Person Versus Process Praise and Criticism: Implications for Contingent Self-Worth and Coping

Published on Jan 1, 1999in Developmental Psychology3.34
· DOI :10.1037/0012-1649.35.3.835
Melissa L. Kamins1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Columbia University),
Carol S. Dweck76
Estimated H-index: 76
(Columbia University)
Conventional wisdom suggests that praising a child as a whole or praising his or her traits is beneficial. Two studies tested the hypothesis that both criticism and praise that conveyed person or trait judgments could send a message of contingent worth and undermine subsequent coping. In Study 1, 67 children (ages 5-6 years) role-played tasks involving a setback and received 1 of 3 forms of criticism after each task: person, outcome, or process criticism. In Study 2, 64 children role-played successful tasks and received either person, outcome, or process praise. In both studies, self-assessments, affect, and persistence were measured on a subsequent task involving a setback. Results indicated that children displayed significantly more "helpless" responses (including self-blame) on all dependent measures after person criticism or praise than after process criticism or praise. Thus person feedback, even when positive, can create vulnerability and a sense of contingent self-worth.
  • References (56)
  • Citations (424)
Published on Aug 7, 2001
Joanne A. Joseph1
Estimated H-index: 1
Foreword Preface Acknowledgments Self-Esteem Resilience Sizing Up Your Child Promoting Self-Esteem and Resilience: The Role of Parenting Stories: A Natural Way to Teach Resilient Values and Attitudes Teaching Children to Cope: The Role of Relaxation, Nutrition, and Exercise Teaching Children to Think Constructively Teaching Children to Make Good Decisions Cultivating Social Skills in Your Child Summing It All Up Bibliography Appendix 1: Suggested Readings Appendix 2: Sample Behavioral Contract A...
Published on Jan 1, 1998in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology5.92
Benjamin M. Dykman11
Estimated H-index: 11
Attempts to predict depression from a strictly cognitive perspective have met with limited success. A goal-orientation model is proposed that integrates motivational and cognitive factors in attempting to explain and predict depression. The model proposes that people differ in their goal orientation, with some people being more validation seeking (VS) and others being more growth seeking (GS). The model predicts that compared with GS persons, VS persons will show greater anxiety in anticipation ...
Published on Jan 1, 1998in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology5.92
Claudia M. Mueller1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Columbia University),
Carol S. Dweck76
Estimated H-index: 76
(Columbia University)
Praise for ability is commonly considered to have beneficial effects on motivation. Contrary to this popular belief, six studies demonstrated that praise for intelligence had more negative consequences for students' achievement motivation than praise for effort. Fifth graders praised for intelligence were found to care more about performance goals relative to learning goals than children praised for effort. After failure, they also displayed less task persistence, less task enjoyment, more lowab...
Published on Jan 1, 1997in Developmental Psychology3.34
Erdley Ca1
Estimated H-index: 1
(UMaine: University of Maine),
Kathleen M. Cain5
Estimated H-index: 5
(Gettysburg College)
+ 2 AuthorsCarol S. Dweck76
Estimated H-index: 76
(Columbia University)
Two studies examined children's thought patterns in relation to their responses to social challenge. In Study 1, 4th and 5th graders tried out for a pen pal club under either a performance goal (stressing the evaluative nature of the tryout) or a learning goal (emphasizing the potential learning opportunities). In their behavior and attributions following rejection, children who were focused on a performance goal reacted with more helplessness, whereas children given a learning goal displayed a ...
Published on Jan 1, 1997in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology5.92
Andrew J. Elliot79
Estimated H-index: 79
(UR: University of Rochester),
Marcy A. Church5
Estimated H-index: 5
(UR: University of Rochester)
A hierarchical model of approach and avoidance achievement motivation was proposed and tested in a college classroom. Mastery, performance-approach, and performance-avoidance goals were assessed and their antecedents and consequences examined. Results indicated that mastery goals were grounded in achievement motivation and high competence expectancies; performance-avoidance goals, in fear of failure and low competence expectancies; and performance-approach goals, in ach.ievement motivation, fear...
Published on Dec 1, 1995in Child Development5.02
Karen Klein Burhans1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Columbia University),
Carol S. Dweck76
Estimated H-index: 76
(Columbia University)
This article presents an expanded view of the bases of helpless reactions to failure. This view stems from recent findings of helplessness in young children. Previous formulations have stressed the attainment of invariant trait conceptions as a necessary condition for helplessness to occur and have suggested that children are relatively invulnerable to helplessness prior to this attainment. We review a series of studies documenting that key aspects of helplessness are present in preschool and ea...
Published on Oct 1, 1995in Psychological Inquiry10.27
Carol S. Dweck76
Estimated H-index: 76
(Columbia University),
Chi-yue Chiu48
Estimated H-index: 48
Ying-yi Hong21
Estimated H-index: 21
In this target article, we present evidence for a new model of individual differences in judgments and reactions. The model holds that people's implicit theories about human attributes structure the way they understand and react to human actions and outcomes. We review research showing that when people believe that attributes (such as intelligence or moral character) are fixed, trait-like entities (an entity theory), they tend to understand outcomes and actions in terms of these fixed traits ("I...
Published on Dec 1, 1994in Child Development5.02
Patricia A. Smiley7
Estimated H-index: 7
(Pomona College),
Carol S. Dweck76
Estimated H-index: 76
(Columbia University)
Smiley, Patricia A., and Dweck, Carol S. Individual Differences in Achievement Goals among Young Children. Child Development, 1994 65, 1723–1743. Developmental research has generally not found evidence of helpless responses to failure in young children; a prevailing view is that young children lack the cognitive prerequisite for helplessness. However, recent evidence suggests that even preschoolers are vulnerable to helplessness in some situations. In the present study with 4- and 5-year-olds, w...
