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Carol Dweck

Posted by Captain's blog on July 31, 2010 at 11:23 AM

Carol Dweck is a psychologist who is currently popular with some of the parents of gifted children.  She is the author of a book called "Self-Theories: Their role in motivation, personality, and development."  She put forth a debate over "entity theory of intelligence" vs. "incremental theory of intelligence."  Namely she says if you believe that you are born with a fixed level of intelligence rather than one that is adjustable through hard work you may be unwilling to take risks and learn new things because then you might be exposed that you don't know it all.  She says this happens in gifted children who remain unchallenged in their early years and are praised for being smart.  They internalize the praise as integral to their identity.  When they finally take on a task that is challenging later in life they feel as if since it didn't come naturally they are somehow less smart, and that they can't perform the task.  Whereas we all know practice makes perfect.  Her answer to this dilema is to challenge young people often and early and to praise them for their hard work and not for the stuff that comes effortlessly. 

I will adopt and use this perspective.  It identifies a work ethic approach.

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