Shifting Beliefs in Computer Science: Change in CS Student Mindsets

Abraham E. Flanigan, Markeya S. Peteranetz, Duane F. Shell, Leen Kiat Soh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Two studies investigated change in computer science (CS) students' implicit intelligence beliefs. Across both studies, we found that the strength of incremental and entity beliefs changed across time. In Study 1, we found that incremental beliefs decreased and entity beliefs increased across the semester. Change in implicit intelligence beliefs was similar for students taking introductory and upper-division courses. In Study 2, growth curve analysis revealed a small linear change in incremental beliefs across time but no change in entity beliefs-these trends were similar for students enrolled in introductory and upper-division CS courses. Across both studies, change in implicit intelligence beliefs was not associated with academic achievement in CS. Findings provide preliminary evidence that shifts in implicit intelligence beliefs occur as students progress through the CS curriculum. Finally, findings support that mindset interventions may be more effective if delivered at the beginning of the semester before shifts in beliefs occur.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3471574
JournalACM Transactions on Computing Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • Academic motivation
  • Implicit intelligence beliefs
  • Undergraduates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Education


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