The most recent publications appear first.

We study the long-term effects of a psychological intervention on longitudinal academic outcomes and degree completion of college students. All freshmen at a large public university were randomized to an online growth mindset, belonging, or control group. We tracked students’ academic outcomes including GPA, number of credits attempted and earned, major choices, and degree completion. We found no evidence of longitudinal academic treatment effects in the full sample. However, the mindset treatment improved term GPAs for Latinx students and the probability for Pell-eligible and Latinx students to major in selective majors. We also found no evidence of increased rates of on-time graduation, however, the treatment raised the probability to graduate with selective majors in four years, especially for Latinx students.

This research snapshot summarizes a project led by Michael Broda as part of the National Study of Learning Mindsets Early Career Fellowship. The project uses multilevel latent profile analysis to identify distinct learning profiles based on students' mathematics anxiety, interest, and achievement. The role of teachers' mathmatics anxiety and view of mathematics instruction is also examined.

Light-touch social psychological interventions have gained considerable attention for their potential to improve academic outcomes for underrepresented and/or disadvantaged students in postsecondary education. While findings from previous interventions have demonstrated positive effects for racial and ethnic minority and first-generation students in small samples, few interventions have been implemented at a larger scale with more heterogeneous student populations. To address this research gap, 7,686 students, representing more than 90% of incoming first-year students at a large Midwestern public university, were randomly assigned to an online growth mindset intervention, social belonging intervention, or a comparison group. Results suggest that after the fall semester, the growth mindset intervention significantly improved grade point averages for Latino/a students by about .40 points. This represents a 72% reduction in the GPA gap between White and Latino/a students. Further, this effect was replicated for both spring semester GPA and cumulative GPA. These findings indicate that light-touch interventions may be a minimally invasive approach to improving academic outcomes for underrepresented students. The findings also highlight the complexity of implementing customized belonging interventions in heterogeneous contexts.

This study explores how often students are engaged in their science classes and their affective states during these times. The researchers worked with 7,000 high school students in the United States and Finland. Results show that when students are challenged in their classes and are appropriately skilled they are more likely to feel confident, successful, and happy during specific science classes as well as in other academic classes. When students experience more times of optimal learning in their science classes they are more likely to report that they perceive science as important to them and their futures. Females, however, report being more stressed in their science classes than males.