Children’s Implicit Theories of Intelligence: Its Relationships with Self-Efficacy, Goal Orientations, and Self-Regulated Learning

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Implicit theories of intelligence are beliefs about the fundamental nature of intelligence. Literature reviews suggest that children’s implicit theory of intelligence is divided into entity and incremental theories. The former is the belief that intelligence is a fixed entity, affected only modestly by efforts. In contrast, the latter is the belief that intelligence is a malleable quality; a set of knowledge and skills that improve incrementally with practice and efforts. These beliefs could have significant implications on children’s motivation and learning behavior. Specifically, children subscribe to different theories of intelligence may have different self-efficacy, adopt different learning goals and have different pattern in self-regulated learning. Such postulation, however, is still inconclusive due to scarcity of research in this area, particularly in the Malaysian context, where learning is very examination-oriented. Hence, to fill up the literature gap, there are needs to investigate the relationships between Malaysian children’s beliefs about intelligence and their self-efficacy, goal orientations as well as their usage of self-regulated learning strategies. The findings of this study have significant educational and research implications.


Keywords: Intelligence, Entity Theory, Incremental Theory, Self-Efficacy, Self-Regulated Learning
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Children’s Implicit Theories of Intelligence


Dr. Melissa Ng Lee Yen Abdullah

Lecturer, School of Educational Studies, University of Science Malaysia
Minden, Penang, Malaysia

Dr. Melissa Ng Lee Yen Abdullah is a lecturer at the School of Educational Studies, University of Science Malaysia. Her field of expertise is Educational Psychology, particularly children’s theories of intelligence, motivational beliefs and self-regulated learning. She is actively involved in numerous research projects and findings from her research have been presented in conferences and published in local as well as international journals.

Ref: L08P0073