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Self-theories: Their Role in Motivation, Personality, and Development (Essays in Social Psychology) 1st Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1841690247
ISBN-10: 1841690244
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Based on extensive research with children and young adults, this book examines adaptive and maladaptive cognitive-motivational patterns and shows how these patterns originate in people's self theories; their consequences for one's achievment, social relationships, and emotional well-being; thier consequences for society; and the experiences that create these cognitive-motivational patterns."
-"Resources in Education
"What we have here is no ordinary scholarly psychology volume. Ever so rarely, we are offered a psychology book that is so beautifully written, lucidly organized, and elegant in its description of ideas.... I see many uses for this wonderful volume. Instead of having to put together a rather large stack of reprints to introduce students to her groundbreaking work, I now can refer them to something far better -- the author's view of how her work has developed over the years."
-"Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology
"[This book] describes pathbreaking research in a style that is accessible to many audiences. It calls into question some of the most widely-held beliefs . . . about effective practices for maximizing children's self-confidence and learning."
-Deborah Stipek, "UCLA
"The book is central to basic issues in social, personality, and developmental psychology. Indeed, it is like a guided tour through the scenic terrain of Carol's fascinating program of research. The writing is lively and engaging and the organization is unusually clear. The examples are well-chosen and intuitively compelling; they are easy to relate to our own lives and to the people that we know."
-Diane N. Ruble, "New York University
"[This book] is simply among thebest book in psychology I've read during the past year or two. It's superb. . . I could hardly put [it] down."
-Robert J. Sternberg, "Yale University

About the Author

Andrew J. Elliot, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at the University of Rochester, and is currently an associate editor of the "Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin" and a section editor of" Social and Personality Psychology Compass." Dr. Elliot has published approximately 100 scholarly works, has received research grants from public and private agencies, and has been awarded four different early- and mid-career awards for his research contributions. His research areas include achievement and affiliation motivation; approach-avoidance motivation; personal goals; subjective well-being; and parental, teacher, and cultural influences on motivation and self-regulation.
Carol S. Dweck, PhD, is the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, and has published significant work in the area of achievement motivation since the early 1970s. Dr. Dweck is one of the first researchers linking attributions to patterns of achievement motivation, an originator of achievement goal theory, and a pioneer in the area of self-theories of motivation. Her recent books include "Self-Theories: Their Role in Motivation, Personality, and Development"; "Motivation and Self-Regulation across the Lifespan" (coedited with Jutta Heckhausen); and "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success," Her research is extensively cited in social, developmental, personality, and educational psychology.
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Product Details

  • Series: Essays in Social Psychology
  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Psychology Press; 1 edition (January 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841690244
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841690247
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By The Invisible Pam TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a fascinating book. And while I'm just a mom with no particular background in psychological research, I found I had no difficulty either understanding the procedures of the research, or finding `everyday' applications for the profound information that Carol Dweck and associates provide.

In fact I wish I had read this book earlier because it has a great deal to teach about how children devise concepts of themselves (self image) and how we might avoid the pitfalls of rearing a child who `gives up' too easily.

Five Stars. Very interesting. The other reviewers are right. This is a fast paced, good read that explains Carol Dweck's research into personality, motivation and development. As a mom of a 3 and 5 year old, I wish that I had come across this book earlier.

As Amazon's `Search inside this book' feature only lists page one of the Table of Contents, I've typed out the second page for your info.

Chapter 14 -- How Does It All Begin? Young Children's Theories About Goodness and Badness

Chapter 15 -- Kinds Of Praise And Criticism: The Origins Of Vulnerability

Chapter 16 -- Praising Intelligence: More Praise That Backfires

Chapter 17 -- Misconceptions About Self-Esteem and About How To Foster It

Chapter 18 -- Personality, Motivation, Development, and The Self: Theoretical Reflections

Chapter 19 -- Final Thoughts On Controversial Issues

References

Appendix: Measures Of Implicit Theories, Confidence, and Goals

Index
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Carol Dweck's SELF-THEORIES is a work in the tradition of cognitive psychology. It is the academic counterpart to MINDSETS -- a later work intended for a more general readership, in which she applies her conceptual innovations to a broader range of domains: business, interpersonal relationships, etc. I've read both. In Self-Theories Dweck's target are academic or educational contexts in which she argues that the difference in academic performance can plausibly be explained by distinguishing between two conceptions of ability, the entity theory and the incremental theory. According to the **entity theory**, the abilities you possess are of a fixed quantity (for all time) and therefore unalterable; which is to say your abilities cannot really be altered or changed; they are not really responsive to EFFORT. On the **incremental view**, abilities you possess are not FIXED and ARE RESPONSIVE TO EFFORT over time.

Dweck's book yields genuine insights which are psychologically-actionable. One huge payoff, which Dweck points out frequently, is that in voluntarily adopting an incremental view of ability, you put yourself in a position to be FAR less vulnerable to self-blame, helplessness patterns, and self-despair in the event of failure, which can futher undermine your ability to execute your abilities. People of a more perfectionistic turn of mind have MUCH to gain by adopting a incremental spin on ability for the reasons just mentioned. "An ability is only as good as its execution."--Bandura.

Dwecke's an exceptionally lucid writer, and even her more academic work, "Self-Theories" is not written in academese but in language so clear and informal, you almost begin to wonder whether this is a professor in psychology at Columbia University. She's that good, at least I think so.
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By A Customer on August 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
I was intimidated by the title of this book, and was afraid it was going to be highly academic. However, the book is completely accessible and fascinating. Dr. Dweck describes her remarkable studies on motivation and achievement, and shows that a fixed view of intelligence (meaning: either you're born smart or you're not) sells us short. Her work has enormous implications for both childrearing and teaching. This book should be required reading for all parents and teachers.
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From my perspective, "Self-Theories," is incredible. Fascinating, absolutely fascinating! I guarantee that if you are not familiar with Dr Carol Dweck's work you will have the equivalent of an epiphany when you read this. It is hard to believe that these theories have escaped popular culture and remained hidden.

Carol Dweck would deny it, but she is a genius. The proof of her theories are borne out in these pages. The light-bulb part is that when you read them; it's a real "Ah-Ha!" moment. It is something that we see glimpses of in ourselves but precious few have truly understood. Things become clearer and clearer with each chapter.

The crux of it is that there are people, children and adults, which have an attitude of mastery or growth mindset. These people shrug off failures, mistakes and difficulty with subjects and work at incremental growth. They develop their abilities. The rest of us, have this belief in their abilities and an attitude that if you are gifted then things will come naturally. These people have a tendency to dislike effort, struggles and incremental growth because they see it as a weakness. For the growth mindset people they see the big picture and develop new strategies to overcome.

It is similar to the two different schools of economic theory; either you believe that economies are STATIC and there is only so much wealth to go around and so legislate to equalize wealth; or you believe economies are DYNAMIC and grow, therefore increasing wealth through successful strategies and encourage risk and experimentation. The static would be equivalent to ability or scarcity mindset and the dynamic would be equivalent to the mastery or growth mindset.
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