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ERIC Number: EJ938912
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 67
ISSN: ISSN-1381-2890
Against the Odds: Academic Underdogs Benefit from Incremental Theories
Davis, Jody L.; Burnette, Jeni L.; Allison, Scott T.; Stone, Heather
Social Psychology of Education: An International Journal, v14 n3 p331-346 Sep 2011
An implicit theory of ability approach to motivation argues that students who believe traits to be malleable (incremental theorists), relative to those who believe traits to be fixed (entity theorists), cope more effectively when academic challenges arise. In the current work, we integrated the implicit theory literature with research on top dog and underdog status to predict self-efficacy in an academic context. To examine our predictions, we assessed college students' (N = 165) implicit theories of mathematical ability and manipulated their underdog versus top dog status in a math competition. We hypothesized that holding an incremental (vs. entity) theory would interact with competition status (underdog vs. top dog) to predict mathematical self-efficacy. When in an underdog position, incremental (vs. entity) theories boosted students' mathematical self-efficacy. Moreover, a mediated moderation model revealed that the experience of less helplessness accounted for greater self-efficacy in mathematical ability among academic underdogs with incremental (vs. entity) theories. Implications for teaching practices are discussed.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A