Evaluation of a Growth Mindset Intervention in Bangladesh Secondary Schools
Last registered on July 14, 2017


Trial Information
General Information
Evaluation of a Growth Mindset Intervention in Bangladesh Secondary Schools
Initial registration date
July 11, 2017
Last updated
July 14, 2017 2:10 PM EDT

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Primary Investigator
Duke University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Belief in one’s own ability to succeed in school can have large impacts on educational investment. Growth mindset interventions, which aim to increase individuals’ perceived abilities to learn, have been shown to reverse downward grade trajectories among low performing students in the United States. Despite evidence for their potential success in developing countries, no such intervention has been tested. This randomized trial will test whether a growth mindset intervention changes grade trajectories for secondary school students in Bangladesh, and by use of a novel placebo design, will increase our understanding of the mechanisms behind growth mindset's effects.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Polley, Thomas. 2017. "Evaluation of a Growth Mindset Intervention in Bangladesh Secondary Schools." AEA RCT Registry. July 14. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2321/history/19454
Experimental Details
4 weekly 1-hour sessions led by trained teachers from outside the study school.
(Sample: students in levels 6, 7 and 8 in two large secondary schools in Dhaka city)

Growth mindset sessions:
Sessions will be interactive lectures designed to teach the core concepts of growth mindset to students. These concepts include basic brain anatomy/function, plasticity of the brain (the brain can physically become stronger and more efficient when you work on learning new things), discussion of the value of effort/grit, strategies for coping with challenges and failure (re-framing, trying new strategies, working with others, etc...) and study skills (concept based learning, practice, etc...).
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
6 monthly math quizzes (3 pre, 3 post), written and graded by our team. Attendance and other grades provided by the schools.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
1000 students in levels 6, 7 and 8 from 2 large secondary schools in Dhaka city will be randomly assigned to the treatment, placebo or control condition. For one hour per week, over the first 4 weeks of the fall semester, students will participate in 1 hour intervention sessions according to their assignment. Students assigned to treatment will receive a traditional growth mindset treatment, those in the placebo group will receive a modified version designed to help disentangle the mechanisms behind growth mindset, and students in the control group will get supervised study time.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Office computer, stratifying on key covariates identified in baseline data.
Randomization Unit

We randomize at the student level, then separate students by assignment and treat them in groups. However this is not a traditional clustered randomized trial where clusters are endogenously formed. Also note, students will only remain in these "clusters" during treatment then will return to their usual classroom assignments. (thus i have chosen not clustered below)
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Outcome: Monthly Math quizzes (max score, 25 points). MDE: 0.3 points, 0.06 SD, 1.2% Note: This is about one third the size of effects reported in previous growth mindset studies.
IRB Name
Duke University Campus Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number