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Mindset: The New Psychology of Success Hardcover – February 28, 2006


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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)
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Review

“Everyone should read this book.”—Chip and Dan Heath, authors of Switch and Made to Stick
 
“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, director of the PACE Center of Yale University, and author of Successful Intelligence
 
“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 and the blog How to Change the World
 
“Highly recommended . . . an essential read for parents, teachers [and] coaches . . . as well as for those who would like to increase their own feelings of success and fulfillment.”—Library Journal (starred review)
 
“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.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“A wonderfully elegant idea . . . It is a great book.”—Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., author of Delivered from Distraction
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Random House (February 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781400062751
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400062751
  • ASIN: 1400062756
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,004 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,920 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.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

424 of 467 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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1,433 of 1,596 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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133 of 157 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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50 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Chris Berthelsen on March 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was fortunate to have read the author's previous work, Self-theories, a collection of essays exploring her research into motivational patterns and achievement, and while I found her prose wonderfully accessible and lucid, especially for an academician and researcher, I wondered how she would fare in Mindset, which goes head-to-head with books in the pop-psychology mainstream. I was delighted to find that she has fleshed out the theories and conclusions from Self-theories in a light, fast-moving and enthusiastic style that makes for a compulsive read.

My son goes to a recently-formed progressive school where students have a lot of input into the class offerings and teaching styles are quite varied and adventurous. If enough want a course, the school strives to make it available within the mandatory class requirements. So languages, for instance, include French, Russian, Hebrew, Arabic and American Sign Language. I gave a copy of Self-theories to the founder and driving force of the school and he devoured it, claiming he now had a powerful academic foundation to answer those curious about and critical of the school's approach. I think he will find Mindset an even more persuasive tool, since it shows in example-laden manner how mindsets developed early in life can dictate our potential and our limitations - and what we can do about it at any stage in our lives.

What makes Mindset particularly compelling is the avalanche of vivid stories from lives of the ordinary and the celebrated in the worlds of business, science, education and sports. (Some readers may be surprised, as I was, to find a respected professor of psychology to be almost exhaustively knowledgeable about sports and its superstars, as well as the ins and outs of the corporate world.
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