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Now updated with new research—the book that has changed millions of lives
After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking idea: the power of mindset. In this brilliant book, she shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts, and almost every area of human endeavor can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities. People with a fixed mindset—those who believe that abilities are fixed—are less likely to flourish than those with agrowth mindset—those who believe that abilities can be developed. Mindset reveals how great parents, teachers, managers, and athletes can put this idea to use to foster outstanding accomplishment.
In this edition, Dweck offers new insights into her now famous and broadly embraced concept. She introduces a phenomenon she calls false growth mindset and guides people toward adopting a deeper, truer growth mindset. She also expands the mindset concept beyond the individual, applying it to the cultures of groups and organizations. With the right mindset, you can motivate those you lead, teach, and love—to transform their lives and your own.
Praise for Mindset
“A good book is one whose advice you believe. A great book is one whose advice you follow. This is a book that can change your life, as its ideas have changed mine.”—Robert J. Sternberg, co-author of Teaching for Wisdom, Intelligence, Creativity, and Success
“An essential read for parents, teachers [and] coaches . . . as well as for those who would like to increase their own feelings of success and fulfillment.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“Everyone should read this book.”—Chip Heath and Dan Heath, authors of Made to Stick
“One of the most influential books ever about motivation.”—Po Bronson, author of NurtureShock
“If you manage people or are a parent (which is a form of managing people), drop everything and read Mindset.”—Guy Kawasaki, author of The Art of the Start 2.0
|Publisher:||Random House Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.14(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
By Carol Dweck, Ph.D.
Random HouseCarol Dweck, Ph.D.
All right reserved.
As a young researcher, just starting out, something happened that changed my life. I was obsessed with understanding how people cope with failures, and I decided to study it by watching how students grapple with hard problems. So I brought children one at a time to a room in their school, made them comfortable, and then gave them a series of puzzles to solve. The first ones were fairly easy, but the next ones were hard. As the students grunted, perspired, and toiled, I watched their strategies and probed what they were thinking and feeling. I expected differences among children in how they coped with the difficulty, but I saw something I never expected.
Confronted with the hard puzzles, one ten-year-old boy pulled up his chair, rubbed his hands together, smacked his lips, and cried out, "I love a challenge!" Another, sweating away on these puzzles, looked up with a pleased expression and said with authority, "You know, I was hoping this would be informative!"
What's wrong with them? I wondered. I always thought you coped with failure or you didn't cope with failure. I never thought anyone loved failure. Were these alien children or were they on to something?
Everyone has a role model, someone who pointed the way at a critical moment in their lives. These children were my role models. They obviously knew something I didn't and I was determined to figure it out--to understand the kind of mindset that could turn a failure into a gift.
What did they know? They knew that human qualities, such as intellectual skills, could be cultivated through effort. And that's what they were doing--getting smarter. Not only weren't they discouraged by failure, they didn't even think they were failing. They thought they were learning.
I, on the other hand, thought human qualities were carved in stone. You were smart or you weren't, and failure meant you weren't. It was that simple. If you could arrange successes and avoid failures (at all costs), you could stay smart. Struggles, mistakes, perseverance were just not part of this picture.
Whether human qualities are things that can be cultivated or things that are carved in stone is an old issue. What these beliefs mean for you is a new one: What are the consequences of thinking that your intelligence or personality is something you can develop, as opposed to something that is a fixed, deep-seated trait? Let's first look in on the age-old, fiercely waged debate about human nature and then return to the question of what these beliefs mean for you.
WHY DO PEOPLE DIFFER?
Since the dawn of time, people have thought differently, acted differently, and fared differently from each other. It was guaranteed that someone would ask the question of why people differed--why some people are smarter or more moral--and whether there was something that made them permanently different. Experts lined up on both sides. Some claimed that there was a strong physical basis for these differences, making them unavoidable and unalterable. Through the ages, these alleged physical differences have included bumps on the skull (phrenology), the size and shape of the skull (craniology), and, today, genes.
