolescents aged 13-16 a fixed or entity theory about personality traits predicted greater hostile attributional biases, which mediated an effect on aggressive desires. Study 2 experimentally changed adolescents' implicit theories toward a malleable or incremental view and showed a reduction in hostile intent attributions. Study 3 delivered an incremental theory intervention that reduced hostile intent attributions and aggressive desires over an 8-month period.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/cdev.12062

    View details for Web of Science ID 000323829300013

    View details for PubMedID 23402434

  • Implicit theories block negative attributions about a longstanding adversary: The case of Israelis and Arabs JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Levontin, L., Halperin, E., Dweck, C. S. 2013; 49 (4): 670-675
  • An Implicit Theories of Personality Intervention Reduces Adolescent Aggression in Response to Victimization and Exclusion CHILD DEVELOPMENT Yeager, D. S., Trzesniewski, K. H., Dweck, C. S. 2013; 84 (3): 970-988


    Adolescents are often resistant to interventions that reduce aggression in children. At the same time, they are developing stronger beliefs in the fixed nature of personal characteristics, particularly aggression. The present intervention addressed these beliefs. A randomized field experiment with a diverse sample of Grades 9 and 10 students (ages 14-16, n = 230) tested the impact of a 6-session intervention that taught an incremental theory (a belief in the potential for personal change). Compared to no-treatment and coping skills control groups, the incremental theory group behaved significantly less aggressively and more prosocially 1 month postintervention and exhibited fewer conduct problems 3 months postintervention. The incremental theory and the coping skills interventions also eliminated the association between peer victimization and depressive symptoms.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/cdev.12003

    View details for Web of Science ID 000318624500016

    View details for PubMedID 23106262

  • Social-cognitive development: A renaissance Navigating the Social World: What infants, children, and other species can teach us Dweck, C. S. 2013
  • Parent praise to 1-3 year-olds predicts children’s motivational frameworks 5 years later Child Development Gunderson, L., Gripshover, S., Romero, C., Goldin-Meadow, S., Dweck, C. S., Levine, S. 2013
  • How universals and individual differences can inform each other: The case of social expectations in infancy Navigating the Social World: What infants, children, and other species can teach us Johnson, S. C., Dweck, C. S., Dunfield, K. edited by Banaji, M. R., Gelman, S. New York: Oxford. 2013
  • Promoting Intergroup Contact by Changing Beliefs: Group Malleability, Intergroup Anxiety, and Contact Motivation EMOTION Halperin, E., Crisp, R. J., Husnu, S., Trzesniewski, K. H., Dweck, C. S., Gross, J. J. 2012; 12 (6): 1192-1195


    Intergroup contact plays a crucial role in moderating long-term conflicts. Unfortunately, the motivation to make contact with outgroup members is usually very low in such conflicts. We hypothesized that one limiting factor is the belief that groups cannot change, which leads to increased intergroup anxiety and decreased contact motivation. To test this hypothesis, we experimentally manipulated beliefs about group malleability in the context of the conflict between Greek and Turkish Cypriots and then assessed intergroup anxiety and motivation to engage in intergroup contact. Turkish Cypriots who were led to believe that groups can change (with no mention of the specific groups involved) reported lower levels of intergroup anxiety and higher motivation to interact and communicate with Greek Cypriots in the future, compared with those who were led to believe that groups cannot change. This effect of group malleability manipulation on contact motivation was mediated by intergroup anxiety.

    View details for DOI 10.1037/a0028620

    View details for Web of Science ID 000311878700003

    View details for PubMedID 22642339

  • Are Implicit Motives the Need to Feel Certain Affect? Motive-Affect Congruence Predicts Relationship Satisfaction PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY BULLETIN Job, V., Bernecker, K., Dweck, C. S. 2012; 38 (12): 1552-1565


    The authors test the assumption that the core of implicit motives is the desire for particular affective experiences and that motive satisfaction need not be tied to any particular domain. Using the context of romantic relationships, cross-sectional Study 1 and experimental Study 2 showed that people with a high affiliation motive were more satisfied when they experienced more affiliation-specific affect (calmness and relaxation). However, people with a higher power motive were more satisfied in their relationships when they experienced more power-specific affect (strength and excitement) in these relationships. The results support the idea that an implicit motive involves the desire for specific affective experiences and that frequent experiences of one's preferred affect can lead to enhanced satisfaction and well-being in a domain, even one that is not typically associated with that motive.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/0146167212454920

    View details for Web of Science ID 000311570600002

    View details for PubMedID 22854792

  • Mindsets and Human Nature: Promoting Change in the Middle East, the Schoolyard, the Racial Divide, and Willpower AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGIST Dweck, C. S. 2012; 67 (8): 614-622


    Debates about human nature often revolve around what is built in. However, the hallmark of human nature is how much of a person's identity is not built in; rather, it is humans' great capacity to adapt, change, and grow. This nature versus nurture debate matters-not only to students of human nature-but to everyone. It matters whether people believe that their core qualities are fixed by nature (an entity theory, or fixed mindset) or whether they believe that their qualities can be developed (an incremental theory, or growth mindset). In this article, I show that an emphasis on growth not only increases intellectual achievement but can also advance conflict resolution between long-standing adversaries, decrease even chronic aggression, foster cross-race relations, and enhance willpower. I close by returning to human nature and considering how it is best conceptualized and studied.

    View details for DOI 10.1037/a0029783

    View details for Web of Science ID 000311008200006

    View details for PubMedID 23163438

  • Can Everyone Become Highly Intelligent? Cultural Differences in and Societal Consequences of Beliefs About the Universal Potential for Intelligence JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Rattan, A., Savani, K., Naidu, N. V., Dweck, C. S. 2012; 103 (5): 787-803


    We identify a novel dimension of people's beliefs about intelligence: beliefs about the potential to become highly intelligent. Studies 1-3 found that in U.S. American contexts, people tend to believe that only some people have the potential to become highly intelligent. In contrast, in South Asian Indian contexts, people tend to believe that most people have the potential to become highly intelligent. To examine the implications of these beliefs, Studies 4-6 measured and manipulated Americans' beliefs about the potential for intelligence and found that the belief that everyone can become highly intelligent predicted increased support for policies that distribute resources more equally across advantaged and disadvantaged social groups. These findings suggest that the belief that only some people have the potential to become highly intelligent is a culturally shaped belief, and one that can lead people to oppose policies aimed at redressing social inequality.

    View details for DOI 10.1037/a0029263

    View details for Web of Science ID 000310042000005

    View details for PubMedID 22800285

  • "Prejudiced" Behavior Without Prejudice? Beliefs About the Malleability of Prejudice Affect Interracial Interactions JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Carr, P. B., Dweck, C. S., Pauker, K. 2012; 103 (3): 452-471


    Prejudiced behavior is typically seen as emanating from prejudiced attitudes. Eight studies showed that majority-group members' beliefs about prejudice can create seemingly "prejudiced" behaviors above and beyond prejudice measured explicitly (Study 1b) and implicitly (Study 2). Those who believed prejudice was relatively fixed, rather than malleable, were less interested in interracial interactions (Studies 1a-1d), race- or diversity-related activities (Study 1a), and activities to reduce their prejudice (Study 3). They were also more uncomfortable in interracial, but not same-race, interactions (Study 2). Study 4 manipulated beliefs about prejudice and found that a fixed belief, by heightening concerns about revealing prejudice to oneself and others, depressed interest in interracial interactions. Further, though Whites who were taught a fixed belief were more anxious and unfriendly in an interaction with a Black compared with a White individual, Whites who were taught a malleable belief were not (Study 5). Implications for reducing prejudice and improving intergroup relations are discussed.

