|Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
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Mindset is one of those rare books that can help you make positive changes in your life and at the same time see the world in a new way.
A leading expert in motivation and personality psychology, Carol Dweck has discovered in more than twenty years of research that our mindset is not a minor personality quirk: it creates our whole mental world. It explains how we become optimistic or pessimistic. It shapes our goals, our attitude toward work and relationships, and how we raise our kids, ultimately predicting whether or not we will fulfill our potential. Dweck has found that everyone has one of two basic mindsets.
If you have the fixed mindset, you believe that your talents and abilities are set in stone–either you have them or you don’t. You must prove yourself over and over, trying to look smart and talented at all costs. This is the path of stagnation. If you have a growth mindset, however, you know that talents can be developed and that great abilities are built over time. This is the path of opportunity–and success.
Dweck demonstrates that mindset unfolds in childhood and adulthood and drives every aspect of our lives, from work to sports, from relationships to parenting. She reveals how creative geniuses in all fields–music, literature, science, sports, business–apply the growth mindset to achieve results. Perhaps even more important, she shows us how we can change our mindset at any stage of life to achieve true success and fulfillment. She looks across a broad range of
applications and helps parents, teachers, coaches, and executives see how they can promote the growth mindset.
Highly engaging and very practical, Mindset breaks new ground as it leads you to change how you feel about yourself and your future.
“This book is an essential read for parents, teachers, coaches, and others who are instrumental in determining a child’s mind-set, and in turn, his or her future success, as well as for those who would like to increase their own feelings of success and fulfillment.” --Library Journal
1. The Mindsets
Why Do People Differ?
What Does All This Mean for You? The Two Mindsets
A View from the Two Mindsets
So, What’s New?
Self-Insight: Who Has Accurate Views of Their Assets and Limitations?
What’s iIn Store
2. Inside The Mindsets
Is Success About Learning–Or Proving You’re Smart?
Mindsets Change the Meaning of Failure
Mindsets Change the Meaning of Effort
Questions and Answers
3. The Truth About Ability and Accomplishment
Mindset and School Achievement
Is Artistic Ability a Gift?
The Danger of Praise and Positive Labels
Negative Labels and How They Work
4. Sports: The Mindset Of A Champion
The Idea of the Natural
What Is Success?
What Is Failure?
Taking Charge of Success
What Does It Mean to Be a Star?
Hearing the Mindsets
5. Business: Mindset and Leadership
Enron and the Talent Mindset
Organizations That Grow
A Study of Mindset and Management Decisions
Leadership and the Fixed Mindset
Fixed-Mindset Leaders in Action
Growth-Mindset Leaders in Action
A Study of Group Processes
Groupthink Versus We Think
Are Leaders Born or Made?
6. Relationships: Mindsets In Love (Or Not)
Relationships Are Different
Mindsets Falling in Love
The Partner as Enemy
Competition: Who’s The Greatest?
Developing in Relationships
Bullies and Victims: Revenge Revisited
7. Parents, Teachers, And Coaches:
Where Do Mindsets Come From?
Parents (and Teachers): Messages About Success and Failure
Children Learn The Messages
Teachers (and Parents): What Makes a Great Teacher (or Parent)?
- Middle School Student Motivation
Like many middle school teachers I struggle to motivate my students every year. That struggle grew into The Middle School Archive Project described at [...]. Now, reading Dr. Dweck's wonderful description of what every middle school teacher faces every day in class also shows the way to re-frame what we are doing with the Archive Project. It fits!
The Middle School Archive Project involves students writing stories from their lives, as well as their goals for the next 10 years, into a letter to themselves. They seal it into a self-addressed envelope and place it into a centrally located vault in the school just before graduating the 8th grade. They then return in 10 years to reopen their letter and speak with the then current students about what they would do if they were 13 again. The message of working for change must dominate.
The foundation to the Archive Project is a growth mindset, but it had not been so expressed. "Mindset" provides a way to better describe what is being done through the Archive Project. The studentmotivation.org web pages must now be rewritten to reflect more directly a growth mindset.
