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The growth mindset and success

Carol Dweck has written an article in this month?s edition of Scientific American Mind. Dweck spells out the secret to raising smart kids: don?t tell them they are. Instead, Dweck recommends that people should praise for effort, strategies and process if they want to foster motivation and success in young people.

Carol Dweck has developed a theory of motivation which is based on the mindset a person adopts towards their ability or intelligence.  People who believe that intelligence is a fixed entity, carved in stone, tend to get helpless in response to failure, denigrate their intelligence and believe in a no-effort academic approach to achievement.  This mindset results in poor performance and decreased motivation.  The other, growth mindset, views achievement as arising from hard work and effort and that people can learn and improve with hard work.  Adopting this mindset results in increased motivation and improved test scores. Underpinning each mindset is a motivational framework which supports them. 

This article shows how Dweck's thinking has evolved since her first investigations into motivation in the 60?s. It also mentions some of the most important studies carried out in this area.  The article ends with research on how to help foster a growth mindset in other people. There are several ways to change a person?s mindset.  The first is by telling stories about achievements that have arisen through hard work and effort. People can also communicate mindsets through praise.  Another way to teach a growth mindset is by providing explicit instruction regarding the mind as a learning machine (coming soon, in our Positive Psychology resource section, we will have two mindset power point slide shows which will be free to download)  Lastly, Dweck talks about the Brainology package she has developed which should be out some time next year.  Brainology is a set of six modules which teach people about the brain and its huge potential.  To read this article click here.  To find out more about mindsets click here

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