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Title: Domain specificity or generality : assessing the Chinese implicit theories scale of six fundamental psychological attributes
Authors: Zhu, S 
Zhuang, Y 
Cheung, SH
Issue Date: 11-Feb-2020
Source: Frontiers in psychology, 11 Feb. 2020, v. 11, 142, p. 1-13
Abstract: Implicit theories have been widely studied in different domains; however, it is still debatable whether these theories are domain-specific or domain-general. Using the Implicit Theories Scale (ITS) about six fundamental psychological attributes, i.e., intelligence, personality, cognition, feeling, behavior, and emotion, we examined domain specificity versus generality using a factor analytic approach; in addition, we investigated associations between implicit theories about these domains and related psychological attributes. In four sequential studies, we translated a Chinese version of the ITS (Study 1), tested inter-item correlations within and between subscales (Studies 1-4), and conducted exploratory factor analysis (Studies 2 and 3) and confirmatory factor analysis (Studies 3 and 4). We tested associations between implicit theory domains and coping, resilience, grit, and school performance (Studies 3 and 4). Results showed that the six ITS subscales were independent, while the implicit theories about cognition, feeling, behavior, and emotion shared a common component. The implicit theories of intelligence and personality were independent and did not share a common component. The six domains presented different patterns of association with psychological variables. Overall, our results suggest that implicit theories are both domain-specific and domain-general. Future studies are needed to examine the mechanism underlying the domain specificity and generality of implicit theories.
Keywords: Implicit theories
Incremental theories
Entity theories
Psychological attributes
Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation
Journal: Frontiers in psychology 
EISSN: 1664-1078
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00142
Rights: Copyright © 2020 Zhu, Zhuang and Cheung. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) ( The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
The following publication Zhu S, Zhuang Y and Cheung S-H (2020) Domain Specificity or Generality: Assessing the Chinese Implicit Theories Scale of Six Fundamental Psychological Attributes. Front. Psychol. 11:142 is available at
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