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Growth mindset and accepting responsibility

People with a growth mindset find it easier to accept responsibility for their transgressions.

Who Accepts Responsibility for Their Transgressions?

Schumann & Dweck (2014)

Abstract: After committing an offense, transgressors can optimize their chances of reconciling with the victim by accepting responsibility. However, transgressors may be motivated to avoid admitting fault because it can feel threatening to accept blame for harmful behavior. Who, then, is likely to accept responsibility for a transgression? We examined how implicit theories of personality—whether people see personality as malleable (incremental theory) or fixed (entity theory)—influence transgressors’ likelihood of accepting responsibility. We argue that incremental theorists may feel less threatened by accepting responsibility because they are more likely to view the situation as an opportunity for them to grow as a person and develop their relationship with the victim. We found support for our predictions across four studies using a combination of real-world and hypothetical offenses, and correlational and experimental methods. These studies therefore identify an important individual difference factor that can lead to more effective responses from transgressors.

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Mindfulness: protective factor in controlling work environments

Mindfulness, Work Climate, and Psychological Need Satisfaction in Employee Well-being

Schultz et al. (2014)

Abstract: The present study investigated how both mindfulness and managerial autonomy support affect work adjustment. Two hundred and fifty-nine working adults were recruited online, and they were assessed for individual differences in mindfulness and the autonomy-supportive versus controlling style of their management at work. Also assessed were indicators of work-related adjustment, namely, burnout, turnover intention, and absenteeism. Results showed that both autonomy support and mindfulness had direct relations with employee work well-being. Less autonomy-supportive work climates thwarted employee’s basic psychological needs at work, which partially explained the association of lower autonomy support at work and decreased work adjustment. These indirect effects were moderated by mindfulness. Specifically, people higher in mindfulness were less likely to feel need frustration, even in unsupportive managerial environments. Mindfulness thus appears to act as a protective factor in controlling work environments. These results not only highlight mindfulness as a potential pathway to wellness at the workplace, but also speak to the relevance of autonomy support in work environments in promoting employee work well-being.

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Walking stimulates creativity

Walking stimulates creativityGive Your Ideas Some Legs: The Positive Effect of Walking on Creative Thinking
Marily Oppezzo and Daniel L. Schwartz


Abstract: Four experiments demonstrate that walking boosts creative ideation in real time and shortly after. In Experiment 1, while seated and then when walking on a treadmill, adults completed Guilford’s alternate uses (GAU) test of creative divergent thinking and the compound remote associates (CRA) test of convergent thinking. Walking increased 81% of participants’ creativity on the GAU, but only increased 23% of participants’ scores for the CRA. In Experiment 2, participants completed the GAU when seated and then walking, when walking and then seated, or when seated twice. Again, walking led to higher GAU scores. Moreover, when seated after walking, participants exhibited a residual creative boost. Experiment 3 generalized the prior effects to outdoor walking. Experiment 4 tested the effect of walking on creative analogy generation. Participants sat inside, walked on a treadmill inside, walked outside, or were rolled outside in a wheelchair. Walking outside produced the most novel and highest quality analogies. The effects of outdoor stimulation and walking were separable. Walking opens up the free flow of ideas, and it is a simple and robust solution to the goals of increasing creativity and increasing physical activity

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Interest drives performance

Interest drives performanceHere is a new article which supports what I said in this article, namely that interest drives performance:


The role of interest in optimizing performance and self-regulation

Paul A. O’Keefe & Lisa Linnenbrink-Garcia



  • Task performance was optimized when affect- and value-related interest were high.
  • Depletion was also minimized when affect- and value-related interest were high.
  • Interest supports effective and efficient engagement without depleting resources.
  • Results underscore the importance of interest as a motivational variable.