Hopefully the Middle School Archive Project can be another of the many forces helping ALL teachers and students move toward obtaining the "growth mindset" described in Dr. Dweck's masterpiece. If this happens then the world of education will enjoy a sustained revolution in achievement....more info
- Mindset: The New Psychology of Succes
Exellent motivational book to help you understand diferent situations in life. Great examples of people that we know and how they approached these situations....more info
The book gave me an interesting and unique way of looking at learning and especially my own weaknesses and strengths....more info
- Calling All Leaders!
Personal greatness as a leader rests on the foundation of a growth mindset. If you don't know what this means or how it differs from a fixed mindset, you will enjoy Carol Dweck's book. In Mindset she explains how a growth mindset is the basis for success in life, the ways a fixed mindset limit us and how to shift to a growth mindset. You will be inspired by examples of men and women we know who operate from a growth mindset and fascinated by the research she conducted on the impact of the different mindsets. An important book for us as individuals and for those of us who are influencing the lives of youth...boy did I make mistakes along the way!
Susan Colantuono, CEO
http://twitter.com/leadingwomen ...more info
- Set your goals and work toward them
Dweck grabs you from the beginning. You have the responsibility to set goals and act upon them. If from a need for acceptance and security, you were struggling with the roles and assessments that families, institutions, and corporations laid upon you, you should know that pleasure and fulfillment demands that you set your goals while you continue to appreciate the assessments of others to inform your growth. I like the emphasis on what you are becoming, rather than what you were or what you are. It allows us to risk what is different and what seems difficult. From youth, we are praised for talent when we attain goals that parents, teachers, and institutions value: grades, beauty, athleticism, skills like writing and math. We build esteem on what we did without effort; we refrain from the difficult or the different as these might rob us of approval if we faltered. As adults, we are in a position to shed dependence upon the approval of others. Whether we are able to because of circumstances, the point is that everyone can benefit from the wake-up Dweck gives us. She raises the issue of performance by students in school and of players on teams, for instance. Teachers and managers need to emphasize learning and growth to reach students and players and to reconsider the belief that praise for talent inspires confidence. ...more info
- This book is perfect
This book is perfect in describing the mindset of the most successful. I love the section about how to create a growth mindset in children. My wife and I are now consciously aware of the message we are giving our son through what we say to him. The last thing I would ever want to do is create a fixed mind set in him.
- Change Your Life -- Change Your Kids' Lives
I really saw myself in these pages and I wish I had learned this stuff ages ago. Not that this is a panacea to all self-defeating attitudes and behaviors, but it certainly helps more than most anything else I have seen or heard.
The basic idea is that you can approach things from one of two mindsets:
-- Fixed mindset (talent and ability is fixed; therefore trying harder or challenging yourself will either not help any or expose you as not as smart/talented as you think you are)
-- Growth mindset (talent and ability can be learned; therefore trying hard, studying, challenging yourself will lead to an increase in your abilities and more success overall)
(BTW, these are not mutually exclusive - you can be fixed on some areas and growth oriented in others - but one mindset tends to dominate in most areas.)
The best part is that these mindsets can be learned and encouraged - they are not static and no one is "doomed" to live their life with a fixed mindset.
Some reviewers seem to have been put off by the fact that she uses multiple examples to illustrate the points she makes. To my mind it was a strength, not a weakness, of the book. It offers multiple hooks for you to use in relating to the different mindsets and for relating it to your own life - an important element if you are to implement the strategies she recommends.
She begins with detailed descriptions of the two mindsets and where they come from. Then she moves into examining the roles they play in the lives of successful (and unsuccessful) students, teachers, artists, athletes, CEOs, etc. Then she offers a workshop to help you (and others) develop a growth mindset.
I guess what I liked best about the book was that it seems to be directly applicable not only to my own life but also to how I raise my children.
She spells out how to give your kids the gift of a growth mindset. Personally, I have been able to make big changes in praising my children in just a few days. Now I focus on praising the effort, determination, and creativity they demonstrate when tackling a tough problem. Instead of telling them "you are really smart," "you're great at xyz," or "you're beautiful" etc., I tell them "I like how you worked hard to find that answer" or "wow you really showed some creativity in working that out!"
Additionally, I have also convinced my wife and family to shift their praise to encourage a growth-mindset.
The point is that inculcating the growth mindset early offers them a life-long tool they can use to face challenges and overcome them.
