Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Article excerpt

The True Meaning of Effort Mindset: The New Psychology of Success By Carol S. Dweck, PhD New York: Ballantine Books, 2008 Paperback, $16

In Mindset, Carol Dweck, a psychologist at Stanford University, juxtaposes "effort" and "endowment," suggesting that our often deeply embedded viewpoints control our behaviors and reflect our beliefs about these two words: We celebrate intelligence (endowment), making comments like, "She is so smart." The underlying belief seems to be that really smart people do not have to work very hard and, conversely, those who do have to make an effort are not as smart. She suggests that, as Americans, we tend to disdain effort and celebrate those whose accomplishments appear to be effortless. The effort mindset, on the other hand, holds that an individual who believes in himself and works hard to develop himself will succeed in fulfilling his potential - a very Montessori concept.

Dweck's research has uncovered two prevailing mindsets: the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. …