If at first you don’t succeed, don’t try to grow your way out of it

A new study finds no support for the importance of a “growth mindset”:

People with a “growth mindset” – those who believe their intelligence can be improved with effort – are said to seek out challenges, persist in the face of difficulty and bounce back after failure. By contrast, people with a “fixed mindset” – those who believe their intelligence doesn’t change much – are said to give up when facing challenges and be devastated by failure.

But new research from Michigan State University and Case Western Reserve University suggests these claims are overstated.

“We found little to no evidence for the major premises of mindset theory” said Alexander Burgoyne, a recent MSU PhD graduate and study co-author. “In fact, the largest effect we found directly contradicts what mindset theorists have claimed.”

“Mind-set theory” has captured the imagination of education types for years.

I never objected to the theory myself, but I never cottoned to it, either, probably because I grew up in central Illinois, where bragging, showing off, and generally being too big for your britches were considered mortal sins.

Nobody in Lincoln, Illinois had a growth mindset or a fixed one as far as I know. 

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