My only problem with the book, and perhaps this is merely my misreading of her thesis, is that it sometimes seems to discount the importance of results: the focus is on dealing with setbacks and finding a way to do better next time.
On the other hand, I suppose that using this mindset will help deliver more and better results over time since you rebound from each failure and do what you can to make sure you don't repeat the mistakes that lead to it in the first place. (And, begun early enough, results should naturally follow.)
But in and among all the wonderful information and specific advice Dr. Dweck provides, I'd like to see an acknowledgment that sometimes the world simply demands performance, not "I'll do better next time."
Still, there is enough valuable information and advice in this book that it is easy to give it a full FIVE STARS and to encourage you to check it out....more info
- Powerful Concept
Carol Dweck's book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, is a powerful concept expecially for persons like my self born with learning disabilities. I can't tell you how many times that I have been told by certain educators that I just did not have the ability to learn certain materials. Dweck's book tells us to concider that notion hogwash. Talent is not how one achieves greatest in life. It is through hard work and effort that we can learn and the impossible becomes possible. Her work is based on sound psychological studies. The studies can be found on [..]. ...more info
- Simply superb
One of the best self help books that I read so far. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends and the groups that I belong to. ...more info
- A Great But Imperfect Book On Success
Often, the simplest solutions are right in front of you all along. A friend of mine who is an Ivy League graduate recommended Dweck to me.
First off, although I gave it four stars, it is one of the better books I have read in a long time. It actually has come along at the right time for me as I have been stuck in a rut.
Dweck's insight, working hard and focusing on growth and learning is not revolutionary. It is practical common sense.
What is revolutionary is her discovery of why this doesn't work so easily for everyone. Dweck provides insights into the internal dialogue that takes place within high achievers, and the fact that there identity is often caught up not in succeeding, but in not failing. In protecting their identity and sense of self as successful.
All too often succesful people have been able to get buy at high levels on pure talent. The challenge is that when the going gets tough they may never have learned the skills that will allow them to persevere.
I gave it a four because although there are lots of insights and analogies to help the reader understand the concept, you are left wondering, "Where do I go from here?"
Perhaps that is her subtle point, it is now up to the reader to figure out and learn what to do next.
To be honest I would have preferred a few practical exercises and perhaps a recommended reading list. As a teacher she should at least provide some subtle nudges and steering.
A quick and worthwhile read.
- Does your mindset help you grow?
Dweck creates a fascinating and clean distinction in mindsets: fixed and growth oriented. For a fixed mind person, external feedback is very important, validating or invalidating the person. For a growth mind person, the feeling on one's effort is what matters. The result is less important than the effort.
Fixed minded people look for things that make them feel secure, powerful, superior, unbeatable.
Growth minded people look for things where they are not safe, secure, where they feel uncertain about the outcome and risk failing because of the learning it provides them. They welcome questioning, criticism, and separate it from their value as individuals.
If you believe that your life is built around your journey, and that your learning is more important than your end results, you allow yourself to enjoy a walk, hold someone hands, sing out loud in the shower, blink at a bird, and indulge yourself on a special treat.. and walk away from doing things so the others can see how wealthy or not you are.
If you believe that you can change the way you manage your wealth learning form your mistakes and NOT feeling uneasy about your state right now, you will be empowered to move forward, without wasting one single minute in feeling sorry for yourself... and that is the first of the unwealthy habits too.
This is one of the best books I've read. ...more info
- It's all how you look at it...
Dweck's new book shows the psychological benefits to seeing one's own intelligence, talent, and creativity as incremental or malleable as opposed to fixed. When one's intelligence is viewed as shapable, the need to inflate and defend it goes away, along with a number of other costs detailed in this book that go along with that mindset. This book is on my MySpace page as one of my favorites. It is a must for those raising children in terms of teaching them this healthy mindst that unlock their confidence. It is also useful for students who constantly face the prospect of failing exams, and how to deal with that pressure in a healthy way. ...more info
- Interesting and entertaining book.
This was an interesting book that explored many examples of a 'fixed' vs. a 'growth' mindset and some ways to help develop/improve by utilizing the growth mindset. It has always bugged me when someone says they'll never be able to do something because they aren't 'gifted'. It was enlightening to read about many examples of highly skilled performers/athletes/etc. who have had to WORK HARD to continue their progress/accomplishments.
