Legions of writers – from Dale Carnegie to Napoleon Hill to Norman Vincent Peale to Anthony Robbins – have touted the value of positive mental attitude. Scores of rah-rah speakers evangelize on the doctrine of believing in ourselves.
All of that is important, but sound thinking requires more than a rosy outlook and a dose of self esteem. Sound thinking requires a mindset – or orientation – that’s both receptive to fresh (even contrary) ideas and accepting of the notion that most of us can be more creative than we’ve ever dreamed.
When Carol Dweck was a sixth-grader at P.S. 153 in Brooklyn, New York, she experienced something that motivated her to explore why some people view intelligence as a fixed trait while others embrace it as a quality that can be developed and expanded.
Young Carol’s teacher seated the students around the classroom according to their IQ scores. The boys and girls who didn’t have the highest IQs were not trusted to carry the flag during school assemblies. They weren’t even allowed to clap erasers or wash the chalkboard or take a note to the principal. Read more