Published on Jan 1, 1994
Dale H. Schunk72
Estimated H-index: 72
(Purdue University)
A camp light holder including a telescoping shaft, structure including a substantially flat member extending transversely of the shaft at the bottom thereof and at least one elongated sharpened member for securing the shaft in an upright position on the ground, bail means removably secured to the top of the shaft for supporting a camper's gas lamp and reflecting means operably associated with the bail means for directing the light from the gas lamp. A clamp is provided in one modification of the...
Cited By424
Published on Dec 1, 2019in Cognition3.54
Kelsey Lucca2
Estimated H-index: 2
(ASU: Arizona State University),
Rachel O. Horton1
Estimated H-index: 1
(UW: University of Washington),
Jessica A. Sommerville23
Estimated H-index: 23
(U of T: University of Toronto)
Abstract Infants’ persistence in the face of challenges predicts their learning across domains. In older children, linguistic input is an important predictor of persistence: when children are praised for their efforts, as opposed to fixed traits, they try harder on future endeavors. Yet, little is known about the impact of linguistic input as individual differences in persistence are first emerging, during infancy. Based on a preliminary investigation of the CHILDES database, which revealed that...
Silvia Moscatelli8
Estimated H-index: 8
(UNIBO: University of Bologna),
Francesca Prati12
Estimated H-index: 12
(University of Oxford),
Monica Rubini20
Estimated H-index: 20
(UNIBO: University of Bologna)
This research examined whether linguistic abstraction in group-directed criticisms moderates the intergroup sensitivity effect. Study 1 (N = 76) showed that criticisms coming from an out-group memb...
Published on Sep 9, 2019in Child Development5.02
Julia A. Leonard9
Estimated H-index: 9
(MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology),
Andrea Garcia (MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Laura Schulz26
Estimated H-index: 26
(MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Published on Jul 22, 2019in Journal of Youth and Adolescence3.26
Kazuhiro Ohtani2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Hokkaido University),
Kou Murayama26
Estimated H-index: 26
(University of Reading)
+ 5 AuthorsAyumi Tanaka3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Dodai: Doshisha University)
Adolescents’ depressive symptoms are affected by a number of factors including life stress, gender, socio-economic status, and parental depression symptoms. However, little is known about whether adolescent depressive symptoms are also affected by parental motivational characteristics. The current study explores the relationship between parental motivational perseverance (i.e., parents’ persistency in the face of setbacks and difficulties) and children’s depressive symptoms during the adolescenc...
Published on Jan 26, 2019in International Journal of Advertising2.23
Tong (Tony) Bao (LIU: Long Island University), Tung-lung Steven Chang (LIU: Long Island University)+ 1 AuthorsSue H. Moon (SUNY: State University of New York System)
AbstractLeading digital technology companies have shown a strong interest in enabling children to send electronic word of mouth (eWOM). Recasting children from passive to active participants in marketing communications, this shift expands children’s marketing practices from how companies influence children via traditional marketing communications, to how children influence companies’ marketing practices through eWOM. We apply the value-capacity-vulnerability framework for children’s expressive r...
Published on May 13, 2019in Journal of Research in Childhood Education
Saskia Ferrar2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Concordia University),
Dale M. Stack24
Estimated H-index: 24
(Concordia University)
+ 3 AuthorsAlex E. Schwartzman29
Estimated H-index: 29
(Concordia University)
ABSTRACTThe present study examined mothers’ responses to their at-risk preschool-age children’s (N = 156) successful and unsuccessful attempts during a puzzle task. Associations between mothers’ responses and the children’s ecological context, as well as children’s cognitive and academic abilities at two subsequent time points (ages 6–11, and 9–13 years), were examined. Maternal responses to children’s successful attempts included process praise, person praise, and neutral acknowledgments. Respo...
Published on Sep 17, 2018in European Journal of Psychology of Education1.53
Xiaoxia Huang (Western Kentucky University), Jie Zhang (UH: University of Houston), Laura Hudson
This study tested a proposed model consisting of mathematics anxiety, mathematics self-efficacy, and implicit theories of intelligence in predicting mathematics and science career interest in middle school students, while controlling for student math level. One hundred fifty-two seventh-grade students in a middle school in the USA participated in the study. Results revealed both similarities and differences on the relation among the intended variables by gender. The path analyses showed that, fo...
Published on May 30, 2018in Journal of Educational Computing Research1.54
Xiaoxia Huang5
Estimated H-index: 5
(Western Kentucky University),
Richard E. Mayer98
Estimated H-index: 98
(UCSB: University of California, Santa Barbara)
This study investigated the effectiveness of adding four self-efficacy features to an online statistics lesson, based on Bandura’s four sources of self-efficacy information. In a randomized between-subjects experiment, participants learned statistical rules in an example-based online environment with four self-efficacy features added (treatment group) or not (control group). Results of analyses of variance showed that the treatment group performed better on practice (d = 0.36), retention (d = 0....
Sara Gundersen1
Estimated H-index: 1
Michael McKay
Abstract Using the 2011 round of the Africa Program for Education Impact Evaluation Survey, we examine the prevalence of corporal punishment and praise in both school and home settings. We find that corporal punishment is highly prevalent, with 70% of students reporting that their teachers engaged in corporal punishment and 11.7% of students reporting being beaten themselves the day before the survey was given. Beating is more prevalent in high quality schools and is associated with lower fourth...