Self-compassion mindsets can predict statistics course performance via intelligence mindsets and statistics anxiety


One consistent impediment to college students' performance in statistics courses is statistics anxiety. However, people who endorse intelligence growth mindsets report lower statistics anxiety and achieve higher grades. We examined whether adopting a self-compassion growth mindset was an antecedent to an intelligence growth mindset, reduced statistics anxiety, and ultimately, lead to better grades. Ninety undergraduate students who took an Introductory Research Methods and Statistics course at a mid-south university reported their implicit theories of self-compassion and intelligence, statistics anxiety, and demographic information twice during the semester. Final grade percentages were obtained directly from the course instructor after the semester concluded. The results demonstrated a serial indirect effect of self-compassion growth mindset affecting the final grade received, first through intelligence growth mindset and then through statistics anxiety. Alternative serial indirect effect models were conducted, but none were significant. Implications of these results for the broader implicit theories, statistics anxiety literature, and education were discussed.

Publication Title

Learning and Individual Differences