2024 Undergraduate Research Showcase

From Growth to Fixed Mindset: The Impact of Motivational Mindsets and Success Criterion on Motor Learning and Performance

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Mariane Bacelar


OPTIMAL theory states that providing an individual with an easier criterion of success increases learners’ expectations for future success, which leads to improved motor learning. Thus, practitioners may be prompted to design less challenging training sessions to increase learners’ successful experiences. However, perception of success may depend on one’s motivational mindset. Individuals with a fixed mindset perceive skills as inherent and view failure as an indication that they will never succeed whereas individuals with a growth mindset perceive skills as achievable and see challenges as an opportunity to reach success. To investigate the effect of motivational mindset and success criteria on motor learning, in this study, participants will perform a shuffleboard task under an easier and more difficult criteria. Self-reported measures of motivational mindset and performance accuracy will be collected to assess mindset and motor learning, respectively. We predict that participants with a fixed mindset will show better motor learning when presented with an easier criterion and participants with a growth mindset will show improved motor learning when presented with a more difficult criterion. Additionally, we will collect participants’ brain activity during the practice phase to gain insights into the neural processes that may underlie learning under different success criteria.

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