In Brief: Exploring the mechanisms of self-sabotage

In Brief

Exploring the mechanisms of self-sabotage

Published: March, 2008

A study suggests that how people react to success or failure depends not so much on their performance, but rather on their underlying beliefs about intelligence.

Researchers at the University of Toronto and the University of Washington first used a questionnaire to determine the degree to which 118 undergraduate participants viewed their skills and capabilities as fixed (a belief the authors label the "entity theory") or malleable (the "incremental theory"). The students then took a computerized test, which they were told was designed to measure a particular type of intelligence. Researchers pretended to score the test, but in fact all students were ranked in the 61st percentile.

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