Is your mind set for programming?
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The rapid pace of technological innovation has created a demand for higher technological knowledge. However, it seems like a lot of people are hesitant to acquire these highly needed skills. Research has shown that people's beliefs in intelligence and abilities affect performance, and having a growth mindset, compared to a fixed mindset, increases willingness to learn and embrace challenges (Dweck, 2012). In a one-session experiment we investigate if using protocols from psychology changes the treated student’s beliefs in their ability to learn how to program a simple calculator, and if the growth mindset intervention positively affect performance, compared to the control group. We find treatment effects on both growth mindset of intelligence and mindset of effort beliefs, with the highest increase in mindset of effort beliefs post intervention. This increase in effort beliefs is also largest for the treated students who already had a growth mindset pretreatment. We found no link between the growth mindset intervention and the programming task, as the treated participants scored 0,756 points lower than the control group. This can be explained by growth mindset not having an effect on programming performance or due to weak validation of the programming task, such as weak test of performance. These findings suggest that a one-session growth mindset intervention increases growth mindset for the treated participants, which can increase the willingness to embrace challenges, thus reduce hesitation to learn new skills, and increase willingness to put effort into learning.
Master's thesis in Strategy and Management