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Have you read Carol Dweck?

Posted By: Rosa Apodaca on April 24, 2009
Carol Dweck's work found that people's beliefs about their own intelligence really affect whether they can use their skills and grow their skills. This is true for many reasons. First of all, people who believe in malleable intelligence take on challenges, and persist at them in ways that foster intellectual growth. People who believe in fixed intelligence kind of limit what they are willing to try, and if it doesn't go well, they back off. You can see how over the long run this could limit their intellectual growth.

Further, Dweck found that children with fixed and growth mindsets have completely different and even opposite beliefs about effort. Individuals with growth mindsets believe effort is one of the most important things in life for achievement. They say the harder you work at something, the better you’ll be at it. They appreciate that no creative genius has contributed anything of note without years of dedication and work.

But individuals with a fixed mindset think effort is negative. They believe that if you have ability, you shouldn’t need effort. And if you need effort, you’re not very smart. They believe that things come easily to people who are true geniuses. “And that’s false,” says Dweck. “It may come a little more easily to geniuses han it does to other people, but it doesn’t come easily.”

Dweck believes this is among the most destructive beliefs a person can hold: that hard work means you’re incapable. And it gets students in a fixed mindset into a trap. They want to look smart, but they think effort makes them look dumb. She characterizes this as a paralyzing conjunction of goals and beliefs.
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 Have you read Carol Dweck? by Rosa Apodaca on April 24, 2009
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