Failure to Replicate: Testing a Growth Mindset Intervention for College Student Success

Basic and Applied Social Psychology / August 2020

Interventions surrounding mindset have recently been applied as a tool for student success in higher education. The current study tested the efficacy of a growth mindset intervention at a university with a diverse student population. Using gateway math and introductory psychology courses, students were randomly assigned to receive a mindset message or one endorsing study skills. Dependent variables were course grade, term GPA, term credit hours earned, and retention to subsequent terms. Analyses using the full sample, minority sample, Pell-eligible, and first-generation college students did not yield meaningful differences in students’ academic success between the intervention and control groups. Further research should investigate why mindset intervention has proven successful with other populations not represented in the present study.