Theories of Intelligence Influence Self-Regulated Study Choices and Learning

Yaoping Peng, Jonathan G. Tullis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In student-regulated instruction, guiding one's study effectively and efficiently is crucial for successful learning. Yet, significant variability exists in how effectively learners regulate their own study. Here, we explored whether and how beliefs about the nature of intelligence affect learners' metacognitive control and ultimately the efficacy of their study choices. We manipulated learners' theories of intelligence across two experiments. Learners then studied a list of words for a later memory test, chose half of the words to restudy, and restudied their chosen items. Learners who were persuaded to believe intelligence was malleable chose to restudy more poorly learned items and ultimately learned more than learners who were persuaded to believe intelligence was fixed. Learners' underlying beliefs about the nature of intelligence may affect learners' goals and ultimately their metacognitive control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes



  • Metacognition
  • Metacognitive control
  • Metacognitive monitoring
  • Self-regulated learning
  • Theory of intelligence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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