    View details for DOI 10.1037/a0028849

    View details for Web of Science ID 000307793500008

    View details for PubMedID 22708626

  • Thinking in Categories or Along a Continuum: Consequences for Children's Social Judgments CHILD DEVELOPMENT Master, A., Markman, E. M., Dweck, C. S. 2012; 83 (4): 1145-1163


    Can young children, forming expectations about the social world, capture differences among people without falling into the pitfalls of categorization? Categorization often leads to exaggerating differences between groups and minimizing differences within groups, resulting in stereotyping. Six studies with 4-year-old children (N = 214) characterized schematic faces or photographs as falling along a continuum (really mean to really nice) or divided into categories (mean vs. nice). Using materials that children naturally group into categories (Study 3), the continuum framing prevented the signature pattern of categorization for similarity judgments (Study 1), inferences about behavior and deservingness (Studies 2 and 5), personal liking and play preferences (Study 4), and stable and internal attributions for behavior (Study 6). When children recognize people as members of continua, they may avoid stereotypes.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01774.x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000306403700004

    View details for PubMedID 22540868

  • Theories of Willpower Affect Sustained Learning PLOS ONE Miller, E. M., Walton, G. M., Dweck, C. S., Job, V., Trzesniewski, K. H., McClure, S. M. 2012; 7 (6)


    Building cognitive abilities often requires sustained engagement with effortful tasks. We demonstrate that beliefs about willpower-whether willpower is viewed as a limited or non-limited resource-impact sustained learning on a strenuous mental task. As predicted, beliefs about willpower did not affect accuracy or improvement during the initial phases of learning; however, participants who were led to view willpower as non-limited showed greater sustained learning over the full duration of the task. These findings highlight the interactive nature of motivational and cognitive processes: motivational factors can substantially affect people's ability to recruit their cognitive resources to sustain learning over time.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0038680

    View details for Web of Science ID 000305730900016

    View details for PubMedID 22745675

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3382137

  • Race and the Fragility of the Legal Distinction between Juveniles and Adults PLOS ONE Rattan, A., Levine, C. S., Dweck, C. S., Eberhardt, J. L. 2012; 7 (5)


    Legal precedent establishes juvenile offenders as inherently less culpable than adult offenders and thus protects juveniles from the most severe of punishments. But how fragile might these protections be? In the present study, simply bringing to mind a Black (vs. White) juvenile offender led participants to view juveniles in general as significantly more similar to adults in their inherent culpability and to express more support for severe sentencing. Indeed, these differences in participants' perceptions of this foundational legal precedent distinguishing between juveniles and adults accounted for their greater support for severe punishment. These results highlight the fragility of protections for juveniles when race is in play. Furthermore, we suggest that this fragility may have broad implications for how juveniles are seen and treated in the criminal justice system.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0036680

    View details for Web of Science ID 000305335800013

    View details for PubMedID 22649496

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3359323

  • "It's ok - Not everyone can be good at math": Instructors with an entity theory comfort (and demotivate) students JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Rattan, A., Good, C., Dweck, C. S. 2012; 48 (3): 731-737
  • Why Do Women Opt Out? Sense of Belonging and Women's Representation in Mathematics JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Good, C., Rattan, A., Dweck, C. S. 2012; 102 (4): 700-717


    Sense of belonging to math-one's feelings of membership and acceptance in the math domain-was established as a new and an important factor in the representation gap between males and females in math. First, a new scale of sense of belonging to math was created and validated, and was found to predict unique variance in college students' intent to pursue math in the future (Studies 1-2). Second, in a longitudinal study of calculus students (Study 3), students' perceptions of 2 factors in their math environment-the message that math ability is a fixed trait and the stereotype that women have less of this ability than men-worked together to erode women's, but not men's, sense of belonging in math. Their lowered sense of belonging, in turn, mediated women's desire to pursue math in the future and their math grades. Interestingly, the message that math ability could be acquired protected women from negative stereotypes, allowing them to maintain a high sense of belonging in math and the intention to pursue math in the future.

    View details for DOI 10.1037/a0026659

    View details for Web of Science ID 000301884100003

    View details for PubMedID 22288527

  • Emotion blocks the path to learning under stereotype threat SOCIAL COGNITIVE AND AFFECTIVE NEUROSCIENCE Mangels, J. A., Good, C., Whiteman, R. C., Maniscalco, B., Dweck, C. S. 2012; 7 (2): 230-241


    Gender-based stereotypes undermine females' performance on challenging math tests, but how do they influence their ability to learn from the errors they make? Females under stereotype threat or non-threat were presented with accuracy feedback after each problem on a GRE-like math test, followed by an optional interactive tutorial that provided step-wise problem-solving instruction. Event-related potentials tracked the initial detection of the negative feedback following errors [feedback related negativity (FRN), P3a], as well as any subsequent sustained attention/arousal to that information [late positive potential (LPP)]. Learning was defined as success in applying tutorial information to correction of initial test errors on a surprise retest 24-h later. Under non-threat conditions, emotional responses to negative feedback did not curtail exploration of the tutor, and the amount of tutor exploration predicted learning success. In the stereotype threat condition, however, greater initial salience of the failure (FRN) predicted less exploration of the tutor, and sustained attention to the negative feedback (LPP) predicted poor learning from what was explored. Thus, under stereotype threat, emotional responses to negative feedback predicted both disengagement from learning and interference with learning attempts. We discuss the importance of emotion regulation in successful rebound from failure for stigmatized groups in stereotype-salient environments.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/scan/nsq100

    View details for Web of Science ID 000300227500012

    View details for PubMedID 21252312

  • Mindsets That Promote Resilience: When Students Believe That Personal Characteristics Can Be Developed EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGIST Yeager, D. S., Dweck, C. S. 2012; 47 (4): 302-314
  • An implicit theories of personality intervention reduces adolescent aggression in response to victimization and exclusion Child Development Yeager, D. S., Trzesniewski, K., Dweck, C. S. 2012; 84: 970 - 988
  • Expandable selves Handbook of self and identity Walton, G. M., Paunesku, D., Dweck, C. S. edited by Leary, M., Tangney, J. New York: Guilford. 2012
  • Beliefs About Emotional Residue: The Idea That Emotions Leave a Trace in the Physical Environment JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Savani, K., Kumar, S., Naidu, N. V., Dweck, C. S. 2011; 101 (4): 684-701


    Drawing upon the literatures on beliefs about magical contagion and property transmission, we examined people's belief in a novel mechanism of human-to-human contagion, emotional residue. This is the lay belief that people's emotions leave traces in the physical environment, which can later influence others or be sensed by others. Studies 1-4 demonstrated that Indians are more likely than Americans to endorse a lay theory of emotions as substances that move in and out of the body, and to claim that they can sense emotional residue. However, when the belief in emotional residue is measured implicitly, both Indians and American believe to a similar extent that emotional residue influences the moods and behaviors of those who come into contact with it (Studies 5-7). Both Indians and Americans also believe that closer relationships and a larger number of people yield more detectable residue (Study 8). Finally, Study 9 demonstrated that beliefs about emotional residue can influence people's behaviors. Together, these finding suggest that emotional residue is likely to be an intuitive concept, one that people in different cultures acquire even without explicit instruction.

