ALSET webinar w/ Paul O’Keefe (Yale-NUS)

NUS graduates

The Benefits of Viewing Interests as Developed, Not Fixed

Friday 24 September 2021 - 10:00-11:00 am

People hold different beliefs about the nature of interest. Some lean toward the view that interests are inherent and relatively unchangeable (a fixed theory of interest). Others see interests as more developed (a growth theory of interest). In laboratory studies, a growth (vs. fixed) theory leads those with strong interests in one academic area to express greater interest in a new or different area and to maintain a new-found interest when pursuing it becomes difficult. Similarly, a yearlong randomized controlled field study showed that incoming arts-oriented undergraduates who learned about a growth theory (vs. control) developed more interest in their two required math/science courses—the area outside of their pre-existing interests—and earned higher grades in those courses. Additional lab experiments showed that a growth (vs. fixed) theory leads to a stronger tendency to effectively integrate the arts and sciences. As the world continues to globalize, we will need interdisciplinary approaches to solve new and old problems. Cultivating a growth theory of interest might spark that process.

About the Speaker. Dr. O’Keefe is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Yale-NUS College and Director of the Mindsets & Motivation Lab. His research focuses on motivational factors involved in goal pursuit, particularly implicit self-theories, interest, and self-regulation. His research has been published in leading psychology journals and featured in numerous media outlets including The New York Times, Washington Post, Harvard Business Review, and The Atlantic. He co-edited the book The Science of Interest, and has been supported by various funding agencies including the National Institutes of Health (USA) and the Ministry of Education (Singapore). Prior to joining Yale-NUS, he was an NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley and a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Duke University.

The presentation will be held online.
Please RSVP to be invited to the webinar

(picture credits: NUS)