The Effect of Fostering a Growth Mindset on Interest, Perceived Cognitive Load, and Performance: Does Intervention Strategy Matter?

  • Dagmar Platte

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The present study aimed to give insights in the effect of fostering a growth mindset on situational interest, perceived cognitive load, and learning performance. Two intervention strategies were addressed; a growth mindset reading text and writing assignment about the malleability of the brain and a praise for effort strategy. A sample of 161 Dutch primary school children in the 7th and 8th grade participated in a randomized experimental 2 x 2 design. Mindset belief, situational interest and cognitive load were measured by subject ratings on questionnaire items. Prior knowledge and learning performance were measured with scores on probability problem calculations. Prior knowledge was included as a covariate.
This study confirmed that a growth mindset reading and writing intervention about the malleability of the brain, ensured a higher growth mindset belief. Foremost there was a significant interaction effect for combining a growth mindset reading and writing intervention and a praise for effort intervention on learning performance. Although the assumed effects on interest and perceived cognitive load could not be fully confirmed, the results are promising and encourage further research to contribute to the development of effective growth mindset intervention programmes to optimize the learning process and motivate students.

Date of Award14 Mar 2022
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorKate Xu (Supervisor)


  • Growth Mindset Intervention
  • Situational Interest
  • Cognitive Load
  • Learning Performance

Master's Degree

  • Master Onderwijswetenschappen

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