Others pointed to the strong differences in people's backgrounds, experiences, training, or ways of learning. It may surprise you to know that a big champion of this view was Alfred Binet, the inventor of the IQ test. Wasn't the IQ test meant to summarize children's unchangeable intelligence? In fact, no. Binet, a Frenchman working in Paris in the early twentieth century, designed this test to identify children who were not profiting from the Paris public schools, so that new educational programs could be designed to get them back on track. Without denying individual differences in children's intellects, he believed that education and practice could bring about fundamental changes in intelligence. Here is a quote from one of his major books, Modern Ideas About Children, in which he summarizes his work with hundreds of children with learning difficulties:
A few modern philosophers . . . assert that an individual's intelligence is a fixed quantity, a quantity which cannot be increased. We must protest and react against this brutal pessimism. . . . With practice, training, and above all, method, we manage to increase our attention, our memory, our judgment and literally to become more intelligent than we were before.
Who's right? Today most experts agree that it's not either--or. It's not nature or nurture, genes or environment. From conception on, there's a constant give and take between the two. In fact, as Gilbert Gottlieb, an eminent neuroscientist, put it, not only do genes and environment cooperate as we develop, but genes require input from the environment to work properly.
At the same time, scientists are learning that people have more capacity for lifelong learning and brain development than they ever thought. Of course, each person has a unique genetic endowment. People may start with different temperaments and different aptitudes, but it is clear that experience, training, and personal effort take them the rest of the way. Robert Sternberg, the present-day guru of intelligence, writes that the major factor in whether people achieve expertise "is not some fixed prior ability, but purposeful engagement." Or, as his forerunner Binet recognized, it's not always the people who start out the smartest who end up the smartest.
WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN FOR YOU? THE TWO MINDSETS
It's one thing to have pundits spouting their opinions about scientific issues. It's another thing to understand how these views apply to you. For twenty years, my research has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value. How does this happen? How can a simple belief have the power to transform your psychology and, as a result, your life?
Believing that your qualities are carved in stone--the fixed mindset--creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over. If you have only a certain amount of intelligence, a certain personality, and a certain moral character--well, then you'd better prove that you have a healthy dose of them. It simply wouldn't do to look or feel deficient in these most basic characteristics.
Some of us are trained in this mindset from an early age. Even as a child, I was focused on being smart, but the fixed mindset was really stamped in by Mrs. Wilson, my sixth-grade teacher. Unlike Alfred Binet, she believed that people's IQ scores told the whole story of who they were. We were seated around the room in IQ order, and only the highest-IQ students could be trusted to carry the flag, clap the erasers, or take a note to the principal. Aside from the daily stomachaches she provoked with her judgmental stance, she was creating a mindset in which everyone in the class had one consuming goal--look smart, don't look dumb. Who cared about or enjoyed learning when our whole being was at stake every time she gave us a test or called on us in class?
I've seen so many people with this one consuming goal of proving themselves--in the classroom, in their careers, and in their relationships. Every situation calls for a confirmation of their intelligence, personality, or character. Every situation is evaluated: Will I succeed or fail? Will I look smart or dumb? Will I be accepted or rejected? Will I feel like a winner or a loser?
But doesn't our society value intelligence, personality, and character? Isn't it normal to want these traits? Yes, but . . .
There's another mindset in which these traits are not simply a hand you're dealt and have to live with, always trying to convince yourself and others that you have a royal flush when you're secretly worried it's a pair of tens. In this mindset, the hand you're dealt is just the starting point for development. This growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. Although people may differ in every which way--in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments--everyone can change and grow through application and experience.
Do people with this mindset believe that anyone can be anything, that anyone with proper motivation or education can become Einstein or Beethoven? No, but they believe that a person's true potential is unknown (and unknowable); that it's impossible to foresee what can be accomplished with years of passion, toil, and training.
Did you know that Darwin and Tolstoy were considered ordinary children? That Ben Hogan, one of the greatest golfers of all time, was completely uncoordinated and graceless as a child? That the photographer Cindy Sherman, who has been on virtually every list of the most important artists of the twentieth century, failed her first photography course? That Geraldine Page, one of our greatest actresses, was advised to give it up for lack of talent?
You can see how the belief that cherished qualities can be developed creates a passion for learning. Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better? Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them? Why look for friends or partners who will just shore up your self-esteem instead of ones who will also challenge you to grow? And why seek out the tried and true, instead of experiences that will stretch you? The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it's not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.
