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Struggle Narratives: Stories of Scientists' Struggles Model How to Persist Despite Repeated Failure

Sun, April 19, 12:25 to 1:55pm, Virtual Room


Repeated experimental failure is a critical learning opportunity in the scientific process, yet students often experience such failures as demotivating. In a randomized control experiment, we compared how two interventions designed to model lessons on Growth Mindset (Dweck, 2008) or the Scientist Struggles intervention (Lin et al., 2016) influenced student attempts to learn more after experiencing repeated experimental failure. Our findings suggest that the Scientist Struggles intervention decreased the frequency with which students quit before finishing an experiment and increased student attempts to learn more in the face of repeated failures, while the Growth Mindset intervention did not. Discussion examines the implications of the Scientist Struggles intervention as an educational strategy to increase student attempts to learn despite repeated failure.