Last year, Kaila and her collaborators recruited undergraduate students to investigate how essentialism and mindset are related. Mindset is a set of attitudes one possesses. For example, a “fixed mindset” is the belief that someone’s core qualities or traits are fixed by nature and not changing. A “growth mindset” is the belief that those traits can develop over time with effort. As hypothesized, Kaila and her colleagues found that essentialism and mindset are closely related!

After winning a grant from the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships at Northeastern, Kaila presented her project to other winners of the grant. This was an incredible experience, not only because it was a great opportunity not only to present her research to people that may not know much about psychology but also to make connections with people from a wide range of disciplines at Northeastern,

After finding those interesting results, Kaila decided to explore the next level. Is there a causal relationship between mindset and essentialism? This project can help improve academic outcomes by helping to increase growth mindset. Furthermore Decreasing essentialist thinking can help alleviate stereotyping.

Stay posted to find out more about Kaila’s and other amazing studies in the CORE Lab!