A VIEW FROM THE TWO MINDSETS
To give you a better sense of how the two mindsets work, imagine--as vividly as you can--that you are a young adult having a really bad day:
One day, you go to a class that is really important to you and that you like a lot. The professor returns the midterm papers to the class. You got a C+. You're very disappointed. That evening on the way back to your home, you find that you've gotten a parking ticket. Being really frustrated, you call your best friend to share your experience but are sort of brushed off.
What would you think? What would you feel? What would you do?
When I asked people with the fixed mindset, this is what they said: "I'd feel like a reject." "I'm a total failure." "I'm an idiot." "I'm a loser." "I'd feel worthless and dumb--everyone's better than me." "I'm slime." In other words, they'd see what happened as a direct measure of their competence and worth.
This is what they'd think about their lives: "My life is pitiful." "I have no life." "Somebody upstairs doesn't like me." "The world is out to get me." "Someone is out to destroy me." "Nobody loves me, everybody hates me." "Life is unfair and all efforts are useless." "Life stinks. I'm stupid. Nothing good ever happens to me." "I'm the most unlucky person on this earth."
Excuse me, was there death and destruction, or just a grade, a ticket, and a bad phone call?
Are these just people with low self-esteem? Or card-carrying pessimists? No. When they aren't coping with failure, they feel just as worthy and optimistic--and bright and attractive--as people with the growth mindset.
So how would they cope? "I wouldn't bother to put so much time and effort into doing well in anything." (In other words, don't let anyone measure you again.) "Do nothing." "Stay in bed." "Get drunk." "Eat." "Yell at someone if I get a chance to." "Eat chocolate." "Listen to music and pout." "Go into my closet and sit there." "Pick a fight with somebody." "Cry." "Break something." "What is there to do?"
What is there to do! You know, when I wrote the vignette, I intentionally made the grade a C+, not an F. It was a midterm rather than a final. It was a parking ticket, not a car wreck. They were "sort of brushed off," not rejected outright. Nothing catastrophic or irreversible happened. Yet from this raw material the fixed mindset created the feeling of utter failure and paralysis.
When I gave people with the growth mindset the same vignette, here's what they said. They'd think:
"I need to try harder in class, be more careful when parking the car, and wonder if my friend had a bad day."
"The C+ would tell me that I'd have to work a lot harder in the class, but I have the rest of the semester to pull up my grade."
There were many, many more like this, but I think you get the idea. Now, how would they cope? Directly.
"I'd start thinking about studying harder (or studying in a different way) for my next test in that class, I'd pay the ticket, and I'd work things out with my best friend the next time we speak."
"I'd look at what was wrong on my exam, resolve to do better, pay my parking ticket, and call my friend to tell her I was upset the day before."
"Work hard on my next paper, speak to the teacher, be more careful where I park or contest the ticket, and find out what's wrong with my friend."
You don't have to have one mindset or the other to be upset. Who wouldn't be? Things like a poor grade or a rebuff from a friend or loved one--these are not fun events. No one was smacking their lips with relish. Yet those people with the growth mindset were not labeling themselves and throwing up their hands. Even though they felt distressed, they were ready to take the risks, confront the challenges, and keep working at them.
