Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

by Carol S. Dweck

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The updated edition of the book that has changed millions of lives with its insights into the growth mindset.

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 a growth 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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345472328
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/26/2007
Edition description: Reprint Edition
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 489
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading researchers in the fields of personality, social psychology, and developmental psychology. She is the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences, and has won nine lifetime achievement awards for her research. She addressed the United Nations on the eve of their new global development plan and has advised governments on educational and economic policies. Her work has been featured in almost every major national publication, and she has appeared on Today, Good Morning America, and 20/20. She lives with her husband in Palo Alto, California.

Read an Excerpt


By Carol Dweck, Ph.D.

Random House

Carol Dweck, Ph.D.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1588365239

Chapter One

Chapter 1


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.


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.


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.


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

Introduction     ix
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
"Character"     91
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
Friendship     160
Shyness     163
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
Brainology     221
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
Notes     247
Recommended Books     267
Index     269

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Mindset 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 97 reviews.
DFWScorpio More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
CoeurGal More than 1 year ago
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
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Always_Inspired More than 1 year ago
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.
JohnBensonMath More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Diane Trim More than 1 year ago
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.
ImAdamBailey More than 1 year ago
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!
Franici Desmon More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous 5 days ago
Changed my thoughts on growth and development!
WitchyWriter 5 months ago
There are some parts of this book (basically every sports metaphor) that dragged on for me. I think the book could have been a lot shorter and would have been a little more effective. It's a complicated subject, and in some ways, having so many examples from so many walks of life (sports, business, parenting, relationships) helps readers find the examples that they see *themselves* in. The sports examples were pretty flat for me, but I don't play sports. The parenting and relationship examples, those made an impact. I saw spots where I got angry at my own parents for times they praised my results, instead of my effort--and then I applied that to my own parenting, and noticed how difficult it is to shift the narrative of a society in just one generation. Every person is complex, and will have parts of themselves that would be considered fixed mindset, while they embody the growth mindset in others. Explaining that complexity, even talking about times when someone might *think* they are growth mindset, but are actually fixed, was very effective for me to notice the parts of myself that this theory applied to. I don't think this books holds all the secrets to self-actualization and self-improvement--but I do think our generation needs to hear this stuff. I do think we need to be more careful about what we praise in our children (effort, not result). I do think we need to take an honest look at ourselves and see where we're stuck in the fixed mindset at work, in our relationships. The only way to stop being defensive and stuck is to acknowledge that we're being defensive and stuck. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in questioning the narratives about innate talent and intelligence that so many of us have been fed throughout our lives. There are examples in every chapter that might resonate with you--but it's also a valid strategy to read the first couple and last couple chapters, and only the middle chapters that will resonate with you (if you're not a CEO or manager, maybe skip the chapter on business until you want to hear more about those things--though that chapter did give me a lot of insights into the upper management at my current job). ***** Update on 7.7.2019: Now that I've read Burnout, I'm much more suspicious of the overall message of this book. I think the science is probably fairly accurate, but the conclusions drawn from it are too mired in the patriarchy. Sometimes success isn't as simple as cultivating a growth mindset. Sometimes you're stuck in a system that doesn't want you to succeed, indeed a system that does everything it can to get you to sit down and shut up rather than succeed. If you're black, brown, Jewish, Islamic, female, disabled, trans, basically anything other than a cishet white male, a growth mindset might be helpful in some situations, but don't focus on that to the point where you stop noticing the evils of the system that wants to keep you down. Don't let this book be the misdirection that keeps you from activism. Don't let it gaslight you into thinking that your brain is the problem, for why you can't get ahead. (I'm ready to give the author the benefit of the doubt, that she isn't intending to gaslight or misdirect anyone. But we all have to take a good hard look at our position in the patriarchy and in capitalism, and figure out if our stories and messages are helping perpetuate systems that are harmful.)
DoublePlusGood on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The central thesis is brilliant. It's worth reading for that alone. Unfortuantely, Dweck isn't very rigorous and falls prey to fallacious thinking througout.
CraigStrong on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good book, rings true, read 15 minutes every morning before starting work. Reminds me that I don't have to have a track record of doing something well to be able to do it well today and better still tomorrow.
