Gunderson et al 2013 study

Have you ever felt like it's truly important for your efforts to be recognised if you are to succeed? This is quite a common feeling, and it's the basis of Gundersen et al. (2013) study. Gundersen wanted to learn more about how the type of praise a young child receives affects their motivation to learn and improve, specifically how praise can affect a child's motivational framework and how different types of praise can elicit different responses.

Gunderson et al 2013 study Gunderson et al 2013 study

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Contents
Table of contents
    • In this explanation, we will explore the Parent Praise to 1-3 Year-Olds Predicts Children’s Motivational Frameworks 5 Years Later study to see if and how types of praise received in childhood affect later abilities and attitudes.
    • To start, we will look at the aim of the Gunderson et al. (2013) study, moving on to the Gunderson et al. (2013) study procedure and findings.
    • After discussing what was done and found in the study, we will have a quick recap of the summary of the Gunderson et al. (2013) study to consolidate what we have learned.
    • And to finish, we will cover the Gunderson et al. (2013) study evaluation points.

    Gunderson et al 2013 study, father opening arms to hug child, StudySmarterResearch has found that how parents praise their children affects the later attitudes and abilities that they develop, created by pch.vector- freepik.com.

    Parent Praise to 1-3 Year-Olds Predicts Children’s Motivational Frameworks 5 Years Later study.

    As we are all well aware, the environment we grow up in influences our later behaviour, and our role models play a special part in this. Gunderson et al. (2013) suggested that the type of praise a child receives affects how a child combats setbacks and reacts to challenging tasks. Before we look at the study, let's discuss the different types of praise and how they relate to motivational frameworks.

    Person versus processes praise

    The two different types of praise are person praise and process praise.

    Person praise focuses on praising the individual and their ability when a task is completed. Process praise focuses on how well the individual performed during the task and the effort they put in.

    Person praise may lead a child to believe that they have or lack some essential abilities and can affect later behaviour.

    For example, a child regularly praised for schoolwork and good grades early on in their education may feel as if they are gifted and not study so hard. They may have difficulties later on when effort becomes more important than innate ability. Although innate ability will get you far, the ability to study becomes very important later on in education.

    If they fail, they will think it is a personal failing; this is called an entity motivational framework, a fixed mindset.

    Process praise focuses on complimenting the individual based on the effort they make during the process rather than the end result. It acknowledges that anyone can do a good job if they put in the effort.

    Given that some factors, such as how much effort has been put in, tend to be better predictors of how well a task is performed, this can encourage a healthy motivational framework and lead to more effort being put into things such as schoolwork. This is called an incremental motivational framework, an adaptable mindset.

    The entity motivational framework suggests that our abilities are innate, fixed and cannot be changed. In contrast, the incremental motivational framework suggests that our abilities are flexible and adaptable and can be developed through effort.

    Aim of the Gunderson et al. 2013 study

    The Gunderson et al. (2013) study aimed to identify if different types of praise affect children's motivational framework years later, and to identify if parents were more likely to give a specific kind of praise based on their child's gender.

    Gunderson et al. 2013 study procedure

    The study recruited 53 children and their primary caregivers to participate; 29 of these were boys, and 24 were girls. Participants were located in Chicago, and the researchers attempted to collect an ethnically diverse participant pool from various backgrounds.

    • From 14 months every four months, the researchers visited the children at their homes.
    • The researchers analysed praise when children were 14, 26 and 38 months old.
    • The interactions between parents and their children were recorded for 90 minutes, and they were asked to continue doing their usual daily tasks. These recordings were transcribed.

    The parents or the research assistants were not told that the study was investigating praise.

    Gunderson et al 2013 study, person holding binoculars, StudySmarterNaturalistic observations are carried out to see how participants behave in their usual environment, created by TanushkaBu- freepik.com

    When the children reached the age of seven to eight, they completed a questionnaire that measured their motivational frameworks regarding morality and intelligence. Two questionnaires were completed three months apart.

    Some of the items measured in the questionnaire included their thoughts on trait stability, their preference toward learning or performance, what they believed was the cause of success or failure, etc.

    The type of praise and how frequent the participants received them were measured using the transcripts from the recordings.

    The study can be characterised as a longitudinal, naturalistic overt observation study as it took place over a long period. Although the parents and children did not know the true aims of the study, they were still aware that they were being observed.

    Gunderson et al. 2013 study results

    It was found that, of all the communication recorded between parent and child:

    • About 3% was praise of any kind.
    • 18% of this praise was process praise, and 16% was person praise.
    • Boys also received significantly more process praise(24.4%) than girls (10.3%).
    • There was no significant difference between genders and frequency of person praise.

