Study Says Parents' Beliefs On Failure Shape Their Children's Mindset On Intelligence

How parents view failure helps form their children's mindsets on their intelligence, according to new psychological research. The study authors are Kyla Haimovitz, a psychological scientist from Stanford University and Carol S. Dweck, a psychology researcher and an expert in mindset research.

"Overall, parents who see failure as debilitating focus on their children's performance and ability rather than on their children's learning, and their children, in turn, tend to believe that intelligence is fixed rather than malleable," Haimovitz and Dweck said in the study's abstract. The study can be found in Psychological Science.

Responses To Failure Are Absorbed By Children

The research shows that parents' responses to failure, not their beliefs about intelligence, are the ones children absorb, according to a release from the Association for Psychological Science. "Our findings show that parents can endorse a growth mindset, but they might not pass it on to their children unless they have a positive and constructive reaction to their children's struggles," Haimovitz said.

Researchers said that children might not pick up the intelligence mindsets of their parents because these "aren't readily observable." Instead, they said that what children may observe and be sensitive to is their parents' feelings about failure which may be conveyed through responses to failure.

No Association Between Parent-Child Beliefs On Intelligence

Science Daily reported that as part of the research, one study involved the answer of 73 parent-child pairs to a serious of questions that were formulated to look into individual mindsets. The children were 4th and 5th grade students.

The parents rated their agreement with six statements related to failure and four statements related to intelligence while their children reacted to similar statements about intelligence. Results showed no association between the parents' beliefs about intelligence and their children's beliefs about intelligence.

What do you think about this new study? Write your comments below after watching this video about failure points and how they can help find better solutions to problems.

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