Growth Mindset Essay

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Growth mindset is a concept coined and studied by Stanford University psychologist Carolyn Dweck, Ph.D. that refers to a person’s belief in his or her own ability to learn and develop skills, regardless of natural ability, through determination and hard work. Having a growth mindset is not an all or nothing frame of mind, it falls on a continuum that can vary day to day and per area of ability. The other side of the continuum is a “fixed mindset,” which refers to a person’s belief that his or her abilities are static, set by natural ability and unaffected by any effort put forth by the individual.
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TED (2014). Carol Dweck: The power of believing that you can improve. [image] Available at: …show more content…

She starts with an example of her study in which she gave a classroom of 10-year-old students some challenging, above grade level problems to solve. Surprisingly, some of the students reacted positively, noting the enjoyment they felt at attempting a challenge. These students would be considered to have a growth mindset. Alternatively, many of the students exhibited distress at their perceived failure to solve the challenging assignment. These students showed signs of having a fixed mindset. She cited the negative impacts of a fixed mindset in terms of learning and success with the following studies: Cheat vs. Study (Blackwell, Trzesniewski, & Dweck, 2007), in which it was shown students with a more fixed mindset were likely to cheat over study next time after “failing” a test; Find Someone Worse (Nussbaum & Dweck, 2008), in which students with a fixed mindset were likely to try to find someone that performed worse to make themselves feel better after a perceived failure; and a number of studies have shown that students with a fixed mindset were likely to run from difficulty in the future (Hong, Chiu, Dweck, Lin, & Wan, 1999; Moser et al., 2011; Mueller & Dweck, 1998; Nussbaum & Dweck, 2008). Testing has even shown that there is a …show more content…

According to the article, she was led to the question of ‘what makes some children persevere in the face of failure while others quit?’ whilst studying learned helplessness in animals. This is when she first tested the idea that the difference between perseverance and helplessness was whether the failure was believed to be caused by a lack of ability or a lack of effort. The results of this research reshaped the study of the attribution theory, taking the focus away from how attributions were formed and toward the aftereffects of

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