The book discussed how certain things can come easier or more naturally to someone, but often if that person just coasts they will never achieve the success others (or themselves) think they should have. I am working on some hobbies such as learning the guitar, playing golf and learning kung fu. I can't say that any of these activities are a breeze or that it's easy; I know of others who are able to progress faster than me! The thing to keep in mind is that I AM making progress, and when I look back at times I can see the improvement.
One of my favorite quotes in the book is from Coach John Wooden (p.200): "You have to apply yourself each day to becoming a little better. By applying yourself to the task of becoming a little better each and every day over a period of time, you will become a LOT better."
So overall I thought it was a good book. Hope my review didn't put you to sleep. :)...more info
- MUST READ
THIS BOOK IS A MUST READ, IT CERTAINLY WILL BRING POSITIVE CHANGE IN YOUR LIFE AND GIVE A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE HUMAN MIND....more info
- A Lot More than a New Psychology of Success
The subtitle stinks. It makes the reader think that the substance of the book is merely a different approach to positive thinking. NOT SO! Instead, this is a great book. Here's why. It answers two very important questions--and it does so from a very solid research basis: why is that some extremely bright people fail to achieve? and why is it that some people who seem only to be ordinary, achieve greatly?
Furthermore, it challenges the deeply and widely held cultural beliefs about human intelligence--the dogma that intelligence (or IQ) is innate and hardwired. Old dogma dies hard. Once concepts are deeply embedded, a superstructure of assumptions and ideas grows around it. Rejecting a dogma means that many ideas are now questionable, and . . . as a result a close read of a book or thoughtful analysis of a new and complex idea is impossible. As an acquaintance of mine said about these ideas: "I don't believe it. I can't believe it. Everything I've ever learned about intelligence and achievement would go out the window." He tuned out. It was a losing battle I chose not to fight.
What Carol really needs to say--but you can't do it in a book--is that we have profoundly imbibed a cultural attitude that is so wrongheaded, it impacts everything we think about intelligence and achievement. And the failure to look seriously at these ideas is Nutso!
There's another way to get at the same issue: Why is it that so many Asians do so well in college and in business? Is it that they're Asian? Nahhhh. It's just that they never heard that "the cream rises to the top." That wasn't permitted. Instead, it's if you got a B instead of an A on that test, why didn't you work harder? The Asian mindset is profound--and it results in high achievement. The middle class American mindset that you've only got so much ability is deeply held--and often results in mediocre achievement.
After our middle daughter graduated from a top university, she was sitting on the front stoop of our home, and a friend who hadn't achieved asked what her father would have done if she hadn't graduated. Without missing a beat, she responded with a smile: "He would have murdered me!"
That's Carol Dweck's well-researched thesis: Teach your kids and yourself to work smart and keep learning, while you're working hard...and don't stop. It's the key, ultimately, to competitive advantage and American success in a global economy.
Your Tags: intelligence, personal growth, personal transformation, achievment
- Dweck's 3 Key Distinctions
Carol Dweck's work Self-Theories. She has written another book, written for a more general, less academic readership called Mindsets, in which she applies the entity/incremental construct to a broad range of domains: business, interpersonal relationships, etc. I've read both. In Self-Theories Dweck's target are academic or educational contexts in which she argues that the difference in academic performance can plausibly be explained by distinguishing between two conceptions of ability, the entity theory and the incremental theory. According to the incremental spin, the abilities you possess are of a certain quantity which is FIXED (for all time) and therefore unalterable; which is to say your abilities cannot really be altered or changed; they are not really responsive to EFFORT. On the incremental view, abilities you possess are not FIXED and ARE RESPONSIVE TO EFFORT over time. One huge payoff, which Dweck points out frequently, is that in voluntarily adopting an incremental view of ability, you put yourself in a position to be FAR less vulnerable to self-blame, helplessness patterns, and self-despair in the event of failure, which can futher undermine your ability to execute your abilities. People of a more perfectionistic turn of mind have MUCH to gain by adopting a incremental spin on ability for the reasons just mentioned. "An ability is only as good as its execution"--Bandura.
