Research begun by Carol Dweck in the mid-1980s explored the repercussions of how we think about intelligence. She identified two ways of thinking about intelligence that people hold. Either we tend to believe that intelligence is a fixed thing: you’re born with a certain amount of smarts and that’s what you have to work with, or you tend to believe that intelligence is something that can be cultivated and increased. n the couple of decades since that first study, she has labeled these “mindsets,” and you have either a fixed or a growth mindset.
I came across this wonderful graphic that does such great job of explaining Dweck’s theory in a small space and I wanted to share it.
The thing to remember is that we are complex creatures and this isn’t a black-0r-white distinction. We have both of these mindsets operating simultaneously. For me, learning about this was an eye-opener because it made me acutely aware of all the ways in which I had operated under a fixed mindset in the past, especially in high school which, if anyone’s keeping track, was nearly 25 years ago. Anyway, here’s the graphic. It’s from Dweck’s absolutely fantastic book, Mindsets: The New Psychology of Success.
It’s worth reading, but do keep in mind that it’s written from a pop-psych perspective and you might be better off reading her original (much shorter) articles. The material in the book is best summed up by the graphic below. I’ll post a review of the book sometime this summer, after the PhD is in the bag. In the meantime, I urge you to check it out anyway. Here’s the graphic:
- Mindest (II): You and IQ (drjstewart.wordpress.com)
- Mindset (III): Fixed and Growth (drjstewart.wordpress.com)
- Mindset (IV): Relationships (drjstewart.wordpress.com)
- How to Succeed by Expecting Failure (bigthink.com)
- Michelangelo’s Mindset (psychologytoday.com)
- Changing My Mind (synthesistchronicles.wordpress.com)
- Carol Dweck’s Mindset (gasstationwithoutpumps.wordpress.com)