Fixed Intelligence

We’ve long assumed that positive feedback always has desirable results. But some recent research has painted a more complex picture. Melissa Kamins discovered that children who receive primarily person-praise (“how smart you are”) rather than good words about their efforts will usually develop fixed views of intelligence. When children are young and family members consistently tell them how brilliant they are (or how dumb), they get the message: life depends on your level of intelligence, not on how you work at something. You’ve got it or you don’t. Nothing can change that reality, they think. In short, fixed views of intelligence or growth mindsets stem from conditioning, not from some inborn character trait. They too can change.

Ken Bain, What The Best College Students Do