This study examined the effect of mindsets on athletic performance and persistence in college athletes. The present study consisted of two phases. First, a survey was administered to 75 participants (32 males, 43 females). The survey consisted of an eight-part questionnaire assessing mindset category and another eight-part questionnaire measuring persistence levels. Additionally, the survey included several questions on overall skill level and devotion to athletics. Next, 40 of the same participants (19 males, 21 females) chose to take part in the intervention phase. First, these participants completed a simple basketball shooting task, which was followed by a growth mindset intervention. Then, the participants completed the same athletic performance task in hopes of seeing improvements in shots made and demonstrations of persistence. It was hypothesized that growth mindset individuals would perform better and demonstrate more persistence initially but that fixed mindset individuals would improve the most in those categories. The findings suggested that growth mindset individuals did not demonstrate better performance nor more persistence prior to the intervention. Additionally, although there was an overall improvement in athletic performance following the intervention, the fixed mindset individuals did not improve any more than the growth mindset individuals. Lastly, although it would be expected that fixed mindset individuals would demonstrate more persistence than growth mindset individuals following the intervention, this effect was not found.


Clayton, Susan






mindsets, athletics, growth mindset, intervention, persistence

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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