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Growth Mindset Through Picture Books: Research

This LibGuide is based on the book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, written by Carol Dweck.  However, there is much research leading up to the creation of this book, and much research following its publication.  Below are various research articles and periodicals pertaining to growth mindset theory, from both before and after the publication of Dweck's book.  

Articles about growth mindset behavior

Elliott, E. S., & Dweck, C. S. (1988). Goals: An approach to motivation and achievement. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54(1), 5-12. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.54.1.5

The authors of this study found that regardless of perceived ability, those with learning goals chose more difficult tasks and had a mastery-oriented response to failure. On the other hand, students with performance goals exhibited behaviors comparative to learned helplessness.

Kamins, M.L., & Dweck, C.S. (1999). Person versus process praise and criticism: Implications for contingent self-worth and coping. Developmental Psychology, 35(3), 835–847. doi:10.1037/0012-1649.35.3.835

This study suggests that in order to support a child’s self-worth, adults should give feedback relating to the process, instead of the child’s traits.

Mueller, C. M., & Dweck, C. S. (1998). Praise for intelligence can undermine children's motivation and performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75(1), 33-52. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.75.1.33

In this study, children praised for intelligence displayed less task persistence, less task enjoyment, low ability attributions, and worse performance after failure than those praised for effort.

Articles suggesting growth mindset can be learned

Dweck, C. S. (2007). Boosting achievement with messages that motivate. Education Canada, 47(2), 6–10. 

Dweck explains that teachers can help promote a growth mindset in students by praising effort and strategies. Dweck also suggests that students can be taught a growth mindset through programs specifically designed to do so, and that students in these programs showed increased academic achievement.

Rowe, M. L., & Leech, K. A. (2019). A parent intervention with a growth mindset approach improves children’s early gesture and vocabulary development. Developmental Science, 22(4). 

This study shows that parents who believe that their child’s intelligence is fixed can be taught that their child's intelligence can improve and that they play an important role in their child’s development.

How to teach growth mindset

Haimovitz, K., & Dweck, C. S. (2017). The origins of children's growth and fixed mindsets: New research and a new proposal. Child Development, 88(6), 1849-1859. doi:10.1111/cdev.12955

The authors suggest that adults with a growth mindset do not typically pass their mindset on to children. In learning scenarios, adults often try to motivate children instead of using the opportunity to teach growth mindset. Instead, parents and teachers should praise the child’s effort and strategies, as opposed to their ability. 

Rist, R. (2018). A growth mindset to teaching dance. Dancing Times, (1298), 100-101. 

This article gives an example of how to use growth mindset theory when teaching dance, which shows that the theory is applicable in many different fields.

Articles about predicting achievement

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

The study supports the idea that a growth or incremental mindset are correlated with higher grades and that this mindset can be learned.

Gunderson, E. A., Sorhagen, N. S., Gripshover, S. J., Dweck, C. S., Goldin-Meadow, S., & Levine, S. C. (2018). Parent praise to toddlers predicts fourth grade academic achievement via children’s incremental mindsets. Developmental psychology, 54(3), 397–409. 

The authors found that when children received process praise at 1, 2, and 3 years old, they had high math achievement and reading comprehension in the 4th grade. 

Articles about classroom implementation

Boylan, F., Barblett, L., & Knaus, M. (2018). Early childhood teachers’ perspectives of growth mindset: Developing agency in children. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 43(3), 16–24.

The authors of this article found that many of the teachers surveyed were unsure how to implement growth mindset theory in their classrooms and teach children about growth mindset. These findings suggest that more research and outreach aimed towards real world application of growth mindset theory is necessary.

Enriquez, G., Clark, S. R., & Della Calce, J. (2017). Using children's literature for dynamic learning frames and growth mindsets. The Reading Teacher, 70(6), 711-719. doi:10.1002/trtr.1583

This article is about how a kindergarten teacher utilizes children’s books to teach her students about a growth mindset. She accomplishes this by choosing books that incorporate elements of a growth mindset in the story. Then, she discusses these elements with the students and teaches them growth mindset strategies to use in their lives, including when they encounter a difficulty or feel angry.

Fraser, D. M. (2018). An exploration of the application and implementation of growth mindset principles within a primary school. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 88(4), 645–658.

The results of this article show that four themes are important to the application of growth mindset in schools, which are embarking on the process; classroom culture and teaching; outside the classroom; and pupil approach to learning. 

Growth mindset and new interests

O'Keefe, P. A., Dweck, C., & Walton, G. (2018). Having a growth mindset makes it easier to develop new interests. Harvard Business Review Digital Articles, 8-13. 

The authors discuss that having a growth mindset of interests may be important in developing new passions and being open to having passions across multiple disciplines, which can lead to new innovations.

Related Research