    View details for DOI 10.1037/a0024102

    View details for Web of Science ID 000295196400003

    View details for PubMedID 21688925

  • Promoting the Middle East Peace Process by Changing Beliefs About Group Malleability SCIENCE Halperin, E., Russell, A. G., Trzesniewski, K. H., Gross, J. J., Dweck, C. S. 2011; 333 (6050): 1767-1769


    Four studies showed that beliefs about whether groups have a malleable versus fixed nature affected intergroup attitudes and willingness to compromise for peace. Using a nationwide sample (N = 500) of Israeli Jews, the first study showed that a belief that groups were malleable predicted positive attitudes toward Palestinians, which in turn predicted willingness to compromise. In the remaining three studies, experimentally inducing malleable versus fixed beliefs about groups among Israeli Jews (N = 76), Palestinian citizens of Israel (N = 59), and Palestinians in the West Bank (N = 53)--without mentioning the adversary--led to more positive attitudes toward the outgroup and, in turn, increased willingness to compromise for peace.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/science.1202925

    View details for Web of Science ID 000295121500049

    View details for PubMedID 21868627

  • Motivating voter turnout by invoking the self PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Bryan, C. J., Walton, G. M., Rogers, T., Dweck, C. S. 2011; 108 (31): 12653-12656


    Three randomized experiments found that subtle linguistic cues have the power to increase voting and related behavior. The phrasing of survey items was varied to frame voting either as the enactment of a personal identity (e.g., "being a voter") or as simply a behavior (e.g., "voting"). As predicted, the personal-identity phrasing significantly increased interest in registering to vote (experiment 1) and, in two statewide elections in the United States, voter turnout as assessed by official state records (experiments 2 and 3). These results provide evidence that people are continually managing their self-concepts, seeking to assume or affirm valued personal identities. The results further demonstrate how this process can be channeled to motivate important socially relevant behavior.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1103343108

    View details for Web of Science ID 000293385700029

    View details for PubMedID 21768362

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3150938

  • Adolescents' Implicit Theories Predict Desire for Vengeance After Peer Conflicts: Correlational and Experimental Evidence Annual Meeting of the American-Educational-Research-Association Yeager, D. S., Trzesniewski, K. H., Tim, K., Nokelainen, P., Dweck, C. S. AMER PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOC. 2011: 1090–1107


    Why do some adolescents respond to interpersonal conflicts vengefully, whereas others seek more positive solutions? Three studies investigated the role of implicit theories of personality in predicting violent or vengeful responses to peer conflicts among adolescents in Grades 9 and 10. They showed that a greater belief that traits are fixed (an entity theory) predicted a stronger desire for revenge after a variety of recalled peer conflicts (Study 1) and after a hypothetical conflict that specifically involved bullying (Study 2). Study 3 experimentally induced a belief in the potential for change (an incremental theory), which resulted in a reduced desire to seek revenge. This effect was mediated by changes in bad-person attributions about the perpetrators, feelings of shame and hatred, and the belief that vengeful ideation is an effective emotion-regulation strategy. Together, the findings illuminate the social-cognitive processes underlying reactions to conflict and suggest potential avenues for reducing violent retaliation in adolescents.

    View details for DOI 10.1037/a0023769

    View details for Web of Science ID 000292481800020

    View details for PubMedID 21604865

  • Anger, Hatred, and the Quest for Peace: Anger Can Be Constructive in the Absence of Hatred JOURNAL OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION Halperin, E., Russell, A. G., Dweck, C. S., Gross, J. J. 2011; 55 (2): 274-291
  • Misery Has More Company Than People Think: Underestimating the Prevalence of Others' Negative Emotions PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY BULLETIN Jordan, A. H., Monin, B., Dweck, C. S., Lovett, B. J., John, O. P., Gross, J. J. 2011; 37 (1): 120-135


    Four studies document underestimations of the prevalence of others' negative emotions and suggest causes and correlates of these erroneous perceptions. In Study 1a, participants reported that their negative emotions were more private or hidden than were their positive emotions; in Study 1b, participants underestimated the peer prevalence of common negative, but not positive, experiences described in Study 1a. In Study 2, people underestimated negative emotions and overestimated positive emotions even for well-known peers, and this effect was partially mediated by the degree to which those peers reported suppression of negative (vs. positive) emotions. Study 3 showed that lower estimations of the prevalence of negative emotional experiences predicted greater loneliness and rumination and lower life satisfaction and that higher estimations for positive emotional experiences predicted lower life satisfaction. Taken together, these studies suggest that people may think they are more alone in their emotional difficulties than they really are.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/0146167210390822

    View details for PubMedID 21177878

  • Buried treasures: Depression, murder, praise, and intelligence Most Underappreciated: 50 Of the Most Eminent Social Psychologists Talk About Hidden Gems Dweck, C. S. edited by Arkin, R. New York: Oxford University Press. 2011
  • Motivation and intelligence Handbook of Intelligence Carr, P. B., Dweck, C. S. edited by Fieldman, S., Sternberg, R. New York: Cambridge. 2011
  • Self-Theories Handbook of theories in social psychology Dweck, C. S. edited by Lange, P. V., Kruglanski, A., Higgins, E. T. Thousand Oaks, CA.: Sage Publications. 2011
  • Academic tenacity White paper prepared for the Gates Foundation Dweck, C. S., Walton, G. M., Cohen, G. 2011
  • Ego Depletion-Is It All in Your Head? Implicit Theories About Willpower Affect Self-Regulation PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE Job, V., Dweck, C. S., Walton, G. M. 2010; 21 (11): 1686-1693


    Much recent research suggests that willpower--the capacity to exert self-control--is a limited resource that is depleted after exertion. We propose that whether depletion takes place or not depends on a person's belief about whether willpower is a limited resource. Study 1 found that individual differences in lay theories about willpower moderate ego-depletion effects: People who viewed the capacity for self-control as not limited did not show diminished self-control after a depleting experience. Study 2 replicated the effect, manipulating lay theories about willpower. Study 3 addressed questions about the mechanism underlying the effect. Study 4, a longitudinal field study, found that theories about willpower predict change in eating behavior, procrastination, and self-regulated goal striving in depleting circumstances. Taken together, the findings suggest that reduced self-control after a depleting task or during demanding periods may reflect people's beliefs about the availability of willpower rather than true resource depletion.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/0956797610384745

    View details for Web of Science ID 000285456800024

    View details for PubMedID 20876879

  • Even Geniuses Work Hard EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP Dweck, C. S. 2010; 68 (1): 16-20
  • Who Confronts Prejudice? The Role of Implicit Theories in the Motivation to Confront Prejudice PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE Rattan, A., Dweck, C. S. 2010; 21 (7): 952-959


    Despite the possible costs, confronting prejudice can have important benefits, ranging from the well-being of the target of prejudice to social change. What, then, motivates targets of prejudice to confront people who express explicit bias? In three studies, we tested the hypothesis that targets who hold an incremental theory of personality (i.e., the belief that people can change) are more likely to confront prejudice than targets who hold an entity theory of personality (i.e., the belief that people have fixed traits). In Study 1, targets' beliefs about the malleability of personality predicted whether they spontaneously confronted an individual who expressed bias. In Study 2, targets who held more of an incremental theory reported that they would be more likely to confront prejudice and less likely to withdraw from future interactions with an individual who expressed prejudice. In Study 3, we manipulated implicit theories and replicated these findings. By highlighting the central role that implicit theories of personality play in targets' motivation to confront prejudice, this research has important implications for intergroup relations and social change.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/0956797610374740

    View details for Web of Science ID 000285453600011

    View details for PubMedID 20551213

  • At the Intersection of Social and Cognitive Development: Internal Working Models of Attachment in Infancy COGNITIVE SCIENCE Johnson, S. C., Dweck, C. S., Chen, F. S., Stern, H. L., Ok, S., Barth, M. 2010; 34 (5): 807-825


