Saturday, March 12, 2011
Words of Encouragement
In a study, half of 400+ black and white students wrote about any neutral topic over the course of a year. The other half wrote about why they cherished certain values. Black kids who had written about what they cherished improved grades ~.25 of a point on 4.0 scale vs. the control group. The lowest initial black performers improved scores .4+ of a point. 2 years later, the scores continued to improve among the group. White students who engaged in the affirmation exercise showed no improvement.
Ethnic minorities may feel poor academic performance confirms negative expectations about them. The affirmations may help alleviate those fears.