88% of a sample of Silicon Valley high school students believe that achievement success is a 'mental game' - that you can only go as far as you think you can.
What's your mental game plan?
Invitation for students
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Competition pervades achievement oriented cultures. School, sports, music and theater all involve competitive dimensions. Who scores highest on standardized tests? Who wins the matchup of rivals on the field or in the gym? Who gets the lead role in the fall production? Test scores and athletic events evoke comparisons with peers, ... often to classmates who perform at the top of the group.
Social comparisons inevitably lead to interpretations that assign meaning to a particular event based on how someone 'stacks-up' against peers.
Nearly 9 out of 10 respondents in our sample of Silicon Valley high school students admit to feeling discouraged with tendencies toward self-criticism when they perform below their own expectations.
Research demonstrates that our minds have a negativity bias. We latch on to criticism and pay less attention to positive feedback.
When personal interpretations tilt in a negative direction, beliefs can shape future decisions, especially when attributions are made about one's talent or ability.
How do these dynamics influence a student's choices to experiment with interesting but potentially challenging academic options?
JOIN US as we explore these issues and learn how students manage the social comparison / interpretation process constructively.