Research Mentor(s): Dina Gohar, Lecturer I
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Psychology, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 6 (4pm-4:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 20
Research methods/statistics is a challenging requirement that many psychology majors are reluctant or anxious to take. This study examines if a syllabus designed to facilitate a growth mindset?the belief that abilities can be developed as opposed to being fixed?can improve students’ perceptions of and willingness to take a challenging course on research methods in psychology. Many studies now support the benefits of a growth mindset, such as greater perseverance in the face of challenges (Hochanadel, A., & Finamore, D., 2015) and improved academic performance, even in advanced mathematics (Yeager et al. 2019). Studies also demonstrate that course syllabi can markedly affect students’ perceptions of the course and instructor (Saville, Zinn, Brown, & Marchuk, 2010). In this study, participants were randomly assigned to read either a conventional or growth-mindset based syllabus and then report their course perceptions, motivation to take, and perceived ability to succeed in the Research Methods in Psychology course after a brief growth mindset measure. Analyses of variance should reveal that students who read the growth mindset-oriented syllabus report significantly greater both motivation to enroll and perceived ability to succeed in the course as well as more positive perceptions of it and more of a growth mindset than do students who read a standard syllabus with the same requirements. Simply designing a syllabus to facilitate a growth mindset may thus be a brief and cost-effective way to increase students’ enrollment and self-efficacy in challenging courses.
Authors: Dina Gohar, Michael Hicks
Research Method: Survey Research