    Three visual habituation studies using abstract animations tested the claim that infants' attachment behavior in the Strange Situation procedure corresponds to their expectations about caregiver-infant interactions. Three unique patterns of expectations were revealed. Securely attached infants expected infants to seek comfort from caregivers and expected caregivers to provide comfort. Insecure-resistant infants not only expected infants to seek comfort from caregivers but also expected caregivers to withhold comfort. Insecure-avoidant infants expected infants to avoid seeking comfort from caregivers and expected caregivers to withhold comfort. These data support Bowlby's (1958) original claims-that infants form internal working models of attachment that are expressed in infants' own behavior.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1551-6709.2010.01112.x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000279610500006

    View details for PubMedID 21564237

  • A Culture of Genius: How an Organization's Lay Theory Shapes People's Cognition, Affect, and Behavior PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY BULLETIN Murphy, M. C., Dweck, C. S. 2010; 36 (3): 283-296


    Traditionally, researchers have conceptualized implicit theories as individual differences-lay theories that vary between people. This article, however, investigates the consequences of organization-level implicit theories of intelligence. In five studies, the authors examine how an organization's fixed (entity) or malleable (incremental) theory of intelligence affects people's inferences about what is valued, their self- and social judgments, and their behavioral decisions. In Studies 1 and 2, the authors find that people systematically shift their self-presentations when motivated to join an entity or incremental organization. People present their "smarts" to the entity environment and their "motivation" to the incremental environment. In Studies 3a and 4, they show downstream consequences of these inferences for participants' self-concepts and their hiring decisions. In Study 3b, they demonstrate that the effects are not due to simple priming. The implications for understanding how environments shape cognition and behavior and, more generally, for implicit theories research are discussed.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/0146167209347380

    View details for Web of Science ID 000274848000001

    View details for PubMedID 19826076

  • Self-theories: The roots of defensiveness The social psychological foundations of clinical psychology Dweck, C. S., Elliott-Moskwa, E. edited by Maddux, J. E., Tagney, J. P. New York: Guilford Press. 2010
  • Why we don't need built-in misbeliefs BEHAVIORAL AND BRAIN SCIENCES Dweck, C. S. 2009; 32 (6): 518-?
  • Political mindset: Effects of schema priming on liberal-conservative political positions JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Bryan, C. J., Dweck, C. S., Ross, L., Kay, A. C., Mislavsky, N. O. 2009; 45 (4): 890-895
  • Social Cognitive Development: A New Look CHILD DEVELOPMENT PERSPECTIVES Olson, K. R., Dweck, C. S. 2009; 3 (1): 60-65
  • Solving Social Problems Like a Psychologist PERSPECTIVES ON PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE Walton, G. M., Dweck, C. S. 2009; 4 (1): 101-102
  • Foreword The Development of Giftedness and Talent Across the Life-Span Dweck, C. S. edited by Horowitz, F. D., Subotnik, R. F., Matthews, D. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. 2009
  • On learning to become a member of one’s culture Why We Cooperate Dweck, C. S. edited by Tomasello, M., Dweck, C. S., Silk, J., Skryms, B., Spelke, E. S. Boston, MA.: Boston Review. 2009
  • Augmenting cognition: Psychological studies of children Frontiers in Neuroscience Dweck, C. S. 2009
  • Lay theories of personality: Cornerstones of meaning in social cognition Social Psychology Compass Plaks, J. E., Levy, S. R., Dweck, C. S. 2009; 3: 1069 - 1081
  • Prejudice: How It Develops and How It Can Be Undone HUMAN DEVELOPMENT Dweck, C. S. 2009; 52 (6): 371-376

    View details for DOI 10.1159/000242351

    View details for Web of Science ID 000271818600004

  • Can Personality Be Changed? The Role of Beliefs in Personality and Change CURRENT DIRECTIONS IN PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE Dweck, C. S. 2008; 17 (6): 391-394
  • The hidden-zero effect - Representing a single choice as an extended sequence reduces impulsive choice PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE Magen, E., Dweck, C. S., Gross, J. J. 2008; 19 (7): 648-649

    View details for Web of Science ID 000257785000006

    View details for PubMedID 18727778

  • Defensiveness versus remediation: Self-theories and modes of self-esteem maintenance PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY BULLETIN Nussbaum, A. D., Dweck, C. S. 2008; 34 (5): 599-612


    How people maintain and repair their self-esteem has been a topic of widespread interest. In this article, the authors ask, What determines whether people will use direct, remedial actions, or defensive actions? In three studies, they tested the hypothesis that a belief in fixed intelligence (entity theory) would produce defensiveness, whereas a belief in improvable intelligence (incremental theory) would foster remediation. In each study, participants assigned to the entity condition opted for defensive self-esteem repair (downward comparison in Studies 1 and 3; a tutorial on already mastered material in Study 2), but those in the incremental condition opted for self-improvement (upward comparison in Studies 1 and 3; a tutorial on unmastered material in Study 2). Experiment 3 also linked these strategies to self-esteem repair; remedial strategies were the most effective in recovering lost self-esteem for those in the incremental condition, whereas defensive strategies were most effective for those in the entity condition.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/0146167207312960

    View details for Web of Science ID 000255167900002

    View details for PubMedID 18276895

  • A Blueprint for Social Cognitive Development PERSPECTIVES ON PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE Olson, K. R., Dweck, C. S. 2008; 3 (3): 193-202
  • Judgments of the lucky across development and culture JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Olson, K. R., Dweck, C. S., Dunham, Y., Spelke, E. S., Banaji, M. R. 2008; 94 (5): 757-776


    For millennia, human beings have believed that it is morally wrong to judge others by the fortuitous or unfortunate events that befall them or by the actions of another person. Rather, an individual's own intended, deliberate actions should be the basis of his or her evaluation, reward, and punishment. In a series of studies, the authors investigated whether such rules guide the judgments of children. The first 3 studies demonstrated that children view lucky others as more likely than unlucky others to perform intentional good actions. Children similarly assess the siblings of lucky others as more likely to perform intentional good actions than the siblings of unlucky others. The next 3 studies demonstrated that children as young as 3 years believe that lucky people are nicer than unlucky people. The final 2 studies found that Japanese children also demonstrate a robust preference for the lucky and their associates. These findings are discussed in relation to M. J. Lerner's (1980) just-world theory and J. Piaget's (1932/1965) immanent-justice research and in relation to the development of intergroup attitudes.

    View details for DOI 10.1037/0022-3514.94.5.757

    View details for Web of Science ID 000255293700002

    View details for PubMedID 18444737

  • Self-theories: The construction of free will Are we free? Psychology and free will Dweck, C. S., Molden, D. C. edited by Baer, J., Kaufman, J. C., Baumeister, R. F. New York: Oxford University Press. 2008
  • Self-theories motivate self-regulated learning Motivation and self-regulated learning: Theory, Research, and Applications Dweck, C. S., Master, A. edited by Shunk, D., Zimmerman, B. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. 2008
  • Self-theories, goals, and meaning The handbook of motivational science Dweck, C. S., Grant, H. edited by Shah, J., Gardner, W. New York: Guilford. 2008
  • The hidden zero effect: Representing standalone choices as extended sequences reduces impulsive choice Psychological Science Magen, E., Dweck, C. S., Gross, J. J. 2008; 19: 648 - 649
  • The perils and promises of Praise EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP Dweck, C. S. 2007; 65 (2): 34-39
  • Evidence for infants' internal working models of attachment PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE Johnson, S. C., Dweck, C. S., Chen, F. S. 2007; 18 (6): 501-502

    View details for Web of Science ID 000247263800007

    View details for PubMedID 17576262

  • Subtle linguistic cues affect children's motivation PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE Cimpian, A., Arce, H. C., Markman, E. M., Dweck, C. S. 2007; 18 (4): 314-316

