Author: Mr. Reid

1.  By the end of this tutorial, be able to name the two types of mindset and two characteristics related to each.

2.  By the end of this tutorial, know your mindset type.

Overview of Carol Dweck's mindset theory.

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An Introduction to Carol Dweck's theory of mindset

World-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, in decades of research on achievement and success, has discovered a truly groundbreaking idea–the power of our mindset.

Dweck explains why it’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success–but with our mindset when we approach them. She makes clear why praising intelligence and ability doesn’t foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but may actually jeopardize success. With the right mindset, we can motivate our kids and help them to raise their grades, as well as reach our own goals–personal and professional. Dweck reveals what all great parents, teachers, CEOs, and athletes already know: how a simple idea about the brain can create a love of learning and a resilience that is the basis of great accomplishment in every area.


The graphic below summarizes the main points of Carol Dweck's mindset theory, introducing the two, different mindsets: fixed and growth.

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Source: Carol Dweck

The 3 rules of mindsets by Daniel Pink


In a lecture that Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind and Drive attended, Carol Dweck set out three rules that nicely summarize the differences between the two mindsets along with quotations from students that demonstrate the rules.



Fixed mindset: Look clever at all costs. (“The main thing I want when I do my school work is to show how good I am at it.”)

Growth mindset: Learn, learn, learn. (“It is much more important for me to learn things in my classes than it is to get the best grades.”)


Fixed mindset: It should come naturally. (“To tell you the truth, when I work hard at my school work it makes me fee like I’m not very smart.”)

Growth mindset: Work hard, effort is key. (“The harder you work at something, the better you’ll be at it.”)


Fixed mindset: Hide your mistakes and conceal your deficiencies. (After a disappointing exam score, “I’d spend less time on this subject from now on. I’d try not to take this subject ever again, and I would try to cheat on the next test.”)

Growth mindset: Capitalize on your mistakes and confront your deficiencies. (After a disappointing exam score, “I’d work harder in this class and spend more time studying for the tests.”)


If desired, read more about Dan Pink's thoughts on mindset.

Test Your Mindset

Test your mindset at the following site.


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Source: Mr. Reid