Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, written by psychology researcher Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., uncovers the differences between two core mindsets, the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. Through analysis of research and real-life accounts, Dweck examines the two mindsets and discusses why one, the growth mindset, tends to lead to a more successful and fulfilling life.
The fixed mindset tends to make people think in terms of absolutes, developing the belief that individual traits are innate and cannot be changed or developed. These can be positive traits, like intelligence, or negative traits, like clumsiness. Either way, the fixed mindset can lead to trouble with self-esteem and personal development, particularly in the face of mistakes and failures. With the growth mindset, change and development are constant. People place an emphasis on learning from mistakes and failures instead of placing permanent labels on themselves like in the fixed mindset.
The growth mindset can be applied to many areas of life. In the growth mindset, intelligence, creativity, and artistic ability can be developed over time with practice, hard work, endurance, and a willingness to learn and adapt. In the fixed mindset, someone has a set amount of intelligence, creativity, or artistic ability that does not change regardless of opportunities for learning and growth. Finally, people with fixed or growth mindset react differently to particular situations, but they can learn how to react better and how to approach the situation in more productive ways in the future.