Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 367–377 | Cite as

Helpful but insufficient: Incremental theory on challenge-confronting tendencies for students who fear being laughed at

  • Cheng-Hong Liu
  • Fa-Chung Chiu
  • Hsueh-Chih Chen
  • Ching-Yi Lin
Original Paper


Previous studies have demonstrated that endorsing an incremental theory of intelligence is helpful in motivating students to confront challenges. We used a survey to examine whether this theory could predict greater challenge-confronting tendencies for students with relatively high gelotophobia (i.e., the fear of being laughed at) and explore the possible underlying processes. A total of 264 senior high school students completed the measures of gelotophobia, implicit theories of intelligence, challenge-confronting tendencies, perceived value and feelings of being threatened in confronting challenges, and their self-perceived general ability. The results showed that endorsing an incremental theory predicted greater perceived value in confronting challenges and stronger challenge-confronting tendencies for students with relatively low gelotophobia. However, for those with relatively high gelotophobia, although this theory also predicted greater perceived value in confronting challenges, it was unrelated to challenge-confronting tendencies. Thus, endorsing an incremental theory is helpful but insufficient in motivating high gelotophobia students to exhibit stronger challenge-confronting tendencies.


Implicit theories of intelligence Incremental theory Entity theory Gelotophobia Challenge-confronting tendencies 



This research is mainly supported by the National Science Council, Taiwan, R.O.C. under Grant no. NSC 100-2410-H-364-007-MY2. This research is also partially supported by the “Aim for the Top University Project” of National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU), sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Taiwan, R.O.C.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cheng-Hong Liu
    • 1
  • Fa-Chung Chiu
    • 2
  • Hsueh-Chih Chen
    • 3
  • Ching-Yi Lin
    • 4
  1. 1.Center for Teacher EducationNational Tsing Hua University, TaiwanHsinchuTaiwan, Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Psychology and Social WorkNational Defense UniversityTaipeiTaiwan, Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Educational Psychology and CounselingNational Taiwan Normal UniversityTaipeiTaiwan, Republic of China
  4. 4.Department of Applied PsychologyHsuan Chuang UniversityHsinchuTaiwan, Republic of China

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