Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Do you believe that intelligence is a fixed, inherited trait?  Or, do you believe that you can substantially change how intelligent you are?  In this readable, research-driven book, Carol Dweck proposes the latter and supports her argument with a host of case studies and clinical findings.  The prerequisites for continued improvement are motivation, commitment, and an acceptance of challenge. 

She counsels parents to praise their children for effort, not for innate traits like intelligence and found that students who were told “You must have worked hard” fared better in cognitive tests than those who were informed, “You must be smart.” 

In her research, Dweck found that “smart” children became invested in seeming intelligent and risked less, choosing not to challenge themselves for fear of failure.  Those praised for effort, enjoyed challenge.  One ten-year-year-old boy tackled a difficult puzzle gleefully exclaiming, “I love a challenge!” Dweck concludes the book with ideas for cultivating and maintaining a “growth mindset” in our children and ourselves.



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