ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Generic statements, like birds fly or fish swim, make up about 4 percent of what young children hear everyday.
They also help kids learn about their world.
But new research shows certain generalizations can affect a child's performance. The research found four year olds who were exposed to a positive generic statement about their own gender performed worse than kids who were not.
Researchers say that the children who heard a generic statement felt they have no control over their ability. For example, girls were instructed to draw as many circles as they could inside other shapes. The girls who were told, "girls are really good at this game" performed worse than those who didn't hear the statement.
However, when the statement was paired with an explanation, such as, "girls are good at this game because they try really hard when they draw," they performed better.
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