Can a growth mindset intervention reduce the gender gap in challenge-seeking behavior and competitiveness?

Last registered on March 10, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

Can a growth mindset intervention reduce the gender gap in challenge-seeking behavior and competitiveness?
Initial registration date
March 09, 2021

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
March 10, 2021, 9:37 AM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.


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Primary Investigator

Stanford University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
I explore the effect of a growth mindset intervention on female attitudes towards challenges and competitions, and how they can affect women's choices of educational attainment, college major, and career path.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Trindade Ribeiro, Ana. 2021. "Can a growth mindset intervention reduce the gender gap in challenge-seeking behavior and competitiveness?." AEA RCT Registry. March 10.
Experimental Details


In this project, I use an online growth mindset intervention to foster challenge-seeking and competitive behavior, adapted to Portuguese from Yeager et al. (2016), Yeager et al. (2019), and Bettinger et al. (2018). The growth mindset content was delivered online to participants as part of a study about challenge-seeking and competitive behavior.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Choices over the level of challenge and competition of an incentivized task.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
This is a small study designed to test the potential of an online growth mindset intervention for changing behavior regarding challenges and competition. This design includes three rounds of online activities, with incentives for completion as well as real-effort tasks.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization was done by the survey platform, Qualtrics, as subjects logged in to the second phase of this study.
Randomization Unit
Randomization was stratified by gender, assigning treatment status randomly to each individual.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
323 participants enrolled in the first phase of this study, 184 women and 139 men.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
50% of female participants and 50% of male participants completing phase 2 of the study.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Due to high attrition between phases, this study expects to be underpowered for detecting changes in the self-reported growth mindset measures (typical MDES=0.3). Considering baseline measures of choices for competition pooling both women and men in the study (0.38), this study is expected to be sufficiently powered for an MDES of 0.2p.p. for the treatment group. Considering baseline measures of female choices for competition, this study is sufficiently powered to find an increase of at least 0.25p.p. on competition choices by women in the treatment group, closing a substantial portion of the gender gap found at baseline (0.31p.p.). Since we do not have a baseline measure of the challenge-seeking choice exercise used in phase 3, we can only estimate the ranges of MDES associated with the intervention. For the entire sample, MDES ranges include 15p.p. for a control mean of 0.1, 20p.p. for a control mean of 0.5, and 0.08p.p. for a control mean of 0.9. For the sample of women, in particular, MDES ranges include 22p.p., 27p.p., and 18p.p. for control means of 0.1, 0.5, and 0.8 respectively.

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Stanford University
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number