M’Rhya Waldrop
Dr. Patton
9 September 2018
Fixed vs Growth Mindset
Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives
Your mindset is the view you have of your qualities and characteristics. According to the article, either you view situations as where they come from or whether they can change. These following two mindsets represent either fixed mindset or growth mindset. The author of the article, Maria Popova, explains the difference of fixed and growth mindset more in depth by using three elements of thought. Popova uses purpose, evidence, and implications to indicate the characteristics of fixed and growth mindset.
The first element of thought Popova uses is purpose. Popova clearly distinguishes the different mindset by providing many examples of different situations and how people view them. The main purpose of this article was to differentiate these mindsets. The following example helps illustrate the two mindsets: “In one study, Dweck and her colleagues offered four-year-olds a choice: They could either redo an easy jigsaw puzzle, or try a harder one. Even these young children conformed to the characteristics of one of the two mindsets — those with “fixed” mentality stayed on the safe side, choosing the easier puzzles that would affirm their existing ability, articulating to the researchers their belief that smart kids don’t make mistakes; those with the “growth” mindset thought it an odd choice to begin with, perplexed why anyone would want to do the same puzzle over and over if they aren’t learning anything new. In other words, the fixed-mindset kids wanted to make sure they succeeded in order to seem smart, whereas the growth-mindset ones wanted to stretch themselves, for their definition of success was about becoming smarter”. This example is a perfect explanation of what separates the two mindsets. The fixed mindset children would rather think smart people succeed; versus the growth mindset kids took on a challenge to stretch their intelligence.

The second thought of element is evidence. Popova uses a ton of evidence from Carol Dweks: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. This evidence is both reliable and relevant because it stems from psychologists and experiments. Dweks states, “For twenty years, my research has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life.” According to the text, Dweks has been working on this research for two decades! Meaning that anything coming from her research is completely trustworthy. Dweks gives us experiment examples such as the example of the children shown above to properly indicate the meaning of fixed mindset versus growth mindset.

The implication drawn from this passage is that the fixed mindset stands in the way of development and change; the growth mindset is a starting point for change. Since our mindset has a big influence on our performance, this belief is worth considering. This theory should be accepted because these mindsets influence how we view situations in our day to day lives. Due to the excessive examples and proven theories, these mindsets are convincing enough to be persuasive. The theory either limits our potential or enables our success. It influences our self-awareness, self-esteem, creativity, ability to face changes and many other things.
In conclusion, what it all comes down to is that a mindset is an interpretative process that tells us what is going on around us. In a fixed mindset, a person’s mindset is determined by the situations they face. In a growth mindset, a person’s mindset is focused on their ability to grow and change to become better. Maria Popova successfully describes the two by using elements of thought, multiple examples, and experiments to characterize each.

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