Dwecke's an exceptionally lucid writer, and even her more academic work, "Self-Theories" is not written in academese but in language so clear and informal, you almost begin to wonder whether this is a professor in psychology at Columbia University. She's that good, at least I think so. (Bandura's prose is also clear, and conceptually rigorous, but his prose bears an elegant conciseness or compactness of insight, which would not incline me to describe as informal. But I digress. Long story short, the answer to your question is, I think, 'yes', Dweck's work is closely related to Bandura's.
I'm not sure if Dweck's work should be seen as "derived" from Bandura's, however. Dweck draws three key distinctions:
a) between learning goals and performance goals,
b) between helplessness pattern and task-orientedness
c) between incremental and entity theory of ability
Dweck's claim is this: People who hold an entity view of their abilities TEND to also to be people who adopt performance goals over learning goals. A performance goals is one which is more concerned about "looking or appearing smart" than in taking steps to insure greater informedness at the cost of looking stupid or uninformed. Thus, adopting a performance goal is AT CROSS PURPOSES with a learning goal. Second, entitiy theorists, when persuaded of their own failure, have MUCH REASON TO DESPAIR over their failed performances because performance failure (for them) JUST IS a demonstration of the fact that they do not possess (and what's more NEVER can possess) the capacities required to succeed; for they believe that their abilities are FIXED structures inhering in them which are not alterable by effort. Knowing this, you'd expect that, prior to performance, entity theorists SHOULD FEEL GREAT anxiety about their future performances and ABOUT THE THREAT OF FAILURE AND WHAT IT IS DIAGNOSTIC OF. Failure is a PERMANENT DIAGNOSIS for which NATURE HOLDS NO APPELLATE COURT. If you fail at math once, twice. You're a math idiot. If you fail at a relationship; you're no good at love and romance. Period. The awareness of these prospects can't help intrude on one's performances, and keep on from doing anything which could be contrued (in your eyes) as failure, even if that means that, in the short term, you have to admit incompetence or admit nonknowledge in a subject matter, or nonunderstanding. And this is self-defeating. The situation is according to Dweck much different for those people who hold an incremental theory about ability. For these people, failure is not diagnostic of something - a wanted capability to produce desired effects in a cared-about domain of human life - which they can't EVER possess; no, failure doesn't MEAN (for them) that whatever it is in people taht allows them to produce exceptional EFFECTS in the world, in any cared-about domain of performance--that thing, call it an "ability"--is something whose possess and "size" or quantiy or magnitude is something over which you can exercise some control over and the way you can do this is through EFFORT. The entity theorist does not see personal exertion as diagnostic of LOW ability; she sees it as the MEANS to ACQUIRE greater capabilities, a means to enhance her personal causation. By contrast, the entity theorist views exertion as diagnistic of Low ability; like a doctor who sees a patient and says "Those spots mean measles," the entity theorist views exceptional effort to mean "low ability."
Bandura's view (in SE) is, similar to Dwecks, in that he thinks that it is functionally optimal to view abilities as developmentally responsive to effort. Abilities ARE things one possesses - powers one can personally exericise to produce desired effects in the environment - but for learners it is self-limiting to think of abilities as innate or in-born capabilities rather than as things which can be obtained though "acquireable means" and guided mastery. Bandura's general approach to learning seems to be that complex or difficult performances can be decomposed into simpler tasks; learners can learn and gain competence at the simpler tasks (increasing perceived self-efficacy incrementally as they go), then, once actually in possesion of those simpler skills, move on to tackle more difficult tasks, and so on until they actually possess the skills to perform the complex performances. This is what goes on in med schools, trade schools, most all graduate schools. On B's view, abilities are entities you possess, but the trick is to incrementalize your ACQUISITION OF THEM, using your skills acquired at lower and medium levels to boot youself up to higher levels. But of course, this means your conception of your ability has to be adequate to get you to the highest level of performance, or you have to locate the means and strategies which will elevate your performances to higher levels, and once these are identified you have to acquire them. And acquiring competency in the simpler tasks, lower skills, are, so far as I can tell from SE, the means to acquiring the skills to perform at higher levels; which is as much to say they are the means to acquiring greater abilities.
