Date of Award

Spring 2019

Project Type

Departmental Honors Paper/Project


Department of Psychology


In modern society, the overwhelming cultural narrative proclaims that stress is detrimental to health and should be limited and avoided at all costs. However, recent research has demonstrated that it is one’s stress mindset, rather than their stress level, that determines the psychological and physiological outcomes. Mindsets are lenses that simplify and order the world, and have been proven to influence daily behavioral and physiological responses to create cascading effects. Recent research has demonstrated that one’s mindset about stress is the demining factor in health, performance, and productivity in response to stressful conditions, and that these mindsets can be manipulated via intervention training programs. Given the increasingly high stress levels of university students and the common mindset that stress is debilitating to health and performance, university students are excellent candidates for mindset interventions. The present study examines the feasibility and impact of a mindset intervention for university students and tracks their academic and psychological functioning over the course of the year. Additionally, this study examines the effect of mindset interventions on students’ willingness to grow from stressful experiences. Results indicates that stress mindset intervention training has a significant effect on students’ mindsets about their stress, and that these effects last over time. However, results fail to indicate that a stress mindset intervention significantly impacts students’ willingness to grow from potentially stressful experiences.