    View details for Web of Science ID 000246152000008

    View details for PubMedID 17470255

  • Implicit theories of intelligence predict achievement across an adolescent transition: A longitudinal study and an intervention CHILD DEVELOPMENT Blackwell, L. S., Trzesniewski, K. H., Dweck, C. S. 2007; 78 (1): 246-263


    Two studies explored the role of implicit theories of intelligence in adolescents' mathematics achievement. In Study 1 with 373 7th graders, the belief that intelligence is malleable (incremental theory) predicted an upward trajectory in grades over the two years of junior high school, while a belief that intelligence is fixed (entity theory) predicted a flat trajectory. A mediational model including learning goals, positive beliefs about effort, and causal attributions and strategies was tested. In Study 2, an intervention teaching an incremental theory to 7th graders (N=48) promoted positive change in classroom motivation, compared with a control group (N=43). Simultaneously, students in the control group displayed a continuing downward trajectory in grades, while this decline was reversed for students in the experimental group.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000244517400014

    View details for PubMedID 17328703

  • Self-theories: The mindset of a champion Sport and exercise psychology: International perspectives Dweck, C. S. edited by Morris, T., Terry, P., Gordon, S. Morgantown, WV: Fitness Information Technology. 2007
  • Social identity, stereotype threat, and self-theories Contesting stereotypes and constructing identities Good, C., Dweck, C. S., Aronson, J. edited by Fuligni, A. New York: Russell Sage. 2007
  • The secret to raising smart kids Scientific American: Mind Dweck, C. S. 2007: 36 - 43
  • Voicing conflict: Preferred conflict strategies among incremental and entity theorists PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY BULLETIN Kammrath, L. K., Dweck, C. 2006; 32 (11): 1497-1508


    The way individuals choose to handle their feelings during interpersonal conflicts has important consequences for relationship outcomes. In this article, the authors predict and find evidence that people's implicit theory of personality is an important predictor of conflict behavior following a relationship transgression. Incremental theorists, who believe personality can change and improve, were likely to voice their displeasure with others openly and constructively during conflicts. Entity theorists, who believe personality is fundamentally fixed, were less likely to voice their dissatisfactions directly. These patterns were observed in both a retrospective study of conflict in dating relationships (Study 1) and a prospective study of daily conflict experiences (Study 2). Study 2 revealed that the divergence between incremental and entity theorists was increasingly pronounced as conflicts increased in severity: the higher the stakes the stronger the effect.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/0146167206291476

    View details for Web of Science ID 000241331200007

    View details for PubMedID 17030891

  • "Meaningful" social inferences: Effects of implicit theories on inferential processes JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Molden, D. C., Plaks, J. E., Dweck, C. S. 2006; 42 (6): 738-752
  • Children's biased evaluations of lucky versus unlucky people and their social groups PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE Olson, K. R., Banaji, M. R., Dweck, C. S., Spelke, E. S. 2006; 17 (10): 845-846

    View details for Web of Science ID 000242289600005

    View details for PubMedID 17100783

  • Why do beliefs about intelligence influence learning success? A social cognitive neuroscience model SOCIAL COGNITIVE AND AFFECTIVE NEUROSCIENCE Mangels, J. A., Butterfield, B., Lamb, J., Good, C., Dweck, C. S. 2006; 1 (2): 75-86


    Students' beliefs and goals can powerfully influence their learning success. Those who believe intelligence is a fixed entity (entity theorists) tend to emphasize 'performance goals,' leaving them vulnerable to negative feedback and likely to disengage from challenging learning opportunities. In contrast, students who believe intelligence is malleable (incremental theorists) tend to emphasize 'learning goals' and rebound better from occasional failures. Guided by cognitive neuroscience models of top-down, goal-directed behavior, we use event-related potentials (ERPs) to understand how these beliefs influence attention to information associated with successful error correction. Focusing on waveforms associated with conflict detection and error correction in a test of general knowledge, we found evidence indicating that entity theorists oriented differently toward negative performance feedback, as indicated by an enhanced anterior frontal P3 that was also positively correlated with concerns about proving ability relative to others. Yet, following negative feedback, entity theorists demonstrated less sustained memory-related activity (left temporal negativity) to corrective information, suggesting reduced effortful conceptual encoding of this material-a strategic approach that may have contributed to their reduced error correction on a subsequent surprise retest. These results suggest that beliefs can influence learning success through top-down biasing of attention and conceptual processing toward goal-congruent information.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/scan/nsl013

    View details for Web of Science ID 000208129700002

    View details for PubMedID 17392928

  • Finding "meaning" in psychology - A lay theories approach to self-regulation, social perception, and social development AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGIST Molden, D. C., Dweck, C. S. 2006; 61 (3): 192-203


    Much of psychology focuses on universal principles of thought and action. Although an extremely productive pursuit, this approach, by describing only the "average person," risks describing no one in particular. This article discusses an alternate approach that complements interests in universal principles with analyses of the unique psychological meaning that individuals find in their experiences and interactions. Rooted in research on social cognition, this approach examines how people's lay theories about the stability or malleability of human attributes alter the meaning they give to basic psychological processes such as self-regulation and social perception. Following a review of research on this lay theories perspective in the field of social psychology, the implications of analyzing psychological meaning for other fields such as developmental, cultural, and personality psychology are discussed.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000236824300001

    View details for PubMedID 16594836

  • How stereotypes influence the meaning students give to academic settings Navigating the future: Social identity, coping, and life tasks Lawrence, J. S., Crocker, J., Dweck, C. S. edited by Downey, G., Eccles, J., Chatman, C. New York: Russell Sage. 2006
  • Self-theories and conflict resolution Handbook of conflict resolution: Theory and practice Dweck, C. S., Ehrlinger, J., Deutsch, M., Coleman, P. San Francisco: Jossey Bass. 2006
  • Is math a gift? Beliefs that put females at risk Why aren’t more women in science? Top researchers debate the evidence Dweck, C. S. edited by Ceci, S. J., William, W. M. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. 2006
  • Mindset Dweck, C. S. New York: Random House. 2006
  • A motivational approach to reasoning, resilience, and responsibility The other 3 R’s: Reasoning, resilience, and responsibility Good, C., Dweck, C. S. edited by Subotonik, R., Sternberg, R. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association. 2006
  • Violations of implicit theories and the sense of prediction and control: Implications for motivated person perception 4th Annual Meeting of the Society-for-Personality-and-Social-Psychology Plaks, J. E., Grant, H., DWECK, C. S. AMER PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOC. 2005: 245–62


    Beginning with the assumption that implicit theories of personality are crucial tools for understanding social behavior, the authors tested the hypothesis that perceivers would process person information that violated their predominant theory in a biased manner. Using an attentional probe paradigm (Experiment 1) and a recognition memory paradigm (Experiment 2), the authors presented entity theorists (who believe that human attributes are fixed) and incremental theorists (who believe that human attributes are malleable) with stereotype-relevant information about a target person that supported or violated their respective theory. Both groups of participants showed evidence of motivated, selective processing only with respect to theory-violating information. In Experiment 3, the authors found that after exposure to theory-violating information, participants felt greater anxiety and worked harder to reestablish their sense of prediction and control mastery. The authors discuss the epistemic functions of implicit theories of personality and the impact of violated assumptions.