- Open Your Mind
This is a stimulating book that reminds the reader that openness to learning, drive and hard work are more likely to result in success in life than is talent. My hesitancy in providing a higher rating is that the research supporting the concepts is referenced rather than reported in sufficient detail to enable independent assessment. ...more info
- Self-help that is actually helpful
This book is plain common sense. There isn't anybody who wouldn't benefit from taking the advice contained in the book and putting it to use. In a nutshell: If at first you don't succeed, it isn't because you're a loser, it's because you need to just take a breath, try different approaches and maintain a positive attitude. The author describes numerous experiments which show that if you believe tests and challenges to be instantaneous judges of your character and ability, it will actually make you less smart and less successful in meeting those challenges. This book is a cut above most self-help books, because it is written by a psychologist who backs up her assertions with sound experimental data.
The key distinction is between: "growth mindset" (= the mindset whereby a person believes that if they try/concentrate/practice/etc., things will get better); and "fixed mindset" (= the mindset whereby a person believes that you either can or you can't and that every challenge exposes your ability or lack thereof.)
Good stuff - however, the book is at least 50% too long. You cotton on to the message pretty quickly, and a lot of the book is just padding....more info
- An invaluable tool for achieving happiness and true success!
There are two ways of looking at success. One is to believe that people have certain innate talents and success is somewhat limited by those talents. The other is to believe that success can be achieved, no matter what the talent level, as long as a person remains focused on developing their abilities.
Dr. Carol Dweck`s Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, draws on personal experience, case study, and practical examples to demonstrate how everyone has the potential to change their mindset and how this change affects a person's ability to succeed in life.
Dr. Dweck argues that there are two types of mindsets, fixed and growth. The book says, "the fixed mindset creates the feeling that you can really know the permanent truth about yourself, and "the growth mindset is the belief that abilities can be cultivated." A central point of this book is that people need to understand their mindset and that when faced with the challenges of life, their mindset may either limit their potential or motivate them to learn and grow.
Does this mean fixed mindset - bad and growth mindset - good? Does this mean that people with a fixed mindset are not as happy and that growth mindset people will always be successful? No, it`s not that simple but arguably, the growth mindset is the surest way to success.
I found this book enlightening. It has motivated me to reexamine how I face life's challenges and the limits I have put on myself. It has also made me take a good look at my relationships with family and friends. I've recommended this book to several people who are enjoying this book as I write this review....more info
- Great idea, but lacking in substance
The review by C. Daly sums it up pretty well. The idea for the book is great, that people have the ability to move from a "fixed" mindset to a "growth" oriented one. It's filled with examples of the differences between the two and why a growth mindset will ultimately bring you more satisfaction, better performance, etc.
Look, I agree with the idea, but I don't really see how this book will help me move to the "growth" mindset. After chapter 3, I wondered if the book was all just stories and anecdotes, and I can tell you after finishing it that my fears were confirmed. I've learned very little about how to actually move to the "growth" mindset other than some basic ideas which amount to affirmations.
Towards the end, she talks about how she gave a workshop for 7th graders teaching them the growth mindset, but that it took weeks, and wasn't really fit for a book like this. The problem is that this is exactly what I (and others) purchased the book for!
Overall, I'm very disappointed, but I'm giving it 3 stars because I think the idea is great and it sounds like there's some solid research behind it. I look forward to continuing my research about this elsewhere.
My recommendation is to google Dweck or look up the NYMag article about this topic and save yourselves the 20 bucks and several hours on this book.
- The importance of seeing intelligence as changeable
That the way we look upon phenomena can have drastic consequences has been known for a long time. It has now been demonstrated that the same goes for intelligence.
This book by Carol Dweck demonstrates, on the basis of good research, that what people think about their own intelligence has far-reaching consequences. Dweck shows that people with a so-called FIXED MINDSET, who see intelligence as unchangeable, develop a tendency to focus on proving that they have that characteristic instead of focusing on the process of learning. They tend to avoid difficult challenges because failing on these could cause them to lose their intelligent appearance. This disregard of challenge and learning hinders them in the development of their learning and in their performance. So it actually hinders them in developing their knowledge, skills and abilities.
