, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 241-256
Date: 01 Dec 2012

Longitudinal changes in college math students’ implicit theories of intelligence

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Abstract

This study examined changes over time in implicit theories of intelligence and their relationships to help-seeking and academic performance. College algebra students completed questionnaires during the second week of classes and 2 weeks before the end of the semester (ns = 159 and 145, respectively; 61 students completed questionnaires at both waves). The questionnaires assessed entity and incremental implicit theories of general and math intelligence (beginning and end of semester) and help-seeking (end of semester). Results indicated that students had more incremental views of general than math intelligence. Further, their views became less incremental over the course of the semester; however, this decrease was greater for math than for general intelligence. Participants who exhibited a stronger incremental theory of general intelligence at the beginning of the semester subsequently reported greater help-seeking during the semester. Finally, students who had more entitative views of math intelligence earned lower course grades.