A study published in 2016 in the Journal of Educational Psychology looks at the impact of “struggle stories” on success in science. Students who think that success in science is only possible with exceptional talent may become unmotivated and, for example, turn away from the idea of studying science in college. In this study, 402 students in ninth and tenth grades (Year 10 and 11) in New York City schools read one of three kinds of story about an eminent scientist who struggled intellectually (eg, made mistakes and overcame them through effort), struggled personally (eg, was poor or lacked parental support, but overcame it), or made great discoveries (a control condition, without struggle).

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