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Theories of Intelligence

The article ‘Theories of Intelligence’ throws light upon the differences between the entity theory and the incremental theory and come up with the conclusion that incremental theory is better for the betterment of students. The authors went through a couple of studies in order to come up with the right conclusion. The authors found out that those who enter junior high with incremental theory of intelligence would more likely doubt their intellectual abilities as their workload and pressure would increase.

They also found out that those who would enter junior high with a mindset of entity theory would believe in themselves more and would have lesser feeling of anxiety regarding their school work and achievements. In their article they closely followed the study carried out by Henderson and Dweck, 1990. In their study they had chosen children who had just entered their seventh grade to find out the realities of the predictions made by the incremental and entity theorists. According to them this was the time when the grades become stringent and the class tasks become tougher.

This is the real time when the intelligence level of the students can be best tested. Students were made to choose between two statements, one, which related to the incremental theory and other that related to the entity theory. Their performances were observed over a period of time. They found that those students whose viewpoints were in lieu with the entity theory and those who felt very confident with their intelligence were not able to score as well as they used to do in their earlier classes.

Surprisingly it was found that the students who were in doubt about their competence did better. Thus the findings revealed that the incremental theory stimulates a sense of perseverance in students and they want to achieve mastery over something that they are not confident of, whereas the entity theory fills a student with overconfidence which is detrimental for ones growth. The article also mentions other studies that came up with similar results. Hence according to the article, confidence is not the only factor that can guarantee the desired results.

Students of entity theory had performance goal whereas the children believing in the incremental theory had the learning goal, which took them to better positions in their exams. Underachievement lowered the self-esteem of the entity theorists while increased the same of incremental theorists when they reached their college. This article propagates the idea that the educationists should narrow the gap between performances by encouraging the students to believe in the incremental theory in order to be successful.

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