About - NIU - IMUScLE


Incremental Mindset and Utility for Science Learning and Engagement

IMUScLE is a quasi-experimental study that tested the independent and combined effects of ability beliefs and utility value for adolescent boys and girls. The study was conducted in 24 7th and 9th grade science classrooms in a large diverse school district (N=600 students). Classrooms were assigned to one of four treatment groups, with treatments lasting 6 weeks:

1.) A web-based mindset treatment (Brainology™) designed to promote the belief that ability can grow, and is not fixed

2.) A utility value treatment designed to increase students’ awareness of the usefulness of classroom content through a simple writing task

3.) A mindset+utility treatment, in which the treatments described in 1 & 2 above are administered simultaneously

4.) A control group in which students engage in a simple writing task to summarize recent content in science class.

Using data from surveys, observation, experience sampling techniques, and school records, we examined the impact of these various treatments on student engagement, achievement, and interest in science, testing for differential effects by gender and grade level.

The material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No: HRD-1136143. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.