The article discusses the role played by implicit theories of intelligence in influencing the achievements of adolescents in mathematics. This was done through two research studies that involved different groups of adolescents. The first study involved 373 adolescents in 7th grade. This study had two variables: students who held the belief that intelligence could be easily influenced, and students who believed that intelligence was fixed and cannot be altered.
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The researcher tested the efficacy and influence of goals and belief on individual effort. In the second study, a group of 48, 7th graders was taken through a learning model that focused on improvement of student motivation with regard to their beliefs. A control group of 43 students was also included as part of this study. In the first study, the belief that intelligence can be altered showed an upward trend in grades that students attained within the two years of the study.
The belief that intelligence was fixed did not show either an upward or downward trend on student’s grades. The grades remained unchanged for the period of study. In the second study, the experimental group showed an upward trend in grades while the control group showed a downward trend. These results can be attributed to the many developmental changes that adolescents go through.
These changes determine their academic achievements depending on how they affect their beliefs. Consequently, beliefs on intelligence affect their grades significantly. For example, students who believed that intelligence was fixed performed poorly in academics because they lacked the motivation to handle challenges.
In contrast, students who believed that they could alter their intelligence, were motivated enough to handle challenges without giving up even if they failed. In addition, students in this group worked harder in order to increase their intelligence and attain high grades. According to the findings of the study, intelligence theories can be manipulated in real-life to alter the outcomes of situations.
The study has several strengths that validate the findings. The establishment of control groups helped to authenticate the findings of the experimental groups. In addition, the number of participants eliminated the possibility of bias.
The first study involved 337 students while the second study involved 99 students. On the other hand, the first study eliminated any doubt of the finding’s effectiveness in displaying the effects of intelligence theories on achievement because it was conducted for two years. Finally, the study was able to determine the effect of intelligence theories on achievement based on the findings.
It successfully showed the relationship between students’ achievements and their different beliefs with regard to intelligence theories. The study had weaknesses too. It involved students from one school only. This could have introduced some bias in the findings. The study should have included more schools to eliminate partiality because each school has different factors that either aid or hinder students’ belief in intelligence theories.
In the second study, the experimental group received additional training that could have introduced some bias in the findings. In addition, the length of study was not sufficient to validate the results. This was unlike in the first study where students were followed for two years. Finally, the study was inconclusive because it did not consider the effect of teaching these theories to students, which could alter their beliefs. It only considered the effect of students’ beliefs on the theories.