Students' subjective beliefs on whether intelligence and other personal attributes (personality, creativity, emotional intelligence, morality) can be changed will affect their learning and motivational behavior. In two related studies, we examined the generality of such beliefs across different personal attributes and age groups. The first study investigated whether students who believed intelligence was inborn also believed that personality and other personal attributes were inherited and were difficult to change. The comparison of the factorial structures using confirmatory factor analyses of Chinese senior high school students' (N=574) responses to a self-constructed questionnaire suggested a high degree of generality among beliefs of various personal attributes. The second study examined the differences in these beliefs between elementary and high school students (total N=1650). A comparison of the latent factor means showed that elementary and high school students' beliefs on the changeability of different personal attributes were very similar. Older students, in comparison to younger ones, had only a slight tendency of believing more that personality, intelligence and creativity could not be changed. The results are discussed in terms of cognitive maturity and socialization processes. Copyright © 2003 Elsevier.
Statistical Factor Analysis