This slide introduces a very important part of Carol Dweck’s research about the effects of praise. There are two types of praise we can give people. The first is general, ability based praise. For example telling someone that they ‘are very clever’ after completing a task. The other type of praise is more specific and process oriented. For example, telling someone ‘well done for putting effort in to the task, I can really see how that has helped you’. Research has shown that the type of praise we give people can determine the future mindset they adopt and the motivational framework we have already covered. Praising a person’s ability and intelligence fosters a fixed mindset and praising for effort and the process fosters a growth mindset. We can help people to succeed by praising for effort and process.
This slidedetails one of the components supporting the fixed mindset: performance goals. People endorsing a fixed mindset believe that intelligence and ability can be measured. This means that other people can measure their ability and potential. Because of this, people endorsing a fixed mindset are more likely to create performance goals which they believe reflect their intelligence and ability to others. For them, learning is not an end in itself, but rather a means to looking good. This means that success is difficult to enjoy because the person has to keep proving themselves. If they meet failure they see it as a reflection of their lack of intellect or ability, rather than a learning opportunity.
Carol Dweck’s research shows that praising people for the effort they put in or the process they use can change someone’s mindset from fixed to growth. This is because it encourages them to adopt learning goals, mastery responses and increases the effort they put in future tasks.
This slide follows on from the last one as it emphasises that if we want young people to develop and learn then we need to give them constructive criticism. This will build their resilience. Praise can be beneficial too if it is the right type of praise.
People are very sensitive to the messages they
receive about themselves.
The way we interact with young people can foster
either a growth or a fixed mindset.
Praise for effort v. praise for ability.
Praising for ability (e.g. talent or intelligence).
Can change a young person’s mindset from growth
Encourages young people to create performance
goals and display a helpless response when
faced with challenges.
Encourages young people to lie about scores.
Undermines motivation and willingness to take
Encourages people to adopt a growth mindset.
Encourages people to create learning goals and
display a mastery response when faced with
Increases motivation and success.
Praise is not a villain, good feedback in important:
Constructive criticism is necessary if we want
people to develop and learn.
Praise is not a villain – praising for the effort and
the process will help the person become more
motivated and ultimately more resilient.
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