Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Stacey Wood

Reader 2

Lahnna Catalino


Past research has shown that having a growth mindset, meaning that one believes their abilities can be improved through effort, rather than having a fixed mindset, meaning that one believes their abilities are fixed and innate, leads to higher academic success for students. The current study seeks to find out whether a single intervention teaching the growth mindset can improve performance on a math test. Participants will include fifty high school students from the Claremont area. Each student will take a math test and will be measured on the Revised Implicit Theories of Intelligence Scale, the MIDI Sense of Control Scale, and a modified Stress Scale. Half of the students will then be shown a growth mindset intervention, and the other half will be shown a control condition. Each student will take another math test, along with the same scales they previously took with the addition of a Big 5 Inventory. The predicted results are that students who are exposed to the growth mindset intervention will show more improvement on the math test than participants who are exposed to a control condition. Participants who are exposed to the growth mindset intervention will exhibit lower stress levels because they will perceive the math test as a challenge to grow from rather than a threat to their self-esteem, and they will exhibit higher levels of perceived control because they will feel like their performance is more in their hands. Additionally, participants who are more open to experience will be more open to the ideas of the growth mindset intervention and will therefore show more math test improvement after being exposed to the intervention. This research may contribute to our understanding of how and why the growth mindset works in order to implement it more effectively in educational contexts.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.