A Process Model of Mindsets: Re-conceptualizing Mindsets of Ability as Dynamic and Socially-Situated

de Ruiter, N. (Speaker)

Activity: Talk and presentationAcademic event Academic


Like the majority of psychological constructs, fixed mindsets and growth mindsets of ability are conceptualized as latent representations. These representations are commonly thought to generate individuals task orientation and their response to success or failure. In recent years, research concerning fixed and growth mindsets has received ample critique, largely directed at the oversimplicity of the construct and its predictive value. As a result, some have suggested that we should do away with the construct altogether. While this critique is warranted, I believe that a re-conceptualization of this construct is what the mindset field needs. In this presentation I provide such a re-conceptualization, arguing that the common (although implicit) approach to mindsets from a substance ontology limits the progress of mindset theory and its application. Contrasting this, I formulate a comprehensive theoretical model based on a process ontology: the Process Model of Mindsets (PMM). The PMM conceptualizes mindset phenomena as dynamic and socially situated, and it accounts for how mindset-related behavior, beliefs, and social interactions can become co-dependent over time. It does so by conceptualizing these elements as processes that occur on distinct but interconnected levels of a larger mindset system. Principles outlined by the CDS and enactive approaches provide clarity for how these elements emergence and become interconnected. I argue that this model clarifies conceptual issues pertaining to the common characterization of mindsets as variable and context-dependent versus stable and internally generated. The PMM has a broad explanatory scope and paves the road for future process studies of mindset phenomena.
Event titleJean Piaget Society: null
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionInternational