We talked a bit in class last week about the difference in thinking about yourself as smart vs. hardworking.  More importantly, we've been talking about the ramifications of those two very different mindsets.  

If you want to learn more about mindsets, I highly encourage you to sit down with a really important study done by a researcher named Carol Dweck.  You can read the entire article linked to here (focusing especially at the section toward the bottom of page 3), but the gist of it says the following:

When kids were told, "You must be smart at this," they responded by:
- believing they couldn't grow - their identity is "fixed"
- wanting easy tasks where they could continue to prove they really were smart
- losing confidence and enjoyment when they struggle on problems
- wanting to compare themselves with "lower" students to make themselves feel better
- 40% lied about scores they received to make themselves look better
- performing 20% worse on future assessments
- desiring to appear to perform well

When kids were told, "You must have worked really hard at this," they responded by:
- believing they could grow and improve at tasks
- wanting harder tasks where they could challenge themselves and get even better
- actually enjoying hard problems because they know they will grow from the experience
- wanting to compare themselves with "higher" students so they can see how to improve
- only 10% lied about scores they received
- performing 40% better on future assessments
- desiring to learn

I actually first came across this study in a book called How We Decide, by Jonah Lehrer.  It's a fascinating book on how the emotional and logical parts of our brains battle it out to get their way. 
 


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