However, when people view intelligence as a potential that can be developed, this is called the GROWTH MINDSET, this leads to the tendency to put effort into learning and performing and into developing strategies that enhance learning and long term accomplishments. An implication is that it pays off to help children and students invest in a view of intelligence as something that can be developed. Carol Dweck does not deny that people differ in their natural abilities but she stresses that it is continued effort which makes abilities blossom. Children who have learned to develop a growth mindset know that effort is the main key to creating knowledge and skills.
Fortunately the growth mindset can be taught to people. People who were trapped in a fixed mindset can be freed from it and start building their intelligence. If you are a teacher or a parent you would be wise to take good notice of this message and maybe buy this book. the book contains some good examples of how to help children learn how important it is to work and learn. But really anyone could learn from it. ...more info
- Interesting concpt.
I found this an interesting read and helpful for raising children or motivating workers under your supervision....more info
- Your mindset shapes your future
This book has a simple premise: The world is divided between people who are open to learning and those who are closed to it, and this trait affects everything from your worldview to your interpersonal relationships. Author and psychology professor Carol S. Dweck has scoured research papers and news clippings to extract anecdotes about the pros and cons of both mindsets. Thus, stories about Michael Jordan, Lee Iacocca, John McEnroe, Wilma Rudolph and Babe Ruth, among others, find a place in this book. Dweck addresses the ways that mindsets have an impact on people. She explains that you can have a closed mindset in regard to some traits and an open mindset in regard to others. The thought-provoking insight comes from learning when you need to adjust your mindset to move ahead. The author extends her basic point by viewing all areas of human relationships through the prism of mindset. That is interesting, but we believe that this material would still be useful and illuminating even if it applied only to leadership and management. ...more info
- A good idea, not such a good read.
I'll begin with a summary which allows you, dear reader, to decide if you should read any more of this review:
The irony of Dweck's book is that if the reader understands and believes what she's saying, then after the first chapter that reader has no reason to keep reading.
And now, the long (Dweck) version. I was first made aware of this book and its ideas in a seminar on motivating students about a month and a half ago. As presented in the seminar, these seemed like great ideas: intelligence is not fixed, it is learnable, changeable, even teachable. Asking the right questions and making the right comments in the classroom can change the way students approach learning and thinking, and encourage them to grow and learn much more than one might expect. Fantastic. The approach seemed sensible, the logic intuitive, the results believable. I adapted some of the material for a class and sought out the book.
It seemed odd when I found the book on the library shelf not with psychological or pedagogical research, but near books of self-help and affirmation, such as Julia Cameron's `The Artists's Way.' Ah, I thought, it's just a categorization issue. Not something to worry about. But I should've worried, as I'll explain shortly.
Returning to Dweck, I found the ideas she presents - or rather, singular "idea," since there really isn't more than one - to be quite interesting, as I'd hoped. Unfortunately, the book itself isn't. As I said earlier, reading a single chapter gets the point across: intelligence is not fixed, it can be changed. It is only our "mindset" that holds us back. If we believe we can't learn, if we believe our abilities are restricted, then they will be. Our limitations are learned and set by ourselves. If we think we can improve ourselves, we will. If we insist that we're unable to achieve, we won't. (Dweck offers a few hasty caveats to prevent readers from believing they can will themselves to do absolutely anything, but always as afterthoughts.)
That's it. That's the core and kernel of the book, summarized in my few weak sentences. While it was only natural of Dweck to take more space than this, there are limits. Frankly, the main argument of the book could have been made convincingly in a twenty page pamphlet. With a thoughtful design and organization, perhaps a very readable, informative, and even inspirational, tome of 150 or so pages. But certainly not as the rambling, repetitive 288-page critter as this book now exists.
As I read the first three chapters of this book (and, in full disclosure, that is as far as I got, about one-third through), several things became clear to me. Besides the dearth of ideas - how far can one stretch this simple thought? - I began to understand why "Mindset" was categorized in the self-help section and not placed with more scholarly work. For one thing, there is little of scholarly weight here. Dweck frequently refers to studies and research, but most of this is not available to the interested reader. The endnotes are strangely non-standard, making it difficult to identify sources, let alone locate them. Much of the evidence cited appears to be unpublished and unvetted research by Dweck and her colleagues (or students). Several searches on Dweck and her co-researchers turned up nothing. The general bibliography, while something to go on, is also very thin. Dweck herself appears to have the credibility and scholarly bona fides one might expect from a PhD working at Columbia, but they are not in evidence here.
