Application of growth mindset and comparison behaviors to EFL teaching
Social comparison is believed to benefit learning and motivation. Contrary to this popular belief, the present study demonstrates that social comparison has more negative consequences for learners’ achievement than self-comparison. The study participants were 75 university sophomores majoring in English in central Taiwan. The participants were divided into 2 groups. The social comparison group included 40 students, and the self-comparison group included 35 students. Students in the social comparison group were found to care more about performance goals relative to learning goals than students in the self-comparison group. After failure, the social comparison group displayed lower test persistence and poorer test performance than the self-comparison group. Furthermore, students in the social comparison group more frequently described ability as a fixed trait than students in the self-comparison group, who believed their ability to be subject to improvement. The findings offer valuable implications for how achievement can be improved in the Taiwanese English as a Foreign Language context.