Growing a Growth Mindset in the Introductory Course: Design, Pilot Testing, and Implementation of a Communication Mindset Intervention

Karin Nordin

Major Professor: Melissa A. Broeckelman-Post, PhD, Department of Communication

Committee Members: Xiaoquan Zhao, Sojung C. Kim, Angela Miller

Off-Campus Location,
March 30, 2021, 03:00 PM to 05:00 PM


This dissertation describes the formative research, development, pilot testing and main test of a communication mindset intervention. Built on theoretical foundations in educational psychology, communication education, and instructional communication, this work extends Carol Dweck’s original work on Mindset Theory into the social domain. Three studies are included. In study one, the communication mindset intervention was developed and tested, and results showed the mindset of students in the activity condition improved after exposure. In study two, the intervention was tested as part of an introductory communication course, and both the activity and video intervention resulted in improved outcomes. Finally, in study three, structural equation modeling was used to examine the ways mindset and other variables impacted engagement and subsequently performance in the introductory communication course. Theoretical implications and practical application are discussed.