Growth Mindset vs. Fixed
- Pages: 3
- Word count: 700
- Category: Growth Mindset
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Today’s educational system seems to be inherently broken – kids with good grades are automatically made to believe that they are intelligent, while kids who don’t are usually regarded as untalented or unintelligent, even if they did put in their bit of effort. Kids who are praised as being intelligent during the earlier years of their schooling are at a risk of assuming they are smart enough to not put in any effort even later in their life, as portrayed by Jonathan, a composite drawn from many different examples of this behavior observed in schoolchildren, in a psychological study conducted by Carol S Dweck. The behavior exhibited seemed to show that kids who were praised a lot for being intelligent early on in their lives believed that having to work hard was a sign of unintelligence, and hence did not want to work hard because they were insecure of the fact that their perceived intelligence isn’t enough to always help them perform well. The study concludes that reinforcing the idea that kids are just gifted with an innate ability to solve their problems without having to work hard is counterproductive.
The Scientific American published the results of aforementioned study conducted in 2007, where 373 students were monitored for 2 years during their transition to junior high school. The study began in the early 7th grade, where the students were asked to answer a survey where they were asked if they believed that intelligence is an innate quality, which is something that cannot be changed. Based on their responses, they were sorted into two groups based on their mindsets. It was observed that the kids with the malleable mindset seemed to perform better than the kids with the fixed mindsets and concluded that kids with the malleable mindset ended up being more intelligent in the long run.
The reason behind this is that the kids with a fixed mindset took it to their head that they are intelligent as soon as they solved some easier problems, but then as the problems got more difficult, they started to think that they aren’t capable of solving anymore of these, and they thought that they were not intelligent enough to solve the problem. It was noticed that they ended up trying to avoid their problem instead of working harder to try and understand it, which is what the other group of students did. They were motivated by more difficult problems and wanted to put in more effort to solve the problem. This set of kids believed that intelligence was something that they could develop, and not just a trait they are assigned at birth, which led to them wanting to learn more, and not avoiding their problems outright. Studies indicate that praising students in their younger years about their intelligence can have quite a negative effect, because the student becomes overconfident, and place a cap on their perceived intelligence. On the other hand, students who were praised for their effort rather than for their intelligence ended up having a more positive outlook on their capabilities and wanted to hone their intelligence rather than let it stagnate. This hard-working attitude leads to them earning better grades in general.
Good grades seem to be a priority over actually learning something for the kids with the fixed mindset, while the opposite was true for kids with the At the start of junior high, which is when the kids began to be monitored, they took a math achievement test, and both groups of students had similar scores, but then as the year progressed and the problems started to get more difficult, the students with the growth mindset were more persistent, and their grades began to overtake their peers, and this gulf widened as time passed. Students with the fixed mindset were also noticed to be much less willing to accept and remedy their mistakes, as exhibited by another study of 168 college freshmen at the University of Hong Kong, where students with a fixed mindset who received low scores on an English proficiency test were less likely to prepare and retake the exam than students who had a growth mindset. All these examples go far and beyond in proving the point