Growth Mindset

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Growth mindset refers to the response of an individual to failure. One with a growth mindset welcomes failure and understands that to be a natural part of a growth process. One without a growth mindset sees failure is pain - potentially leading to depression - and as something to avoid. One with a growth mindset instead seeks failure - potentially leading to opportunities - and as something to welcome. Thus, one with a growth mindset asks how one can recover most quickly from failure, to begin building upon that failure as a source of new strengths.


  • 2% have the growth mindset - [1]
  • Carol Dweck - 40% have growth mindset - [2]
  • Google study of 10,000 managers showed growth mindset as the first factor of success - [3]

Can You Recruit for Growth Mindset?

  • Some interview questions- [4]


From a thesis At


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  • Narratives have already been found to be potent tools of persuasion (Hinyard &

Kreuter, 2007), and stories such as those who highlight the struggles of Albert Einstein and Marie Curie, may just as well influence students’ self-compassion as their implicit theory of intelligence.

  • The second example study, was one who taught a group of New York minority 7th

graders that their brain was like a muscle, and that it would grow stronger with use (Blackwell et al., 2007). The 7th graders were also taught how to implement this mindset over eight distributed sessions that included lessons on the brain, that labels like smart or dumb should be avoided, and that stereotyping was harmful. This intervention used an active control group who also received eight distributed sessions, but instead was taught only study skills such as mnemonics and how memory works. Results showed that the control group had a marginally significant positive effect of the study skills, but their grades continued to decline, as it had during the past school year. The manipulation group however, improved significantly compared to their previous projection and compared to the control group. This study did find a significant change in implicit theory of intelligence beliefs, and the researchers concluded that; This research confirms that adolescents who endorse more of an incremental theory of malleable intelligence also endorse stronger learning goals, hold more positive beliefs about effort, and make fewer ability-based, ‘‘helpless’’ attributions, with the result that they choose more positive, effort-based strategies in response to failure, boosting mathematics achievement over the junior high school transition

  • Einstein and Marie Curie, had struggled intellectually with developing their scientific

theories, and personally with poverty and oppression. A control group read a story about how the scientists had simply made great discoveries, without any descriptions of the hard work it took to achieve them. Results demonstrated that the control group had significantly lower science grades, weeks later, compared to both the intellectual and personal struggle story group (d = .16). Improvement were most prominent in the low-performing students, something that has been reported in several studies (Claro et al., 2016; Sisk et al., 2018). Most surprising was the fact that the stories did not affect students’ implicit theory of intelligence or effort at all. The scientists theorized that students’ behavior was “more subject to change than students’ beliefs” (Lin-Siegler et al., 2016).

  • Grit-S. We used the 8-item short grit scale (Grit-S) developed by Duckworth and

Quinn (2009), originally devised from a longer, 12-item scale (Grit-O) by Duckworth, Peterson, Matthews and Kelly (2007). Duckworth and Quinn recommends the short Grit-S over the longer Grit-O due to superior psychometric properties and simplicity. The scale consists of two subscales, Consistency of Interest and Perseverance of Effort.

  • Irrational Procrastination Scale. We used a Norwegian version of the Irrational

Procrastination Scale (IPS) (Steel, 2010a; Steel & David, 2002), translated and validated by Svartdal(2015). IPS is designed to measure how much people irrationally delay taking action on tasks. Procrastination is here defined as irrational delay,

  • The last of the motivational factors that were historically tied to mindset theory, was

the theory of effort beliefs (Leggett & Dweck, 1986). Positive effort beliefs can simply be stated as believing that ones effort leads to success, with the opposite being true for negative effort beliefs. As an example, Dweck and Leggett (1988) explained that previous work had shown that children who reported negative effort beliefs, felt proud of low-effort success, whilst children with more positive effort beliefs were most proud of successes that had demanded higher levels of effort. In summary, it was theorized that these effort beliefs would contribute to mastery or helpless responses.

  • Achievement goal theory stated that individuals set either performance or

learning goals, where performance goals are oriented towards looking good in the eyes of others, gaining positive feedback, or obtaining extrinsic measure of success like good grades. Learning goals, on the other hand, are oriented towards learning and improving skills and competences

  • A person who believes that intelligence is flexible and something that can grow, is an

incremental theorist or growth minded person. Incremental theorists believe intelligence is a work in progress, and thinks of ones intelligence as something that evolves with practice, effort or experience. Having an incremental theory has been correlated with a mastery- oriented response, well-being and several other positive attributes (Dweck, 2000, 2007; Dweck, Chiu, & Hong, 1995a; Dweck & Leggett, 1988; Howell, 2016). On the other hand, people who believe that intelligence is a fixed quality, are often referred to as entity theorists or fixed mindset person. They believe intelligence is not something that can be changed, but rather a fixed or inborn trait. Having an entity theory has been correlated with giving up more easily, neglecting important feedback, and viewing failure as something negative, as opposed to something that contributes to learning (Dweck, 2000, 2007; Dweck et al., 1995a; Dweck & Leggett, 1988).


  • Fixed vs Growth mindset - [5]