Yeager, Walton, et al., 2016, Experiment 2-Growth Mindset: Representing intelligence as malleable in an online, prematriculation exercise increased full-time enrollment among minorities and first-generation college students
A version of the growth-mindset intervention adapted for online delivery prior to matriculation in college was delivered in online modules alongside other entrance forms in the summer before students entered a large public university. Participants were 90%+ of the entering class. In the treatment condition, an article and stories from older students emphasized that intelligence is not fixed but can grow with hard work on challenging tasks, good strategies, and help from others. Students read the stories and then wrote an essay about how they anticipated their experiences in college would reflect the themes emphasized. As compared to a randomized control condition, this exercise, along with a social-belonging intervention, increased the percentage of negatively stereotyped ethnic-minority and first-generation college students who completed the first year full-time enrolled (i.e., both semesters) by 4%, from 69% to 73%, reducing the gap with non minority, continuing-generation students by 40%. The interventions also reduced the percentage of students deemed “at-risk” for dropping out on a multidimensional measure assessing various achievement-related behaviors and attitudes. This statistically mediated the effect on college persistence.