Carol S. Dweck

Stanford University


Election Year: 2012
Primary Section: 52, Psychological and Cognitive Sciences
Membership Type: Member

Research Interests

Dweck's research focuses on the beliefs people hold about the nature of human attributes and has shown the profound differences that result from believing those attributes are fixed (a fixed mindset) as opposed to malleable (a growth mindset). Students with a fixed mindset about their intelligence achieve less in school, and when students are taught a growth mindset, grades and achievement test scores increase and achievement gaps are reduced. Dweck's research has also demonstrated that praising children's intelligence puts them into a fixed mindset, decreasing their desire for challenges and their resilience in the face of difficulty, whereas praise for process (effort, strategies) creates a growth mindset. In another line of work, with children and adults, Dweck and her colleagues have shown that mindsets are at the root of stereotyping and prejudice, and recent research in the Middle East reveals that mindsets can play a role in conflict resolution even in longstanding disputes. Recent research also shows that mindsets may be a key ingredient in reducing adolescent aggression. Finally, Dweck and her colleagues have begun to demonstrate the role of mindsets about willpower in the successful exercise of self-control.

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