Excerpted from Mindset by Carol Dweck, Ph.D. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
The Mindsets 3
Why Do People Differ? 4
What Does All This Mean for You? The Two Mindsets 6
A View from the Two Mindsets 7
So, What's New? 9
Self-Insight: Who Has Accurate Views of Their Assets and Limitations? 11
What's in Store 11
Inside the Mindsets 15
Is Success About Learning-Or Proving You're Smart? 16
Mindsets Change the Meaning of Failure 32
Mindsets Change the Meaning of Effort 39
Questions and Answers 45
The Truth About Ability and Accomplishment 55
Mindset and School Achievement 57
Is Artistic Ability a Gift? 67
The Danger of Praise and Positive Labels 71
Negative Labels and How They Work 74
Sports: The Mindset of a Champion 82
The Idea of the Natural 83
What Is Success? 98
What Is Failure? 99
Taking Charge of Success 101
What Does It Mean to Be a Star? 103
Hearing the Mindsets 105
Business: Mindset and Leadership 108
Enron and the Talent Mindset 108
Organizations That Grow 109
A Study of Mindset and Management Decisions 111
Leadership and the Fixed Mindset 112
Fixed-Mindset Leaders in Action 114
Growth-Mindset Leaders in Action 124
A Study of Group Processes 133
Groupthink Versus We Think 134
The Praised Generation Hits the Workforce 136
Are Negotiators Born or Made? 137
Corporate Training: Are Managers Born or Made? 139
Are Leaders Born or Made? 141
Relationships: Mindsets in Love (Or Not) 144
Relationships Are Different 147
Mindsets Falling in Love 148
The Partner as Enemy 157
Competition: Who's the Greatest? 158
Developing in Relationships 159
Bullies and Victims: Revenge Revisited 163
Parents, Teachers, and Coaches: Where Do Mindsets Come From? 173
Parents (and Teachers): Messages About Success and Failure 174
Teachers (and Parents): What Makes a Great Teacher (or Parent)? 193
Coaches: Winning Through Mindset 202
Our Legacy 211
Changing Mindsets 213
The Nature of Change 213
The Mindset Lectures 216
A Mindset Workshop 218
More About Change 224
Taking the First Step 226
People Who Don't Want to Change 230
Changing Your Child's Mindset 234
Mindset and Willpower 239
Maintaining Change 242
The Road Ahead 246
Recommended Books 267
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Let them fail! ~~ Reading this book and being exposed to the two mindsets allows me to become a better teacher and parent. Not only can I use these strategies in my classroom, but I can foster better relationships with all people: co-workers, friends, family, and neighbors. This is a MUST READ for anyone wanting to grow personally and understand others' perspectives on success and failure.
So many books have come out that divide us into sharply separate groups, mindwise, and such a flood (but public likes them) that treat the new findings in brain, cognition, consciousness, personality changes, etc--that one has to be amazing to rate 5 stars. Well, but here she does it. Two radically different ways we can feel, think, plan, decide in the uncertainties of a lifetime. It is not really a 'self-help' book. The two life-ways described try to bring to the masses the new discoveries in how minds work, how we form our personalities and make decisions. Not just loose estimates but backed up by late scientific studies and tests. By an acknowledged professional. You will meet people who show these two patterns: 'growth mindset' vs 'fixed states mind' around you. And confront these two paths of destiny within! Also some are struggling to make a way and figure them out, balance them. You are included. Not a magic formula but a sober account to help you navigate in life's uncharted seas. And, the new findings on flexibility, how brain can change itself, we can change ourselves here show the good. A happy fate: a chance to reach our goals: that we can change both and confront life to win. Optimism, based on old guesses but lit up by scientific scrutiny. Wow.
I am a faculty memeber at a Community College and I am requiring all of my students to read this resource for their benefit and the benefit of the students they will influence.
I want to give this book to EVERYONE I know! Co-workers, friends, people with marriage and relationship issues.....easy to read, super applicable to just about everyone
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.
Do you have a fixed or growth mindset? Carol Dweck gives many examples of fixed and growth mindsets that affect our daily lives, past and future. It was a very good read and understandable. I recommend this to anyone who wants to improve their mindset in these challenging days.
I highly recommend this book, especially for anyone who feels "stuck." Dweck presents a paradigm shift that will change the way you approach everything. "The new Psychology of Success" is a little misleading in that many people equal "success' with business or career, but she means success in what ever you endeavor to do, success in life. She explains the way mindset functions in our lives and then gives simple, practical ways to shift and make changes for the better.
This book came form a psychological perspective regarding 2 mindsets, the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. It talks about how to determine both, as well as how to deal with someone of either mindset. It also discusses how to change from a fixed to a growth mindset. The book discussed as well, that you have a growth mindset in one area and a fixed mindset in another. In the beginning of the book you can take a quiz to see your mindset. It's an easy enough read and will give to my teenagers to read.
The basic idea presented by Dr. Dweck should be understood by everyone who helps children become adults. The book is research based yet easy to read and understand. It explains why some children find learning so much fun and others do not. The book explains how parents, coaches and teachers can become far more effective by simply understanding how that brain grows.
Very interesting. I will use some of the techniques with my kids. I skimmed over most of the business section because I am no longer in business but I love the overall philosophy of this book and think it is very helpful in life.