DaveShearon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Absolutely a must-read. What's really interesting about Dr. Dweck's work is how inuitive it is. The growth mindset seems almost trite and sugary until the layers upon layers of real effects in academics and athletics and couples and corporations start to pile up. Then, reading the science behind it (which is NOT presented in depth in this book) one starts to realize the power of this construct, and part of that power comes from how easy it is to grasp.
shanta on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book can't make up it's mind whether it is self-help or academic. It has the casual tone and anecdotes of the former, but is missing the 7-step plan for improving your life. On the other hand, it's based on peer-reviewed research and supported with notes and fairly good index. Personally, I hope Carol Dweck chooses the self-help route; her book offerrs too important a message to leave to locked in inaccessible academic journals. Until then, you will have to believe her that just knowing your mindset is not fixed should help unlock your potential.
RachelAB on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book could have been a small pamphlet. You can get the essence of it just by reading the last chapter, chapter 8. It is tempting to mix up the idea with the book: The finding and description of mindsets - fixed and growth - is very valuable. As Dr. Dweck shows over and over and over in her book, using the mindset framework deepens our understanding of a lot of behavior, our own and that of other people. The book, however, falls short in fostering the growth mindset, the mindset it so positively describes. After finishing the book, I was left standing outside the candy store: I wanted to learn the growth mindset but I didn't get the tools. Yes, there were some suggestions in the book but most of it felt very superficial and not concrete enough to really use. For example, Dweck writes "enter the growth mindset and listen harder" (p. 232). Okay, I get that. But how do I do it? It almost feels like the book was written from a fixed mindset perspective: Dr. Dweck is such a great scientist and she did some wonderful, remarkable work and we all should be in awe. That is the judge-and-be-judged framework, not the learn-and-help-learn framework (p. 238). Most of the book is full of anecdotes showing the mindsets in action. They are fun to read since the retelling of the stories is well written. Some of them are inspiring. But, again, the book did not help me learn. It gave me a good taste of a more supportive frame of mind but it did not give me the tools to change my mind. That is especially disappointing since this is so contrary to the growth mindset it so vividly and convincingly portraits as a healthier approach...
Meijhen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well-written, excellently portrayed examples, clearly presented. Not really anything new here -- this is cognitive therapy reworded for the current generation (she even has a section in the book about cognitive therapy). But it is an easy read, and does get you thinking about your own patterns.
pzmiller on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A must-read for anyone who wants to understand how one's mindset can hold one back or help one move forward in life.
dmcolon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found the premise of Mindset pretty self-evident: those who have a growth-oriented mindset have an easier time navigating life than those who have a more fixed approach to the world. Growth-oriented people look at difficulties as opportunities for improvement while those with a fixed-mindset look at difficulties as "terminal" events that essentially pass judgment on their abilities and worth.I think that pretty much sums up what I got out of this book. The author does spend some time applying this idea to education, sports, relationships, and the like, but I just didn't get much out of the book beyond that. Some people I generally respect like Ned Hallowell and Pat Basset gave this book high marks, but I'm just not seeing it. It all seemed too self-helpy (if that's a word (and it isn't)). I think the premise is a good one, but the book doesn't go much beyond that.
cjtoomey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very interesting read about the growth mindset and how applying it can aid in nearly all facets of life.
erebus53 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book has a useful premise. It suggests that those people who think of their attributes as being inherent and or unchangeable do not attempt to work on things to improve them. It goes so far as to say that those people who feel that anything can be improved through effort and strategy are likely to succeed and enjoy their life more.Dweck is prone to oversimplifying her points for clarity of illustration, and illustrates her theories in tragic ways. Many of the "famous people" she talks about in her vignettes are people I have never heard of, and at other times she uses characters from movies to illustrate her points. If you wanted to know the plot of the movie Groundhog Day then this is the book for you (she covers this more than once!). Although popular media can get a point across it doesn't help convince me that her theories have real life application.It is clear that book is focused on identifying a problem way of thinking and replacing it with something else, rather than identifying two different ways thinking and inspecting their effects. As in a lot of self-help books it presumes that its ideas are new to you, that you have the problem it is trying to fix, and that you need convincing. Dweck also falls into the trap in a few places of equating "not losing" with "winning". (a=b)¿(¬a=¬b).It's clear that Dweck focuses a lot on sports psychology. She also deals with business, teaching and parenting ideas. She advocates praising the process rather than the result. It seems that much of her experience is based on being labelled "the smart child" and developing a risk averse nature, and most of the stories in her book are to do with college kids.Some practical hints are given for changing the attitudes of people who are stuck in self destructive patterns based on their own self image and insecurities, but it seems like a bit of a no brainer. Most of the practical words of wisdom she credits to other people.I'd say this book could easily have been summarised in a book a quarter of its length and I didn't gain much added insight from reading fast the first 10 pages.