The impact of implicit theories on students’ emotional outcomes

Ana Costa*, Luísa Faria

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined and compared the impact of implicit theories (IT) of emotional intelligence (EI) and intelligence on different students’ emotional outcomes. Three hundred forty-three students in secondary school completed measures of IT (EI and intelligence), trait and ability EI, and emotions towards school across a two-wave study. In the first round of data collection, the students were between 14 and 18 years old (Mage = 15.4; SD =.63); the majority were female (58.0%) and the largest group had a high socioprofessional status 35.8% (32.2% middle and 31.9% low status). The results showed that incremental IT of EI on the first year of secondary school had a positive impact on students’ self-perceptions of emotional competence, positive emotions towards school and understanding of emotion performance in the following year. The IT of intelligence had an impact only on students’ future emotional performance, underlining the domain-specificity of the constructs. These findings highlight the importance of addressing students’ implicit theories in the academic context, due to their relevance in promoting students’ positive emotional experiences, which can ultimately impact their academic adaptation and success.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2354-2363
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Emotional intelligence
  • Emotions towards school
  • Implicit theories
  • Intelligence
  • Secondary school


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