Influences on Mindset: Exploring Personality Traits, Parenting Behaviors and Locus of Control Open Access

Koven, Marissa Lee (2015)

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Beliefs about the changeability of one's traits have major implications for psychological health, and thus it is incredibly important to examine what factors may influence the development of such beliefs. The present study examined the influences of personality traits, parental behaviors, and the role of locus of control (LOC) as a moderator. Past research has focused on the influence of mindset and ways to change beliefs, but influences on its development have been largely unexplored. A sample of 83 college students participated in this study; 38 participated in the control condition and 45 in the experimental condition. The experimental condition frustrated participants using a manipulation of the Ravensburger jigsaw puzzle. Mindset was measured using average scores on a series of Carol Dweck's Implicit Theory Questionnaires. Three measures of each personality trait were obtained using average scores on the Big Five Aspects Scale (BFAS). Parenting behaviors of care and control were measured using the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI). Results were obtained by conducting bivariate correlations, and simple and multiple linear regressions. Degree of mother control was found to predict beliefs about the changeability of intelligence. The more maternal control perceived, the more likely participants were to believe that intelligence is changeable. Contrary to predictions, more individuals with authoritarian parents held beliefs in the changeability of intelligence than those with authoritative or permissive parents. The combination of high extraversion, conscientiousness and openness may indicate greater belief in changeability. Higher neuroticism was predictive of lower overall mindset and intelligence specific beliefs in changeability. Locus of control was also found to moderate the relationship between neuroticism and mindset about intelligence and agreeableness and mindset about intelligence. For internal individuals, beliefs in the changeability of intelligence may also predict degree of frustration obtained from failure on a task. Implications and future directions are discussed.

Table of Contents

List of Tables ii

List of Figures iii

Introduction 1

Core Beliefs 2

Beliefs about Changeability and Personality 3

Beliefs about Changeability and Parenting Style 6

Emerging Adulthood as the Developmental Period of Study 11

Statement of the Problem 12

Overview of Current Study 13

Hypotheses 13

Method 15

Participants 15

Procedure 16

Measures 17

Results 22

Discussion 32

Contributions 41

Limitations 42

Future Directions and Possible Applications 43

References 45

Tables 48

Figures 60

Appendix 66

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