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Growth mindset

Self-perception of one’s various abilities (intelligence, mathematical ability, etc.), characterized by the belief that these abilities can be changed and improved.

Relation to social mobility

A developing thought pattern positively affects academic achievement (which, in turn, drives social mobility) during junior high, high school and academic studies. It mitigates the effects that a weak socioeconomic background and various types of discrimination have on academic achievement. As youths’ basic assumption is that they can improve their abilities, they tend to set learning goals (as opposed to outcome goals), they have higher motivation for learning, and they cope better with barriers and failures.

Importance

Critical

junior high and high school

Important

preschool and early elementary school

Sources

Dweck (2007). “The Perils and Promises of Praise”.

Dweck, Paunesku & Claro (2016). “Growth mindset tempers the effects of poverty on academic achievement”, PNAS.

Blackwell, Trzesniewski & Dweck (2007). “Implicit Theories of Intelligence Predict Achievement across an Adolescent Transition: A Longitudinal Study and an Intervention”, Child Development.

Mueller & Dweck (1998). “Praise for intelligence can undermine children’s motivation and performance”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

What to Influence

Ways to Influence

Birth to six

infancy and preschool

Nature of self-judgment (fixed or evolving)
self-esteem regarding abilities

infancy and preschool

Provide feedback based on the child's changing behavior and the efforts he/she invests, rather than in relation to character traits

Post-primary ages

junior high and high school

Nature of self-judgment (fixed or evolving)
behavior patterns in relation to failure

junior high and high school

We must continue to rely on feedback processes between the adolescent and significant adult figures, such as teachers. In addition, it is important to emphasize the individual’s ability to change and improve by providing reliable and convincing examples that demonstrate this.

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