Brief growth mindset and mindfulness inductions to facilitate task persistence after negative feedback

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Negative feedback in academic settings is often unavoidable, although it may directly interfere with the ultimate goal of education, as setbacks can diminish motivation, and may even lead to dropping out of school. Previous research suggests that certain predispositions, inductions, and interventions might mitigate the harmful effects of negative feedback. Among others, growth mindset beliefs and mindfulness meditation were proposed as the most promising candidates that may help students to retain motivation. In a pre-registered, randomized experiment, we gave a disappointing evaluation to 383 university students in a bogus laboratory IQ test situation. Half of the participants previously received a growth mindset induction referring to intelligence as a malleable characteristic, while the other half received a fixed mindset induction referring to intelligence as a stable characteristic that cannot be changed. Then participants had a brief mindfulness meditation session or a control condition. Subsequently, they could choose to complete practice tasks before the final IQ assessment. The number of completed optional tasks was used as a behavioral proxy for task persistence. The results showed no difference in task persistence for the growth mindset or the mindfulness induction groups, compared to the other conditions. However, those who reported having higher pre-induction growth mindset beliefs or dispositional mindfulness completed more optional tasks after the mindset or mindfulness induction, respectively. We concluded that our brief inductions may not be adequate for everyone to rectify the demotivating effects of negative feedback, but can enhance task persistence for people with a stronger disposition towards a growth mindset or mindfulness.
Original languageEnglish
Article number74253
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • mindfulness
  • growth mindset
  • negative feedback
  • persistence


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