    Moreover, when the type of praise participants received over the years was analysed, it was revealed that from the age of 14 to 38, participants significantly received less person praise. But, from 14 to 26, the number of process praise increased, which then plateaued.

    A correlation was found between how much a child was praised and the motivational frameworks. When the recordings were compared to the results of the questionnaire taken by the children, it was found children who received more process praise in their early years were more likely to develop an incremental motivational framework. This suggests that these individuals were more likely to believe that ability is a result of effort and time put into skills or abilities.

    However, the results did not show a link between receiving person praise and developing an entity motivational framework.

    Gunderson et al. (2013) Study Conclusion

    The results indicated a relationship between children receiving process praise in their early years and developing an incremental motivational framework. This suggests that the more process praise received as a child, the more likely an incremental motivational framework will be developed.

    The results did not indicate that children were more likely to develop an entity motivational framework when participants received more person praise.

    The results also suggest that boys are more likely to receive process praise than girls. From this, it can be inferred that boys may be more likely to develop an incremental motivational framework than girls.

    Summary of the Gunderson et al. 2013 study

    Let's take a look at a quick overview of the study to summarise what was investigated in the Parent Praise to 1-3 Year-Olds Predicts Children’s Motivational Frameworks 5 Years Later study (Gunderson et al., 2013).

    • The Gunderson et al. (2013) study aimed to identify if different types of praise affect children's motivational framework years later, and to identify if parents were more likely to give a specific kind of praise based on their child's gender.
    • The study recruited 29 boys and 24 girls, along with their caregivers.
    • Participants were recorded in their homes to measure the frequency of types of praise received.
    • After five years, the participants completed two questionnaires three months apart to measure the type of motivational framework developed.
    • It was found that receiving more process praise resulted in an incremental motivational framework, but there was no link found between person praise and developing an entity framework.

    Gunderson et al. (2013) Study Evaluation

    Let's take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the study!

    Gunderson et al. 2013 study strengths and weaknesses

    The strengths of Gunderson et al. (2013) are:

    • The study's participants were from various ethnic backgrounds, making the results more generalisable to the broader population. However, they only used 53 participants, so the generalisability is similarly limited.
    • Demand characteristics and observer effects would be reduced because neither the participants nor the researchers knew the true aims of the study.
    • The recordings were gathered at the children's homes which would be a natural environment for them and their caregivers. Participants are more likely to act naturally, which results in more valid data.

    The weaknesses of Gunderson et al. (2013 are:

    • Although the study did a good job of using participants from various backgrounds, they were still all American, so an element of cultural bias still exists; this phenomenon is known as ethnocentrism.
    • They only used 53 participants overall, which reduces the generalisability of the results.
    • The participants were not briefed on the study's true aims, so they could not give proper informed consent to participate in the study; this is considered unethical.

    Gunderson et al. 2013 study - Key takeaways

    • The Gunderson et al. (2013) study aimed to identify if different types of praise affect children's motivational framework years later and to identify if parents were more likely to give a specific kind of praise based on their child's gender.
    • Person praise focuses on praising the person for performing a task well. It is thought that it may lead to an entity motivational framework. Process praise focuses on praising the quality of a completed task. This may lead to an incremental motivational framework.
    • The study recruited 29 boys and 24 girls along with their caregivers, and they were recorded in their homes for 90 minutes to measure the frequency of types of praise received.
    • Five years after the recordings, the children were asked to take a questionnaire to measure their motivational frameworks, and the results were compared to the praise recordings.
    • It was found that receiving more process praise resulted in an incremental motivational framework, but there was no link found between person praise and developing an entity framework.
    Frequently Asked Questions about Gunderson et al 2013 study

    What is Gunderson et al?

    The Gunderson et al. (2013) study is a research experiment that was conducted to investigate motivational frameworks.

    How many participants are in Gunderson et al?

    The study recruited 29 boys and 24 girls along with their caregivers.

    What was the aim of the Gunderson et al 2013 study?

    The Gunderson et al. (2013) study aimed to identify if different types of praise affect children's motivational framework years later and to identify if parents were more likely to give a specific kind of praise based on their child's gender

    What is a child motivational framework?

    A child's motivational framework is their beliefs on trait stability, preferences for learning and performance goals, and beliefs on success and failure and the strategies they implement to improve, according to Gunderson et al. (2013). There are two motivational frameworks; the entity motivational framework suggests that our abilities are innate, fixed and cannot be changed. In contrast, the incremental motivational framework suggests that our abilities are flexible and adaptable and can be developed through effort.

    What was the main ethical issue in the Gunderson key study?

    An ethical issue of the study was that the participants were deceived as they were not told the true aims of the hypothesis and what behaviours the researchers were observing. 

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