| A group of students were able to markedly increase their grades and study habits after being told that their IQs were like muscles and could be increased through use, according to a new research paper co-written by a Stanford University professor and published today.
Stanford psychology Professor Carol Dweck co-authored the paper published in the current issue of the journal Child Development. Dweck and her colleagues studied students at a New York City junior high school for more than two years.
As part of the study the psychologists designed an eight-week intervention program in which some students were taught a set of study skills and that the brain became stronger the more that it was used. A control group was taught the study skills but not about the brain's expandability. In two months, the group taught about expandability showed marked improvement in both grades in study skills, according to the paper.
"What was important was the motivation. The students were energized by the idea that they could have an impact on their mind,'' Dweck said.
One male student, a class troublemaker, was especially impacted by being taught that he could expand his intelligence.
"When we started teaching this idea about the mind being malleable, he looked up with tears in his eyes, and he said, 'You mean, I don't have to be dumb?' A fire was lit under him,'' Dweck said.
The former troublemaker began handing his work in early in order to get feedback and began getting good grades, according to Dweck.
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— Bay City News Service
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