Effort-focused praise between friends: Effects on mindset and motivation of giver and receiver

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Kyosuke Kakinuma
Fumika Nishiguti
Kotoe Sonoda
Haruhi Tajiri
Ayumi Tanaka
Cite this article:  Kakinuma, K., Nishiguti, F., Sonoda, K., Tajiri, H., & Tanaka, A. (2021). Effort-focused praise between friends: Effects on mindset and motivation of giver and receiver. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 49(2), e9534.


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We examined the effects of effort-focused versus ability-focused praise between friends on individual mindset and motivation, and investigated the effects on the person receiving praise as well as on the praiser. We conducted a scenario-based experiment focusing on an everyday situation based on cooking. The participants were 271 undergraduates who were randomly assigned to six groups, comprising a 2 (receiving or offering praise) × 3 (effort-focused praise, ability-focused praise, or no praise) design. The results show that both receiving and offering effort-focused praise positively and significantly affected a growth mindset and also had an indirect positive effect on persistence following failure; however, ability-focused praise affected neither mindset nor persistence. Our findings suggest that in daily friendship-based interactions, praise focused on effort over ability encourages adaptive outcomes for both the praised individual and the person offering the praise; therefore, students need to not only praise each other but also pay attention to the type of praise offered.

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