In addition, the format of the chapters was disappointing. It revealed why the book belongs in the self-help section. Each chapter consists of a mixture of assertions and affirmations from the author, impressive-sounding but undocumented research, and effusive testimonials - I can think of no other word to use - by students and others whose lives have been changed by Dweck's idea. As a motivational tract, it works. As a scholarly work, to be taken seriously, to offer up convincing and repeatable proof of its ideas, it falls short. It is reasonably well-written, it is entertaining (numbing repetition aside), it is provocative and confident. As a useful piece of research, it disappoints.
As I've stated more than once, the idea of this book is excellent. It is the execution of which I am critical. I look forward to a future volume by Dweck or her colleagues that presents more tangible proof and documentation, with less reliance on feel-good anecdotes and faith in the author's assertions.
- Interesting read
Do you believe your intelligence is fixed at an early age or that you can -with focused effort - continuously improve your intelligence?
Carol Dweck, a Stanford psychologist, lays out in this book how the "Fixed Mindset" result in less rick taking, less personal growth, ineffective management and leadership styles. By adapting what Dweck calls a "Growth Mindset" you can improve your outlook and take situations as opportunities to learn and grow. Even failure can be seen in the light as growth opportunities. Nothing ventured nothing gained; don't think you as struggling or failing - think you are learning. The view your adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life.
Dweck writes, "believing your qualities are fixed in stone creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over again. If you have a certain amt of intelligence, a certain personality, a certain moral character - well, then you better prove you have a healthy dose of them. It simply won't look good to feel deficient in these most basic characteristics. For the fixed mindset, every situation calls for a confirmation of their intelligence, personality or character. Every situation of evaluated: Will I succeed or will I fail? Will I look smart or dumb? Will I be accepted or rejected? Will I fell like a winner or a loser?"
In contrast, Dweck says, the growth mindset asserts that the characteristics you are born with are just a starting point for your development. The growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. Instead of hiding your deficiencies, by working on them, you can overcome them. The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it even when, or especially when, things aren't going well is the hallmark of the growth mindset. Challenge yourself and don't underestimate the importance of effort in achieving your goals.
Interesting read and I agree that by believing you can achieve your goals and taking concrete steps to achieve them, you can. I found, however, Dweck takes vast leaps in saying the downfall of Chrysler is due to their "fixed mindset". Dweck also postulates the failure of Enron can to attributed to their "fixed mindset". These are huge companies and I feel there is a lot more to it than the psychology of their CEO.
Dweck points to to Japanese and the success of Toyota as having a "growth mindset". I could agree that Toyota is a more healthy organization that appears to value the contribution of all staff from the assembly line worker to the plant manager to VP's and CEO's. It's not, though, all about their "growth mindset".
I thought the parts about teaching children was good and the advice to "praise the person and praise the effort not their smarts/intelligence/personal attributes". Praise the study habits, the strategies and persistence in sticking to goals. Dweck found that kids react positively in the teaching environment when they hear skill achievement comes from commitment and effort (not pure smarts). Dweck notes, great teachers believe in the growth of the intellect and talent and are fascinated by the process of learning. They are also noted too set high standards for their students. As one teacher stated, success does not come to you; you must come to it. Challenge and nurture the student. Teach them to love learning as lifelong learning is key to a happy and healthy life.
The parts about sports and how Mia Hamm and Michael Jordan were not only the best players but the hardest workers who always worked on the game to get better (especially working on their weak points). Also, when success comes to them, they don't allow themselves to get complacent.
Overall, this is a good book and teaches me to keep an open mind, stay flexible and, overall, not stop learning how to improve both personally and professionally.
- Great book - What you should already know
I'm reading this book a second time because although what the author writes may seem very obvious, I think many of us tend to ignore that and go to the familiar or what is "fixed" in our own lives. Easy to read and relate to. Uses a wide variety of examples to illustrate points. A very enjoyable, optimistic book....more info
A very powerful concept, well supported with research. Easy reading, highly recommend for anyone.
Because the book was written to appeal to general public, my perception is that there are some generalizations and simplifications which are not well supported. But overall, an excellent book. Bought it to my kids and to my management team at work. ...more info