growth vs. fixed mindsets essay

Growth vs Fixed Mindsets Essay

In differentiating between growth vs. fixed mindsets, one can increase the abilities and intellect via hard work if they have a growth mindset. On the other hand, those same characteristics are viewed by someone with a fixed mindset as intrinsically stable and unchanging across time.

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Growth vs. fixed mindsets for life

Before, scientists thought human brain development ended in childhood, but new research shows this is false. Experiences activate several brain areas, and our software may be updated by learning. Despite the scientific evidence to the contrary, some individuals believe that the abilities and smarts you are born with cannot be changed. Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck first began investigating the concept of growth vs. fixed mindsets.

When a person has a fixed mindset, they believe that their intelligence and abilities are pre-programmed. According to Dr. Dweck, fixed mindset, people believe that “they have a certain amount [of intelligence] and that’s it, and then their goal becomes… to look smart all the time and never look dumb”. It’s not shameful for people with a growth mindset to admit that they don’t know or aren’t very good at something because they know that this is a temporary state.

Dweck explains that students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching, & persistence”.

What is a growth mindset?

A growth mindset views intelligence and talent as qualities that can be developed over time.

Growth mindsets aren’t the same as assuming that everyone can be Einstein because there are still many factors in what we can achieve. In understanding growth vs. fixed mindsets, those with a growth mindset think that their intelligence and abilities can be developed through hard work and effort. People with a growth mindset can bounce back from setbacks by increasing their motivating effort, which is an important element of the learning process.

Learning, resilience, motivation, and performance may all be improved by adopting this sort of attitude, which regards ‘failures’ as short-term and changeable.

Those who adopt a growth mindset are more likely to:

  • Embrace lifelong learning.
  • Believe intelligence can be improved.
  • Put in more effort to learn.
  • Believe effort leads to mastery.
  • Believe failures are just temporary setbacks.
  • View feedback as a source of information.
  • Willingly embraces challenges.

What is a fixed mindset?

In a fixed mindset, people think they are born with a certain amount of intelligence and innate abilities that they will develop throughout their adult years.

Fixed-minded people tend to shy away from difficult situations, give up too easily, and feel threatened by the success of those around them. A fixed mindset views intelligence and talent as something you “are” rather than something you can cultivate. A fixed frame of mind can exacerbate negative thinking. A person with a fixed mindset, for example, might believe that if they fail at a task, it is because they lack intelligence. On the other hand, people with a growth mindset may fail at the same task and attribute it to the fact that they need to practice more. It clearly explains growth vs. fixed mindsets.

People with a fixed mindset;

  • Believe intelligence and talent are static
  • Avoid challenges to avoid failure
  • Ignore feedback from others
  • Feel threatened by the success of others
  • Hide flaws so as not to be judged by others
  • Believe putting in the effort is worthless.

Examples of Growth vs Fixed Mindsets in the Workplace

To determine if your team might benefit from encouraging a growth mentality while avoiding fixed mindset tendencies, below are some instances of growth vs. fixed mindsets in the workplace.

  1. Learning New Skills in Growth vs. fixed mindsets.

Growth vs. fixed mindsets is important in learning new skills in the workplace. Those with a growth mindset know they can learn new abilities and contribute to a team’s success by putting in the effort and training required.

Team members with a fixed mindset believe that skills cannot be learned or altered, which can put the group on hold and impede progress and progress.

  1. Constructive Feedback.

When giving feedback, employees utilize growth vs. fixed mindsets. People with a growth mindset consider comments from team members or supervisors as a chance to learn, adapt, develop, and better.

People with a fixed mindset see it as a sign of failure, and it may even lead to team members being discouraged or uninterested.

  1. Healthy Competition in growth vs. fixed mindsets.

Growth vs. fixed mindsets creates healthy competition in the workplace. Members of a group can engage in healthy competition with one another. Team members that have a growth mindset may be inspired or motivated by the achievement of a consistently successful team member.

A person with a fixed mindset may feel threatened, frightened, or even envious of the success of their coworkers.

Carol Dweck’s Views on Growth vs. Fixed Mindset

With the aim of understanding growth vs. fixed mindsets, Dweck’s research discovered that one of the most fundamental assumptions about ourselves is how we interpret and inhabit our personality. Being smart or skilled is a state of mind that can only be maintained by avoiding failure at all costs and striving to be successful at all costs; a “fixed mindset” sees success as the affirmation and evaluation of our inherent intelligence and the only way to maintain this state of mind is by striving for and avoiding failure at all costs.

A “growth mindset” thrives on challenge and sees failure as a springboard for progress and pushing our current talents rather than proof of incompetence. Many of our actions, attitudes toward success and failure in our professional and personal lives, and even our ability to be happy are shaped by growth vs. fixed mindsets, which we develop at a young age.

During her two-decade-long research with children and adults, Carol Dweck discovered startling results from her unconventional view of intellect and personality as malleable abilities that can be trained. She says;

“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?”

One doesn’t always have to pretend to have a royal flush when, in reality, one is scared you only have a pair of tens. There’s another way to think about these features. The hand you’re given is only a beginning point for progress when you approach life with this mentality. The idea behind a growth mindset is that you can improve on your most fundamental attributes by putting in some extra effort. Everyone can learn and develop new skills via practice and exposure to new situations regardless of one’s original aptitudes, interests, or temperament. Dweck makes growth vs. fixed mindsets very easy to understand.

According to Dweck, what makes the “growth mindset” so appealing is that it fosters a want to learn rather than a need to be accepted. According to this school of thought, human traits such as intelligence, creativity, and even interpersonal skills like love and friendship may be developed by focused practice. People with this frame of mind aren’t disheartened by failure because they don’t regard failure as a negative experience; rather, they see it as an opportunity for growth.

“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.”

However, her most amazing study on growth vs. fixed mindsets, which has influenced current beliefs about why presence is more essential than praise in teaching children to establish a healthy connection with success, investigates how these attitudes are formed—they form, it turns out, very early in life.” Dweck and her colleagues gave four-year-olds the option of either re-doing a simple jigsaw puzzle or taking on a more difficult one in pivotal research.

Some of the youngest participants were already showing signs of the “fixed” mindset by choosing the easier puzzles, demonstrating to the researchers that they believe smart children don’t make mistakes. Meanwhile, the “growth” mindset participants found the experiment odd, wondering why anyone would want to do the same puzzle repeatedly if they weren’t learning anything new. In other words, the kids with a fixed mindset were more concerned with making sure they succeeded in appearing clever, whereas the kids with a growth mindset were more concerned with challenging themselves to get smarter. The children understood growth vs. fixed mindsets.

People were brought into Dweck’s brain-wave lab at Columbia to see how their brains responded to challenging questions and feedback. According to what she discovered, people with a fixed mindset were more interested in hearing about how well they were doing in the present moment than in learning and improving. So much so that when they got a question incorrect, they showed little inclination to listen to the correct answer since they had already labeled it a failure. However, people with a growth mindset were more open to learning new things and honing their skills, regardless of whether they answered the question correctly.