[IAEP] Some curious social-psych research, with applications to OpenHatch, Nell, and...?

Caroline Meeks caroline at solutiongrove.com
Sun Mar 18 22:47:26 EDT 2012

Another resource might be looking at the online learning program that
Dweck's team produced: http://www.brainology.us/

Here is an interesting tidbit in the last video on this page:
Using an EEG while students did problems they found that students with a
fixed mindset paid close attention when they were told if the answer was
right or wrong but students with a growth mindset also paid close attention
when they were told what the right answer was.

I think this is very important research for understanding what it means to
learn how to learn.


On Sun, Mar 18, 2012 at 9:12 PM, Michael Stone <michael at laptop.org> wrote:

> Asheesh, Karen, (and various other friends interested in learning... :-)
> If you haven't already done so, you folks should think about finding
> yourselves
> copies of Carol S. Dweck's book: "Self-theories: their role in motivation,
> personality, and development" [1,2].
> The punch-lines that I see for OH [3,4], Nell [5], and friends include:
>  a) When faced with challenging problems, some people become frustrated,
>     bored, or distracted while others become patient, focused, or excited.
>  b) Variation in (a) can be predicted by measuring the subjects' agreement
>     with statements about the malleability and nature of "intelligence"
>     or by measuring preferences for learning goals vs.  performance goals,
>     e.g., via the following measure, taken from the book's appendix:
>       Task-choice Goal Measure: (suitable for ages 10 and older)
>       Sample instruction:
>         "We have different kinds of problems here for you to choose from.
>         There is no right answer -- different students make different
> choices.
>         Just put a check in front of your choice."
>       Question:
>         I would like to work on:
>         __ Problems that aren't too hard, so I don't get many wrong.
>         __ Problems that I'll learn a lot from, even if I won't look so
> smart.
>         __ Problems that are pretty easy, so I'll do well.
>         __ Problems that I'm pretty good at, so I can show that I'm smart.
>  c) People who preferred opportunities to learn over opportunities to look
>     smart or to avoid looking dumb were unaffected by treatments designed
> to
>     increase confusion (like being asked to learn from a booklet
> containing an
>     intentionally confusing paragraph) while people who stated the other
>     preferences were quite negatively affected by the "confusion"
> treatment.
>  d) Subsequent interventional studies showed that the correlation
> described in
>     (b) survived treatments designed to shift people's beliefs and
> preferences
>     in both directions, like being asked to read appropriately crafted
> stories
>     about how recognized geniuses accomplished their intellectual feats.
> Items (b) and (d) certainly seem like they might motivate some new OH /
> Nell
> tweaks, no?
> Regards,
> Michael
> [1]: http://www.amazon.com/Self-**theories-Motivation-**
> Personality-Development-**Psychology/dp/1841690244<http://www.amazon.com/Self-theories-Motivation-Personality-Development-Psychology/dp/1841690244>
> [2]: Caroline (cc'ed) introduced it to me in response to a recent bit of
> gentle
>     provocation [5] on the part of myself, Chris, and Scott...
> [3]: http://openhatch.org
> [4]: http://lists.openhatch.org/**pipermail/devel/2010-December/**
> 001703.html<http://lists.openhatch.org/pipermail/devel/2010-December/001703.html>;
> better citations welcome
> [5]: http://cananian.livejournal.**com/66008.html<http://cananian.livejournal.com/66008.html>

Caroline Meeks
Solution Grove
Caroline at SolutionGrove.com

617-500-3488 - Office
505-213-3268 - Fax
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