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Mindset: How You Can Fulfill Your Potential Paperback – Import, International Edition

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Mindset is "an established set of attitudes held by someone," says the Oxford American Dictionary. It turns out, however, that a set of attitudes needn't be so set, according to Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford. Dweck proposes that everyone has either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. A fixed mindset is one in which you view your talents and abilities as... well, fixed. In other words, you are who you are, your intelligence and talents are fixed, and your fate is to go through life avoiding challenge and failure. A growth mindset, on the other hand, is one in which you see yourself as fluid, a work in progress. Your fate is one of growth and opportunity. Which mindset do you possess? Dweck provides a checklist to assess yourself and shows how a particular mindset can affect all areas of your life, from business to sports and love. The good news, says Dweck, is that mindsets are not set: at any time, you can learn to use a growth mindset to achieve success and happiness. This is a serious, practical book. Dweck's overall assertion that rigid thinking benefits no one, least of all yourself, and that a change of mind is always possible, is welcome. (On sale Feb. 28)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


An utterly compelling story of how the way we think shapes our success.Essential reading for anyone with aspirations. -- Matthew Syed, author of Bounce and two-time Olympic athlete. Will prove to be one of the most influential books ever about motivation. -- Po Bronson, author of NurtureShock A good book is one whose advice you believe. A great book is one whose advice you follow. I have found Carol Dweck's work on mindsets invaluable in my own life, and even life-changing in my attitudes toward the challenges that, over the years, become more demanding rather than less. This is a book that can change your life, as its ideas have changed mine. -- Robert J. Sternberg, IBM Professor of Education and Psychology at Yale University. If you manage any people or if you are a parent (which is a form of managing people), drop everything and read Mindset. -- Guy Kawasaki, author of The Art of the Start.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Robinson Publishing (February 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780332009
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780332000
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,281 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #315,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., is widely regarded as one of the world's leading researchers in the fields of personality, social psychology, and developmental psychology. She has been the William B. Ransford Professor of Psychology at Columbia University and is now the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her scholarly book Self-Theories: Their Role in Motivation, Personality, and Development was named Book of the Year by the World Education Fellowship. Her work has been featured in such publications as The New Yorker, Time, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe, and she has appeared on Today and 20/20. She lives with her husband in Palo Alto, California.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1,689 of 1,876 people found the following review helpful By C. Daly on February 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I'll begin with a summary which allows you, dear reader, to decide if you should read any more of this review:

The irony of Dweck's book is that if the reader understands and believes what she's saying, then after the first chapter that reader has no reason to keep reading.

And now, the long (Dweck) version. I was first made aware of this book and its ideas in a seminar on motivating students about a month and a half ago. As presented in the seminar, these seemed like great ideas: intelligence is not fixed, it is learnable, changeable, even teachable. Asking the right questions and making the right comments in the classroom can change the way students approach learning and thinking, and encourage them to grow and learn much more than one might expect. Fantastic. The approach seemed sensible, the logic intuitive, the results believable. I adapted some of the material for a class and sought out the book.

It seemed odd when I found the book on the library shelf not with psychological or pedagogical research, but near books of self-help and affirmation, such as Julia Cameron's `The Artists's Way.' Ah, I thought, it's just a categorization issue. Not something to worry about. But I should've worried, as I'll explain shortly.

Returning to Dweck, I found the ideas she presents - or rather, singular "idea," since there really isn't more than one - to be quite interesting, as I'd hoped. Unfortunately, the book itself isn't. As I said earlier, reading a single chapter gets the point across: intelligence is not fixed, it can be changed. It is only our "mindset" that holds us back. If we believe we can't learn, if we believe our abilities are restricted, then they will be. Our limitations are learned and set by ourselves. If we think we can improve ourselves, we will.
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458 of 510 people found the following review helpful By John Chancellor TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Unless you are a hermit, you can definitely benefit from this book. For those interested in improving their lives,their parenting skills, their leadership skills, their teaching skills and their relationship skills, this is a must read.

Napoleon Hill, in Think and Grow Rich, stressed the importance of a positive mental attitude. Normal Vincent Peale, in The Power of a Positive Mental Attitude, stressed the importance of a positive mental attitude.

Dweck picks up where both of these very famous works fell short. Both Hill and Peale understood the importance of a positive mental attitude. But Dweck shows us how we develop fixed mindset attitudes in many areas of our lives and the damage our attitude inflicts on us and on those we interact with. Instead of dwelling on positive or negative attitude, Dweck used the term fixed mindset and growth mindset.

The book is not just theory. Dweck explains how the fixed mindset was in part responsible for the downfall of Enron. She also contrast the fixed mindset of basketball coach Bobby Knight with that of the growth mindset of legendary coach John Wooden (UCLA). The contrast and the results are startling.

As far as parenting and teaching skills, there are some very valuable lessons. We should learn to praise work and not talent. No one ever failed by striving for constant learning. History is littered with failures who relied on their God given talent.

The book is a real eye-opener. The fixed mindset verses growth mindset is not an either or situation. We can possess a growth mindset in certain areas but a fixed mindset in other areas of our lives. If you are honest, you will do some "Ahha" when you discover some fixed mindsets traits about yourself.
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180 of 213 people found the following review helpful By Barbara W on March 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I learned of Dr. Dweck in a profile in Stanford Magazine, where she is a professor. Her research and resulting conclusions are fascinating and resonated deeply in our family. But the book is disappointing. As pointed out by C. Daley and J. Williams, the anecdotal material is extremely repetitive and not at all helpful. Notwithstanding its general reader focus, the ideas for how to move beyond a fixed mindset were limited. The Stanford Magazine article, which is excellent, is available online.
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80 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Mark Mills on September 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The text as written certainly succeeds with many. In my case, I got the message after 3 or 4 repeats of the 'growth mindset can do it' theme. As story after story repeats the same theme, which is a good message, I began wondering when some background exploration would begin. It never happened.

I've read other works by Dweck. She plays the role of editor in the recent "Handbook of Competence and Motivation" (in this book the two mindsets are called 'fixed' and 'incremental'). It is very academic and technical, but a treasure trove of insights. I liked it so much I'm going through it again with a fine tooth comb. I'd check Mindsets out at a bookstore or library. If you find yourself wanting more, take a look at Dweck's other books.
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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Ray Salemi on September 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Mindset makes the argument that people who believe they can improve themselves will be more likely to take chances and grow.

There. I've said it. Now you don't need to read the book.

The rest of the book consists of stories that illustrate the above idea. Many many stories. All with the same lesson. The book is really a pamphlet.

Also, I think the book is misleading. The latest research shows that we all have strengths and weaknesses and that we do best when we leverage these natural abilities. I think Mindset misses this point and, in fact, suggests the opposite.

Now, Discover Your Strengths is a much better book for those seeking personal growth.
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