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Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Crystal Hoyt

Second Advisor

Dr. Karen Kochel

Third Advisor

Dr. Donelson Forsyth


Our research explores the impact that anxiety mindsets, the extent to which people believe anxiety can be changed (growth) or not (fixed), have on an individual’s well-being and willingness to engage in social activism. We tested whether having a growth mindset of anxiety would increase well-being but decrease social activism. We also aimed to manipulate mindsets and examine whether the effectiveness of the manipulation depends on participants’ political ideology. We examined these questions across both a correlational study (Study 1) and an experimental study (Study 2). In Study 1, we found that growth mindsets of anxiety predicted greater levels of well-being and lower levels of social activism. In Study 2, we successfully manipulated mindsets; however, analyses revealed that was only the case for liberal, and not conservative, participants. Additionally, the growth condition promoted greater well-being and a lower likelihood to engage in social activism, again only for liberal participants.