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Growth Mindset Research Paper

Everyone has a mindset, whether it is a fixed mentality, or a growth mentality. Mindset is defined as an attitude, and a growth mindset is believing that “… intelligence is not simply a static trait that they inherently possess or lack to a certain degree, but something that can be grown and enhanced over time through effort, learning, and support… ” (Dweck, 1). Those with growth mindsets believe that a person’s level of skill and intelligence can always be improved through hard work and dedication. This is because they believe that skills and intelligence should be grown.

A fixed mindset is believing that “… failure indicates a fundamental lack of aptitude… Easy, predictable successes are seen as ideal, and these fixed-mindset individuals are quick to assume a lack of intelligence when problems arise, since low inherent intelligence is the only possible interpretation for challenge and failure… ” (Dweck, 1). Those with fixed mindsets believe that intelligence is unwavering and will never change. If something cannot be accomplished, it is due to not being smart enough. This is because they believe that intelligence is purely genetic.

Perceived intelligence is how smart someone believes that they are. Perceived intelligence and a growth mindset affect success because they help people put more effort into tasks, along with making them seek challenges and learning opportunities. Having a growth mindset and believing that a person is smart affects success because they allow people to put more effort into tasks. Those with growth mindsets believe that “… difficulty only indicates that their present skills and approach are not yet sufficiently developed for the task at hand… (Dweck, 1).

*When skills aren’t developed enough, these people work at them until they are developed and the task can be completed. Effort is put into every task until it is done sufficiently and exceeds expectations. To those with growth mindsets, “What was important was the motivation… students were energized by the idea that they could have an impact on their mind… ” (Trei, 2). *By believing that a person is capable of changing and having an influence on their mind, those with growth mindsets put effort into everything they do.

These people never give up and will work as hard as they can until they know that they are doing well. The growth mentality also can influence people to “… keep growing beyond whatever it is we’ve accomplished today… ” (Hochheiser, 1). *By developing and going beyond what a person has done today, they put in more effort and work until the person believes that they can be successful.

In the story Flowers for Algernon, Charlie Gordon, a person many believed was not intelligent, worked and worked until he started to improve upon his reading and writing skills. He was persistent and would not give up or put less than one hundred percent effort into his work. His skills began to improve as he worked harder. A growth mentality and believing that someone is intelligent affects success because it motivates a person to put all the effort they can into a task.

A growth mindset also helps people seek challenges and learning opportunities because those with this mentality want to be sufficient in many different topics. These people not only seek challenges, but also “… learn from mistakes, and keep faith in themselves in the face of failure… (Sparks, 1). *By learning from mistakes, they are accepting new learning opportunities and also taking up challenges. They take these challenges because they know that they do not yet have the skills that they need to do the task. Due to the person’s mentality, they are willing to do these kinds of things which can lead to success in future endeavors because they already know the skills required.

Anyone with a growth mindset will “… take risks; we are interested in learning from mistakes rather than focusing on how people see us and anting to do things perfectly and quickly… ” (Sparks, 1). *These people willingly take chances in the hope of enhancing their knowledge. They would rather learn than do something that they already know that they can do well because, due to their mindset, they want to learn from experiences and challenges, not just to go through the same thing every day. People with a growth mentality also “… want to challenge themselves to increase their abilities, even if they fail at first. ” (Trei, 1).

By accepting that they may fail at first, but still being willing to take a chance just to learn, these growth mindset individuals challenge themselves and work and work, never giving up. Through the determination that comes with a growth mindset, these people achieve success. Having a growth mentality helps to achieve success because they allow individuals to challenge themselves and seek out learning opportunities to increase skills. Although a growth mindset can get a person much success, it is thought that a fixed mindset and believing that they are smart can as well.

People with fixed mentalities”… are mainly concerned with how smart they are—they prefer tasks they can already do well and avoid ones on which they may make mistakes… ” (Trei, 1). *Those with fixed mentalities want to focus on what they can do well so that they can develop those skills and achieve success using them. They don’t like to make mistakes so that they do not disappoint, get discouraged, or lose success. Also, they focus”… their achievement goals on thinking and feeling… ” (Dweck, 1). *Those with fixed mindsets focus on their thinking which may help them solve problems.

Their thinking may open them to new ideas. However, in a research experiment, “Over two years… students with a fixed mindset experienced a downward academic trend while the others moved ahead. ” (Trei, 2). *Although someone may believe that having a fixed mindset while having the perceived intelligence of being smart may make someone successful, this isn’t true. By avoiding tasks that they may make mistakes on, fixed mindset individuals lack experience in specific areas which can lead to losing opportunities.

When these people place goals on thinking and feeling, they do not learn or improve. Fixed mindsets can lead to discouragement and taking away opportunities for success from those with them. A person’s mindset and perceived intelligence can play a huge role in someone’s success. Having a growth mindset and believing that a person is smart can make them put more effort into an activity. This is due to the belief that anyone can increase their skill or intelligence which can lead to success from putting one hundred percent–or more–effort into everything the person does.

This mindset can also lead to accepting challenges and being willing to learn which can lead to success because skills will already be developed. Although it may be believed that a fixed mindset can lead to success, it tends to discourage the person over motivating them; the person tends to give up or only does well in a particular area. Perceived intelligence and a growth mindset lead to success due to leading people to accept challenges and chances to learn, and motivating them to put in extra effort.

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