<go to database

Paunesku et al., 2015: Promoting a prosocial learning purpose increased academic performance among at-risk high schoolers over the next semester


Paunesku, D., Walton, G. M., Romero, C., Smith, E. N., Yeager, D. S., & Dweck, C. S. (2015). Mind-set interventions are a scalable treatment for academic underachievement. Psychological science, 26(6), 784-793.
Download PDF


High school students completed an online module in which they first wrote briefly about ways they wished the world could be a better place, learned how many students want to work hard and learn in school so they can make a difference in the world, and then wrote about how learning and working hard in school can help them achieve their prosocial goals. Together with students in a growth-mindset intervention condition and as compared to those for whom the module focused on control content (e.g., how their lives were different in high school than before high school), this sense-of-purpose message raised core academic GPA the next semester for students at risk for dropping out of high school, and increased the likelihood students earned satisfactory grades (A, B, or C) in core academic classes.

Psychological Process:

Psychological Process 2:


What is the Person Trying to Understand?

What Desired Meaning is At Stake?

What Desired Meaning is At Stake?

What About it?

Approach to Desired Meaning

Approach to Desired Meaning


Psychological Question Addressed

Psychological Question Addressed

Psychological Question Addressed

Psychological Process 3:

Social Area:

Intervention Technique:

Share This Post:

Posted By:

Greg Walton & Timothy Wilson