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Self-theories of intelligence of engineering students

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A questionnaire is developed to gauge the disposition of students towards either an incremental (malleable) or entity (fixed) view of intelligence. The relationships between this self-belief and views on group work/learning and creativity are also evaluated using the questionnaire. Attention is also given to any relationship which may exist between an intelligence self-belief and the general student receptivity to courses which address issues on personal and social awareness, i.e. tuition in psychology principles. The results of the study indicate that there is considerable variation in the self-beliefs of intelligence of the sample group considered, and that an incremental view of intelligence is more likely to lead to favourable views of the benefits of group (team) work and some psychological understanding, as well as a more optimistic view of, and nurture orientation towards, the creative potential in a science and engineering context. Thus, in terms of the transferable skills training of engineering students, the findings suggest that opportunities to re-address any fixed (limiting) self-beliefs may improve the efficacy of any subsequent skills training programme.
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Keywords: Intelligence; Self-beliefs; Self-theories

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Graduate School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, and the Graduate School of Life Sciences and Medicine, Imperial College London, Mezzanine (Level 5), Sherfield Building, South Kensington Campus, London, SW7 2AZ, UK 2: School of Psychology and Human Development, Institute of Education, University of London, 25 Woburn Square, London, WC1H 0AA, UK

Publication date: 2006-05-01

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