Click here to read more »

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The negative effects of needs thwarting

Selfdetermination theory shows that people have basic psycological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness. These basic needs are universal (people of every culture have them) and present throughout life. In a new article Maarten Vansteenkiste and Richard Ryan say that the satisfaction of these basic needs is related to well-being and resilience. The frustration of these needs evokes feelings of ill-being and creates behavioral and psychological problems. The figure below (which I have very slightly adapted based on the text) summarizes the negative effects of the basic needs not being satisfied:  Click here to read more »

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Basic psychological needs, intrinsic motivation, and academic achievement

School Culture, Basic Psychological Needs, Intrinsic Motivation and Academic Achievement: Testing a Casual Model

Badri et al. (2014)

Abstract: Culture is s common system of believes, values and artifacts that the members of a society use it in their relations, and it transfers from one generation to another. The school culture is a system of norms, meanings and values between school members. One of STD (self-determination theory) components is basic psychological needs that emphasizes on Relatedness, Competence and Autonomy to accomplish the motivation. Motivation involves the processes that energize, direct, and sustain behavior. It seems that school culture, basic psychological needs and motivation has immense effect on academic achievement. The purpose of the present research was to examine the relation between students’ perceived school culture, basic psychological needs, intrinsic motivation and academic achievement in a causal model. 296 high school students (159 females and 137 males) in Tabriz, north – west of Iran, participated in this research and completed the students’ perceived school culture questionnaire based on Hofstede’s cultural dimensions (femininity, uncertainty avoidance, collectivism and power distance), basic psychological needs and intrinsic motivation. The results of the path analysis showed that fulfillment of basic psychological needs and intrinsic motivation has positive effect on academic achievement. Uncertainty avoidance and power distance have also negative effect on fulfillment of psychological needs, but the influence of femininity on this variable was positive. Also, collectivism has no significant effect on it. In general, the findings showed that if school culture supports students’ autonomy, they will experience fulfillment of their basic psychological needs, and attain higher intrinsic motivation and academic achievement.

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Teacher’s autonomy support predicts students’ autonomy and vitality

autonomy supportThe relationship between teacher’s autonomy support and students’ autonomy and vitality

Núñez et al. (2014) 

Abstract: What makes a student feel vital and energetic? Using the self-determination framework, we analyzed how the behavior and feelings of students depend on social factors such as the teachers’ attitudes. The goal of the study was to test an integrated sequence over a semester in which teacher’s autonomy support acts as a predictor of autonomy, which, in turn, predicts changes in vitality. Data were collected at three time points from 216 university students who completed the instruments during a semester. Using structural equation modeling, we obtained evidence for the hypothesized model. Implications and future perspectives are discussed. This study suggests that if teachers promote choice, minimize pressure to perform tasks in a certain way, and encourage initiative, in contrast to a controlling environment, characterized by deadlines, external rewards, or potential punishments, they will provide students with interesting experiences that are full of excitement and positive energy.

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Positive stereotypes can hinder performance too

Positive stereotypesWho is good at this game? Linking an activity to a social category undermines children’s achievement

A. Cimpian, Y. Mu Y, & L.C. Erickson (2014)


Abstract: Children’s achievement-related theories have a profound impact on their academic success. Children who adopt entity theories believe that their ability to perform a task is dictated by the amount of natural talent they possess for that task–a belief that has well-documented adverse consequences for their achievement (e.g., lowered persistence, impaired performance). It is thus important to understand what leads children to adopt entity theories. In the experiments reported here, we hypothesized that the mere act of linking success at an unfamiliar, challenging activity to a social group gives rise to entity beliefs that are so powerful as to interfere with children’s ability to perform the activity. Two experiments showed that, as predicted, the performance of 4- to 7-year-olds (N = 192) was impaired by exposure to information that associated success in the task at hand with membership in a certain social group (e.g., “boys are good at this game”), regardless of whether the children themselves belonged to that group.


Also read: Even positive stereotypes can hinder performance

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Congruence in progress focused work

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Saying ‘no’ effectively

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