    View details for DOI 10.1037/0022-3514.88.2.245

    View details for Web of Science ID 000226585400002

    View details for PubMedID 15841857

  • Self-Theories: Their impact on competence motivation and acquisition The handbook of competence and motivation Dweck, C. S., Molden, D. C. 2005
  • The handbook of competence and motivation edited by Elliot, A., Dweck, C. S. New York: Guilford. 2005
  • The role of mental representation in social development MERRILL-PALMER QUARTERLY-JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY Dweck, C. S., London, B. 2004; 50 (4): 428-444
  • Motivational effects on attention, cognition, and performance Motivation, emotion, and cognition: Integrated perspectives on intellectual functioning Dweck, C. S., Mangels, J., Good, C. edited by Dai, D. Y., Sternberg, R. J. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. 2004
  • The role of mental representation in social development Appraising past, present, and prospective research agendas in the human development sciences Dweck, C. S. edited by Ladd, G. Detriot: Wayne State University Press. 2004
  • Clarifying achievement goals and their impact JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Grant, H., DWECK, C. S. 2003; 85 (3): 541-553


    The study of achievement goals has illuminated basic motivational processes, though controversy surrounds their nature and impact. In 5 studies, including a longitudinal study in a difficult premed course, the authors show that the impact of learning and performance goals depends on how they are operationalized. Active learning goals predicted active coping, sustained motivation, and higher achievement in the face of challenge. Among performance goals, ability-linked goals predicted withdrawal and poorer performance in the face of challenge (but provided a "boost" to performance when students met with success); normative goals did not predict decrements in motivation or performance; and outcome goals (wanting a good grade) were in fact equally related to learning goals and ability goals. Ways in which the findings address discrepancies in the literature are discussed.

    View details for DOI 10.1037/0022-3514.85.3.541

    View details for Web of Science ID 000185259200013

    View details for PubMedID 14498789

  • Ability conceptions, motivation, and development British Journal of Educational Psychology (Special Issue: Motivation and Development) Dweck, C. S. 2003
  • The development of ability conceptions The development of achievement motivation Dweck, C. S. edited by Wingfield, A., Eccles, J. New York: Academic Press. 2002
  • In the eye of the beholder: Implicit theories and the perception of groups The psychology of group perception Plaks, J., Levy, S., Dweck, C. S., Strossner edited by Yzerbyt, V., Corneille, O., Judd, C. New York: Psychology Press. 2002
  • Beliefs that make smart people dumb Why smart people do stupid things Dweck, C. S. edited by Sternberg, R. J. New Haven: Yale University Press. 2002
  • Self-systems give unique meaning to self-variables Handbook of self and identity Dweck, C. S., Higgins, E. T., Grant, H. edited by Leary, M., Tagney, J. New York: Guilford. 2002
  • Messages that motivate: How praise molds students' beliefs, motivation, and performance (In Surprising Ways) Improving academic achievement Dweck, C. S. edited by Aronson, J. New York: Academic Press. 2002
  • Person theories and attention allocation: Preferences for stereotypic versus counterstereotypic information JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Plaks, J. E., Stroessner, S. J., DWECK, C. S., Sherman, J. W. 2001; 80 (6): 876-893


    How do people respond to information that counters a stereotype? Do they approach it or avoid it? Four experiments showed that attention to stereotype-consistent vs. -inconsistent information depends on people's implicit theories about human traits. Those holding an entity theory (the belief that traits are fixed) consistently displayed greater attention to (Experiments 1 and 4) and recognition of (Experiments 2 and 3) consistent information. whereas those holding an incremental (dynamic) theory tended to display greater attention to (Experiment 1) and recognition of (Experiment 3) inconsistent information. This was true whether implicit theories were measured as chronic structures (Experiments 1, 2, and 4) or were experimentally manipulated (Experiment 3). Thus, different a priori assumptions about human traits and behavior lead to processing that supports versus limits stereotype maintenance.

    View details for DOI 10.1037//0022-3514.80.6.876

    View details for Web of Science ID 000170456200004

    View details for PubMedID 11414372

  • Static versus dynamic theories and the perception of groups: Different routes to different destinations PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY REVIEW Levy, S. R., Plaks, J. E., Hong, Y. Y., Chiu, C. Y., DWECK, C. S. 2001; 5 (2): 156-168
  • Cross-cultural response to failure: Considering outcome attributions within different goals Student motivation: The culture and context of learning Grant, H., Dweck, C. S. edited by Salili, F., Chiu, C., Hong, Y. New York: Plenum. 2001
  • Person theories and attention allocation: Preference for stereotypic vs. counterstereotypic information Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Plaks, J., Stroessner, S., Dweck, C. S., Sherman, J. 2001; 80: 876 - 893
  • Teorie del se': Intelligenza, motivazione, personalita' e sviluppo Self-Theories: Their role in motivation, personality and development Dweck, C. S. Philadelphia: Taylor and Francis/Psychology Press. 2000
  • Meaning and motivation Intrinsic motivation Molden, D., Dweck, C. S. edited by Sansone, C., Harackiewicz, J. San Diego, CA: Academic Pres. 2000
  • Implicit theories, attributions, and coping: A meaning system approach JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Hong, Y. Y., Chiu, C. Y., Dweck, C. S., Lin, D. M., Wan, W. 1999; 77 (3): 588-599
  • The impact of children's static versus dynamic conceptions of people on stereotype formation CHILD DEVELOPMENT Levy, S. R., DWECK, C. S. 1999; 70 (5): 1163-1180
  • Person versus process praise and criticism: Implications for contingent self-worth and coping DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY KAMINS, M. L., Dweck, C. S. 1999; 35 (3): 835-847


    Conventional wisdom suggests that praising a child as a whole or praising his or her traits is beneficial. Two studies tested the hypothesis that both criticism and praise that conveyed person or trait judgments could send a message of contingent worth and undermine subsequent coping. In Study 1, 67 children (ages 5-6 years) role-played tasks involving a setback and received 1 of 3 forms of criticism after each task: person, outcome, or process criticism. In Study 2, 64 children role-played successful tasks and received either person, outcome, or process praise. In both studies, self-assessments, affect, and persistence were measured on a subsequent task involving a setback. Results indicated that children displayed significantly more "helpless" responses (including self-blame) on all dependent measures after person criticism or praise than after process criticism or praise. Thus person feedback, even when positive, can create vulnerability and a sense of contingent self-worth.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000080687800021

    View details for PubMedID 10380873

  • Differential use of person information in decisions about guilt versus innocence: The role of implicit theories PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY BULLETIN Gervey, B. M., Chiu, C. Y., Hong, Y. Y., DWECK, C. S. 1999; 25 (1): 17-27
  • Self-Theories: Their role in motivation, personality and development Dweck, C. S. Philadelphia: Taylor and Francis/Psychology Press. 1999
  • Mastery-oriented thinking Coping Dweck, C. S., Sorich, L. edited by Snyder, R. New York: Oxford University Press. 1999
  • Children’s static vs. dynamic person conceptions as predictors of their stereotype formation Child Development Levy, S. R., Dweck, C. S. 1999; 70: 1163 - 1180
  • Content vs. structural models of self-regulation Advances in social cognition Grant, H., Dweck, C. S. 1999
  • Caution: Praise can be dangerous American Educator Dweck, C. S. 1999; 23 (1): 4 - 9
  • Modes of social thought: Implicit theories and social understanding Dual process models in social psychology Levy, S., Plaks, J. E., Dweck, C. S. edited by Chaiken, S., Trope, Y. New York: Guilford Press. 1999
  • A goal analysis of personality and personality coherence Social-cognitive approaches to personality coherence Grant, H., Dweck, C. S. edited by Cervone, D., Shoda, Y. New York: Guilford Press. 1999: 345–371
  • Stereotype formation and endorsement: The role of implicit theories JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Levy, S. R., Stroessner, S. J., Dweck, C. S. 1998; 74 (6): 1421-1436
  • Children's thinking about traits: Implications for judgements of the self and others CHILD DEVELOPMENT Heyman, G. D., DWECK, C. S. 1998; 69 (2): 391-403


