Poster B27, Sunday, March 26, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Effects of intelligence mindset on performance are mediated by dlPFC and caudate
Christina Bejjani1, Samantha DePasque2, Jamil Bhanji3, Elizabeth Tricomi3; 1Duke University, 2UCLA, 3Rutgers University, Newark
Intelligence mindset (i.e., individual beliefs about whether intelligence is a fluid or fixed trait) has been associated with academic achievement and motivation, yet the neural mechanisms through which it affects learning remain poorly understood. We have found that intelligence mindset predicts performance and striatal activation during a paired-associate word-learning task that manipulated the predictability of feedback receipt. These relationships were particularly salient for participants whose competence had previously been threatened via a low score on a purported IQ test. For those with fixed views of intelligence, who believe that their performance reflects their abilities in an unchangeable way, a competence threat may result in maladaptive learning strategies, particularly when faced with the threat of failure induced by negative feedback. Here, we examined the neural correlates driving the performance effects associated with intelligence mindset. BOLD activity within the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and caudate head mediated the extent to which participants respectively learned from negative and positive feedback. When feedback receipt was intermittent, those with fixed views of intelligence tended to recruit the dlPFC and caudate more than when feedback receipt was definite. Our results suggest a context-dependency for learning strategy and recruitment of attentional resources as guided by intelligence mindset. Understanding more about the role of feedback context in learning has important implications for interventions focused on improving educational outcomes through the promotion of fluid intelligence mindsets.
Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Emotion-cognition interactions