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Yeager, Trzesniewski, & Dweck, 2013: Emphasizing how people can change reduced aggressions and increased prosocial behavior among high schoolers over one month


Yeager, D. S., Trzesniewski, K. H., & Dweck, C. S. (2013). An implicit theories of personality intervention reduces adolescent aggression in response to victimization and exclusion. Child development, 84(3), 970-988.
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9th- and 10th-grade students in the San Francisco Bay Area took part in a 6-session workshop that that used readings, activities, and discussion to show that the brain can develop and, as a result, people’s personality can change and, thus, bullies need not always be bullies and victims need not always be victims. Students then described these ideas to “an alien from the planet of the entity theory” and to a future 9th-grade student to help them understand how being left out or rejected can change. As compared both to a no-treatment control condition and to a validated coping-skills intervention, this incremental theory of personality intervention reduced aggressive and increased prosocial behavior following peer ostracism one month later. Students who were victimized by peer bullying who received the incremental theory of personality intervention were also showed fewer depressive symptoms 2 weeks later and were more likely to be nominated by teachers as showing reduced conduct problems at the end of the school year three months later.

Psychological Process:

Psychological Process 2:

What is the Person Trying to Understand?

What Desired Meaning is At Stake?

What Desired Meaning is At Stake?

Selves (My Own and Others')

What About it?

Approach to Desired Meaning

Approach to Desired Meaning

Promoting growth-mindsets: Representing psychological qualities as capable of change


Psychological Question Addressed

Can people change?Can people change?

Psychological Question Addressed

Psychological Question Addressed

Can people change?

Psychological Process 3:

Social Area:

Intervention Technique:

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Greg Walton & Timothy Wilson