    The relation between the way in which children interpret human behavior and their beliefs about the stability of human traits is investigated. In interviews with 202 7- and 8-year-olds across 2 studies, the belief that traits are stable predicted a greater tendency to make trait judgments, and an increased focus on outcomes and behaviors through which traits can be judged. In the academic domain, a belief in trait stability was associated with an emphasis on the evaluative meanings of performance outcomes, as opposed to mediating processes such as effort. In the sociomoral domain, the same belief was associated with an emphasis on the evaluative meanings of behaviors (e.g., whether the person is good or bad), as opposed to factors that mediate behavior, such as intention. Results suggest that beliefs about the stability of traits may serve an important role in thinking about and functioning within the academic and sociomoral domains.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000073343300011

    View details for PubMedID 9586214

  • Trait-versus process-focused social judgment SOCIAL COGNITION Levy, S. R., Dweck, C. S. 1998; 16 (1): 151-172
  • The development of early self-conceptions: Their relevance for motivational processes Motivation and self-regulation across the life span Dweck, C. S. edited by Hechausen, J., Dweck, C. S. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1998: 257–280
  • Motivation and self-regulation across the life span Dweck, C. S. edited by Heckhausen, J., Dweck, C. S. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1998
  • Intelligence praise can undermine motivation and performance Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Mueller, C. M., Dweck, C. S. 1998; 75: 33 - 52
  • Implicit theories and conceptions of morality JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Chiu, C. Y., DWECK, C. S., Tong, J. Y., Fu, J. H. 1997; 73 (5): 923-940
  • Lay dispositionism and implicit theories of personality JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Chiu, C. Y., Hong, Y. Y., DWECK, C. S. 1997; 73 (1): 19-30


    Lay dispositionism refers to lay people's tendency to use traits as the basic unit of analysis in social perception (L. Ross & R. E. Nisbett, 1991). Five studies explored the relation between the practices indicative of lay dispositionism and people's implicit theories about the nature of personal attributes. As predicted, compared with those who believed that personal attributes are malleable (incremental theorists), those who believed in fixed traits (entity theorists) used traits or trait-relevant information to make stronger future behavioral predictions (Studies 1 and 2) and made stronger trait inferences from behavior (Study 3). Moreover, the relation between implicit theories and lay dispositionism was found in both the United States (a more individualistic culture) and Hong Kong (a more collectivistic culture), suggesting this relation to be generalizable across cultures (Study 4). Finally, an experiment in which implicit theories were manipulated provided preliminary evidence for the possible causal role of implicit theories in lay dispositionism (Study 5).

    View details for Web of Science ID A1997XG51500002

    View details for PubMedID 9216077

  • Implicit theories and evaluative processes in person cognition JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Hong, Y. Y., Chiu, C. Y., DWECK, C. S., Sacks, R. 1997; 33 (3): 296-323
  • Relations among children's social goals, implicit personality theories, and responses to social failure DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY Erdley, C. A., Loomis, C. C., Cain, K. M., DumasHines, F., DWECK, C. S. 1997; 33 (2): 263-272


    Two studies examined children's thought patterns in relation to their responses to social challenge. In Study 1, 4th and 5th graders tried out for a pen pal club under either a performance goal (stressing the evaluative nature of the tryout) or a learning goal (emphasizing the potential learning opportunities). In their behavior and attributions following rejection, children who were focused on a performance goal reacted with more helplessness, whereas children given a learning goal displayed a more mastery-oriented response. Study 2 found that in response to hypothetical socially challenging situations, 4th, 5th, and 6th graders who believed personality was nonmalleable (entity theorists) vs. malleable (incremental theorists) were more likely to endorse performance goals. Together, these studies indicate that children's goals in social situations are associated with their responses to social failure and are predicted by their implicit theories about their personality.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1997WM80500007

    View details for PubMedID 9147835

  • Capturing the dynamic nature of personality JOURNAL OF RESEARCH IN PERSONALITY DWECK, C. S. 1996; 30 (3): 348-362
  • Implicit theories as organizers of goals and behavior The psychology of action: Linking cognition and motivation to behavior Dweck, C. S. edited by Gollwitzer, P., Bargh, J. New York: Guilford. 1996
  • Social motivation: Goals and social-cognitive processes Social Motivation Dweck, C. S. edited by Juvonen, J., Wentzel, K. New York: Cambridge University Press. 1996
  • Helplessness in early childhood: The role of contingent worth CHILD DEVELOPMENT Burhans, K. K., DWECK, C. S. 1995; 66 (6): 1719-1738


    This article presents an expanded view of the bases of helpless reactions to failure. This view stems from recent findings of helplessness in young children. Previous formulations have stressed the attainment of invariant trait conceptions as a necessary condition for helplessness to occur and have suggested that children are relatively invulnerable to helplessness prior to this attainment. We review a series of studies documenting that key aspects of helplessness are present in preschool and early elementary school children (ages 4-7). We then propose a preliminary model in which (a) a general conception of self and (b) the notion of this self as an object of contingent worth are sufficient conditions for helplessness. We integrate this view with Dweck and Leggett's model of helplessness in older individuals, in which more differentiated trait conceptions play an important role.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995TN06500010

    View details for PubMedID 8556895

  • The development of children’s achievement motivation patterns and conceptions of intelligence Merrill-Palmer Quarterly Cain, K., Dweck, C. S. 1995; 41: 25 - 52
  • The development of self-conceptions and person conceptions Review of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 15: Social Development Ruble, D. N., Dweck, C. S. edited by Eisenberg, N. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 1995
  • Implicit theories of intelligence: Reconsidering the role of confidence in achievement motivation Efficacy, agency, and self-esteem Hong, Y. Y., Chiu, Y. Y., Dweck, C. S., edited by Kemis, M. New York: Plenum. 1995


    Developmental research has generally not found evidence of helpless responses to failure in young children; a prevailing view is that young children lack the cognitive prerequisite for helplessness. However, recent evidence suggests that even preschoolers are vulnerable to helplessness in some situations. In the present study with 4- and 5-year-olds, we tested a goal-confidence model that predicts achievement behavior during failure for older children. We first categorized preschoolers' orientations toward "learning" or "performance" goals based on their preference for a challenging or nonchallenging task. As for older children, goal orientation was independent of ability and predicted cognitions and emotions during failure. Further, consistent with the model, within a learning goal, children displayed the mastery-oriented pattern regardless of confidence level, whereas within a performance goal, children with low confidence were most susceptible to helplessness. These behavior patterns were found on a second task as well. Thus, our findings show that individual differences in achievement goals emerge very early.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1994QA68600014

    View details for PubMedID 7859551

  • The development of achievement motivation International encyclopedia of education Heyman, G. D., Dweck, C. S. edited by Weinert, F. London: Pergamon Press. 1994
  • Toward an integrative model of personality and intelligence: A general framework and some preliminary steps Personality and intelligence Chiu, C. Y., Hong, Y. Y., Dweck, C. S. edited by Stenberg, R., Ruzgis, G. New York: Cambridge. 1994


