Carol Dweck is one of the world’s leading experts in psychology and motivation research and is currently the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. Having held professorships at Harvard and Columbia University, Dweck brings the expertise of her extensive research and experience to her lecture halls.

Published works feature among her many professional accomplishments, and perhaps the most famous of these is her 2006 book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. This publication outlines her theory on how self-conceptions can lead to -or prevent- success, detailing how a change in the mindset of an individual can lead a marked improvement in their enthusiasm and productivity. The mindset website calls it a “simple idea that makes all the difference” and this idea states that an individual has a ‘fixed’ or ‘growth’ mindset depending on their outlook on life.

Fixed Mindsets

A fixed mindset comes from a person who does not believe that the intelligence level of an individual can change, and that the natural capacity for knowledge that people are born with is static. The study argues that people of a fixed mindset are more likely to document their intelligence rather than develop it. The outcome of this is the belief that talent alone will bring success, and that effort is in no way a contributing factor.

Growth Mindsets

A growth mindset, however, is altogether more fluid. It is the state of mind that believes most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. It expounds the idea that anything is possible and that there is no such thing as ‘can’t’. Dweck argues that if all students could be moulded into a growth mindset, it would create motivation and increase productivity, as well as enhancing relationships and inspiring students to monitor and analyse their own learning.

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