Terrific book. I so many great examples, positive thinking, and a solid course of action. I bought copies for people I love. I hope they'll read it and plan to keep learning for the rest of their lives.
Brilliant! I LOVE the idea of having a growth mindset. Revolutionary. Reading this book was like turning a light switch on. We aren't the sum of our intelligence and talent, these are just the starting points. Through dedication and hard work we are always growing, learning, and evolving. Fixed mindset: This is just how I am Growth mindset: I can learn and grow and become anything I want. Great stuff!
Carol Dweck’s Psychological success Mindset has shaken the earth with its ability to unshackle the secrets of the mind. This book goes through the many key points of the mind, from explaining the differences of a growth and fixed mindset, to the pursuit of our own personal and professional goals. The Author includes many stories of people from famous basketball and tennis players, to the headstrong CEO of Chrysler, and how a fixed mindset only limit them to depending on their natural skills, trying to impress people, and being the best. Where the people with the growth mindset take challenges, push themselves, and are the best they can be. Carol Dweck is one of the most respected Psychologists in her field, she’s received several awards such as, but not limited to: Book Award for Self-Theories, Donald Campbell Career Achievement Award in Social Psychology, Society for Personality and Social Psychology Award, Ann L. Brown Award for Research in Developmental Psychology, University of Illinois Kingenstein Award for Leadership in Education, Kingenstein Center, Columbia University James McKean Cattell Lifetime Achievement Award, Association for Psychological Science Distinguished Scholar Award, Society for Personality and Social Psychology Distinguished Scientist Award (Society for Experimental Social Psychology) Invited Address, United Nations, Wilbur Cross Medal Yale University. “Becoming is better than being”, In the Mindset, Carol Dweck explains the complexities of the current human mind and maps out ways for you to achieve your full potential in any field reality. Even if you have no practice in that field, “No matter what your ability is effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishments”. These words have inspired millions like me, and have opened doors to things that I never thought I could do before, like archery and boxing. These two things I had absolutely no confidence in doing, but after reading Mindset, Id not only suggest this book to everyone I meet id personally recommend people take Carol Dweck’s word to heart.
I have to. I must. You must. I have to meet this deadline. I must meet this deadline. You must meet this deadline. I have to meet this deadline to get organized or I’ll be embarrassed when my friends come over for the party. I must meet this deadline and then I’ll have a more comfortable house. You must finish getting organized or I, your friend, won’t come to the party. It’s common to use “have to” and “must” interchangeably. But ponder the tremendous difference when they are used correctly. The challenge and joy of language is its power, to demoralize, teach, frighten, motivate, punish, reward… Dr. Dweck is a Psychology Professor at Stanford University. She studies motivation. She concludes, after decades of experimentation, that motivation is derived from language: we can be taught, and we can teach ourselves, to be motivated. Dr. Dweck believes people view the world with only two fundamental vantage points: “fixed” or “growth.” Those with a fixed mentality believe we are born as we are born, and there is no changing that: IQ and “natural talent” dictate all accomplishment. Those with a growth orientation believe we can always learn, always rise above our challenges, always try again and gain something in the process. Dr. Dweck is persuasive that a growth mindset is healthier and more community-oriented. A fixed mindset can be circumvented and re-directed to grow, at any age. Simple, consistent changes in our use of praise are an excellent foundation. If we praise efforts rather than results; if we acknowledge that failure teaches; if we decide that we can always learn a little more, we’re doing well in fostering a growth mindset. Honesty is critical: “I know you tried, but this time you didn’t succeed. You can try again.” I have to. I must. You must. But, instead, “I want to;” “I appreciate that…” Lauren Williams, Certified Professional Organizer, Owner, Casual Uncluttering LLC, Woodinville, WA USA
Outstanding indeed! Worth a second and more intensive read. I'll definitely be using my newfound knowledge in the classroom. Both my students and children deserve the benefits this text and I will bring forth. Thank you, Dr. Dweck, for all of your hard work. I am inspired by your success. Anthony M. Fields, Sr., Elementary Educator, Kirkwood (MO) School District
This is a must read for every parent, teacher and coach, who wants to provide a learning environment for their kids to be successful in life.