    Social judgment and trait ascription have long been central issues in psychology. Two studies tested the hypothesis that children who believe that personality is a fixed quality (entity theorists) would make more rigid and long-term social judgments than those who believe that personality is malleable (incremental theorists). Fourth and fifth graders (mean age 10.2 years) viewed a slide show of a boy displaying negative behaviors (Study 1--being shy, clumsy, and nervous; Study 2--lying, cheating, and stealing) and then made a series of ratings. Half of the subjects saw a consistent (negative) ending, and half saw an inconsistent (more positive) ending. Even when they viewed positive counterevidence, entity theorists did not differ in their ratings of the focal traits, but incremental theorists did. Entity theorists in Study 2 also predicted significantly less change in the short term and the long term than did incremental theorists. Study 2 further revealed that, when the behaviors were more negative, entity theorists made more generalized and global negative trait evaluations of the target, showed less empathy, and recommended more punishment. Differences in the social judgment processes of entity and incremental theorists are discussed, and implications for issues (such as stereotyping) are explored.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1993LJ94100016

    View details for PubMedID 8339700



    Motivational helplessness, linked to conceptions of intelligence, has been well documented in older children. While some researchers have reported that children just starting school are motivationally invulnerable, others have found evidence of helplessness when these children encounter failure. The present study seeks to determine whether the reactions associated with helplessness can be identified in a new context, that of criticism, and whether any such responses are related to the child's conceptions of goodness. Subjects were 107 5- and 6-year-old children who enacted achievement situations in which teacher criticism was presented. The 39% of children whose own assessments were undermined by criticism exhibited the affect, task choices, and nonconstructive problem-solving strategies characteristic of helplessness. They were also more likely to make global negative self-judgments following criticism, including negative judgments of their goodness. Finally, these children were more likely to endorse stable and global beliefs about goodness.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1992HP15600013

    View details for PubMedID 1611943

  • Motivation Foundations for a cognitive psychology of education Dweck, C. S. edited by Glaser, R., Lesgold, A. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. 1990
  • Achievement and motivation in adolescence: A new model and data At the threshold: The developing adolescent Henderson, V., Dweck, C. S. edited by Fieldman, S., Elliot, G. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 1990
  • Children’s theories of intelligence: A developmental model Advances in the study of intelligence Cain, K., Dweck, C. S. edited by Sternberg, R. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. 1989
  • The functions of a personality theory Advances in social cognition Bergen, R., Dweck, C. S. edited by Wyre, R., Srull, T. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. 1989


    This study tested a framework in which goals are proposed to be central determinants of achievement patterns. Learning goals, in which individuals seek to increase their competence, were predicted to promote challenge-seeking and a mastery-oriented response to failure regardless of perceived ability. Performance goals, in which individuals seek to gain favorable judgments of their competence or avoid negative judgments, were predicted to produce challenge-avoidance and learned helplessness when perceived ability was low and to promote certain forms of risk-avoidance even when perceived ability was high. Manipulations of relative goal value (learning vs. performance) and perceived ability (high vs. low) resulted in the predicted differences on measures of task choice, performance during difficulty, and spontaneous verbalizations during difficulty. Particularly striking was the way in which the performance goal-low perceived ability condition produced the same pattern of strategy deterioration, failure attribution, and negative affect found in naturally occurring learned helplessness. Implications for theories of motivation and achievement are discussed.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1988L778300001

    View details for PubMedID 3346808



    The present study was designed to investigate the development of children's trait explanations and self-evaluations in the 2 domains. 144 white, middle-class children in kindergarten, first, second, and fourth grades (mean ages 5-8, 7-0, 7-9, and 10-0 years, respectively) were interviewed individually about their explanations for both academic and social outcomes and their evaluations of their own outcomes. Trait explanations emerged earlier in the social domain. In addition, trait explanations emerged earlier for success than for failure. Self-evaluations became less positive in both domains and less similar across domains with increasing grade level. An experiential theory of the development of understanding of a domain is presented.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1986E196100009

    View details for PubMedID 3769605

  • Intrinsic motivation, perceived control, and self-evaluation maintenance: An achievement goal analysis Research on motivation in education Dweck, C. S. edited by Ames, R., Ames, C. New York: Academic Press. 1985
  • Sex differences in achievement orientations: Consequences for academic choices and attainments Sex differentiation and schooling Licht, B. G., Dweck, C. S. edited by Marland, M. London: Heinemann. 1984
  • Achievement motivation Handbook of child psychology Dweck, C. S., Elliot, E. S. edited by Mussen, P., Hetherington, E. M. New York: Wiley. 1983
  • Children’s theories of intelligence: Implications for learning Learning and motivation in children Dweck, C. S., Bempechat, J. edited by Paris, S., Olson, G., Stevenson, H. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. 1983
  • Learned helplessness, anxiety, and achievement motivation: Neglected parallels in cognitive, affective, and coping responses Achievement, stress, and anxiety Dweck, C. S., Wortman, C. edited by Krohne, H. W., Laux, L. Washington, DC: Hemisphere. 1982
  • Social-cognitive processes in children’s friendships The development of children’s friendships Dweck, C. S. edited by Asher, S. R., Gottman, J. M. New York: Cambridge University Press. 1981


    Helpless children attribute their failures to lack of ability and view them as insurmountable. Mastery-oriented children, in contrast, tend to emphasize motivational factors and to view failure as surmountable. Although the performance of the two groups is usually identical during success of prior to failure, past research suggests that these groups may well differ in the degree to which they perceive that their successes are replicable and hence that their failures are avoidable. The present study was concerned with the nature of such differences. Children performed a task on which they encountered success and then failure. Half were asked a series of questions about their performance after success and half after failure. Striking differences emerged: Compared to mastery-oriented children, helpless children underestimated the number of success (and overestimated the number of failures), did not view successes as indicative of ability, and did not expect the successes to continue. subsequent failure led them to devalue ;their performance but left the mastery-oriented children undaunted. Thus, for helpless children, successes are less salient, less predictive, and less enduring--less successful.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1980KS20700017

    View details for PubMedID 7441483



    Helplessness in social situations was conceptualized as the perceived inability to surmount rejection, as revealed by causal attributions for rejection. Although current research on children's social adjustment emphasizes differences in social skills between popular and unpopular children or behavioral intervention as an aid for withdrawn children, the present study explores responses to rejection across popularity levels. The results show that individual differences in attributions for rejection are related to disruption of goal-directed behavior following rejection. As predicted, the most severe disruption of attempts to gain social approval (withdrawal and perseveration) was associated with the tendency to emphasize personal incompetence as the cause of rejection, regardless of popularity level. The findings suggest that cognitive mediators of overt social behavior and ability to solve problems when faced with difficulties need to be considered in the study of children's social relations.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1980KE45800006

    View details for PubMedID 7411393

  • Learned helplessness and intellectual achievement Human helplessness: Theory and application Dweck, C. S., Licht, B. G. edited by Seligman, M. E., Garber, J. New York: Academic Press. 1980
  • Attributions and learned helplessness New directions in attribution research Dweck, C. S. edited by Harvey, J., Ickes, W., Kidd, R. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. 1978
  • Achievement Socio-personality development Dweck, C. S., Lamb, M. E. New York: Holt, Rinehart, Winston. 1978
  • Learned helplessness and childhood depression: A developmental approach Depression in childhood: Diagnosis, treatment and conceptual models Dweck, C. S. edited by Schulterbrandt, J. G., Raskin, A. New York: Raven Press. 1977
  • Children’s interpretation of evaluative feedback: The effect of social cues on learned helplessness Merrill-Palmer Quarterly Dweck, C. S. edited by Dweck, C. S., Hill, K. T., Redd, W. H., Steinman, W. M., Parke, R. D. 1976: 83–92
  • The impact of social cues on children's behavior Merrill-Palmer Quarterly Dweck, C. S. 1976: 83–92
  • Personal politics Langer, E. J., Dweck, C. S. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. 1973
  • Situational cues and the correlation between CS and US as determinants of the conditioned emotional response Psychonomic Science Dweck, C. S., Wegner, A. R. 1970; 18: 145 - 147