A warning i am way out of my league here and post this only hoping it will spark further discussion. The first thing that bothers me is the history. Ive been trying really hard to trace its origin story, but it is pretty convoluted. It seems to have grown out of a couple of studies Carol Dweck and a few collaborators did in the seventies. But these studies generally found that a belief in innate ability was a positive factor alongside belief in growth mindset, with the problem children being the ones who attributed their success or failure to bad luck, or to external factors like the tests being rigged. A good example of this genre is learned Helplessness And reinforcement Responsibility In Children.
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This study is really weird. Everything is like 100 in one group versus 0 in another group. Either something is really wrong here, or this one little test that separates mastery-oriented from helpless children constantly produces the strongest effects in all of psychology and is never key wrong. None of the children whose test responses indicated that they thought ability was important to success ever monitored their own progress not one while over 95 of the children who said they thought effort was more important did. None of them ever expressed a positive statement about their own progress, while over two-thirds of the children who thought effort was more important did. Normally i would assume these results are falsified, but I have looked for all of the usual ways of falsifying results and I cant find any. Also, the boldest falsifier in the world wouldnt have the courage to put down numbers like these. And a meta-analysis of all growth mindset studies finds more modest, but still consistent, effects, and only a little bit of publication bias. So is growth mindset the one concept in psychology which throws up gigantic effect sizes and always works? Or did Carol Dweck really, honest-to-goodness, make a pact with the devil in which she offered her eternal soul in exchange for spectacular study results? But here are a few things that predispose me towards the latter explanation.
4.5 minutes,.001 enjoyed the activity less (p.001) and did worse on future non-impossible problem sets (pyou get the picture). This was repeated in a bunch of subsequent studies by the same team among white students, black students, hispanic studentsyou probably still get the picture. Or take, an Analysis Of learned Helplessness. Dweck has used a test called the iar to separate children out into those who think effort is more important (mastery-oriented) and those who think ability is more important (helpless). Then she gave all of them impossible problems and watched them squirm or, more formally, tested how long the two groups continued working on them effectively. She found extremely strong results of the 30 subjects legs in each group, 11 of the mastery-oriented tried harder after failure, compared to 0 helpless. 21 of the helpless children stopped trying hard after failure, compared to only 4 mastery-oriented. She described the mastery-oriented children as saying things like i love a challenge, and the helpless children begging to be allowed to stop.
The remaining children were in the control condition and received no additional feedback. This is a nothing intervention, the tiniest ghost of an intervention. The experiment had previously involved all sorts of complicated directions and tasks, i get the impression they were in the lab for at least a half hour, and the experimental intervention is changing three short words in the middle of a sentence. The children in the intelligence praise condition were much more likely to say at the end of the experiment that they thought intelligence was more important than effort (p.001) than the children in the effort condition. When given the choice, 67 of the effort-condition children chose to set challenging learning-oriented goals, compared to only 8 (!) of the intelligence-condition. After a further trial in which the children were rigged to fail, children in the effort condition were much more likely to attribute their failure to not trying hard enough, and those in the intelligence condition to not being smart enough (p.001). Children in the intelligence condition were much less likely to persevere on a difficult task than children in the effort condition (3.2.
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Which makes it appalling that the studies are so damn good. Consider, dweck and mueller 1998, one of the key studies in the area. 128 strata fifth-graders were asked to do various puzzles. First they did some easy ones and universally succeeded. The researchers praised them as follows: All children were told that they had performed well on this problem set: Wow, you did very well on these problems.
You got number of problems right. Thats a really high score! No matter what their actual score, all children were told that they had solved at least 80 of the problems that they answered. Some children were praised for their ability after the initial positive write feedback: you must be smart at these problems. Some children were praised for their effort after the initial positive feedback: you must have worked hard at these problems.
Its not (just?) that ability doesnt matter. Its that belief that ability might matter is precisely what makes people fail. People who believe ability matters will refuse to work hard, will avoid challenges, will become helpless in the face of pressure, will hate learning as a matter of principle, will refuse to work hard, will become blustery and defensive about their brilliance, will lie. People who believe that anyone can succeed if they try hard enough will be successful, well-adjusted, and treat life as a series of challenging adventures. It all strikes a curmudgeon like me as just about the thickest morality tale since.
Pilgrims Progress, and as just about the most convenient explanatory coup since the reason psychic powers dont work on you is because youre a skeptic! Which brings me to the third reason Im biased against. It is right smack in the middle of a bunch of fields that have all started seeming a little dubious recently. Most of the growth mindset experiments have used priming to get people in an effort-focused or an ability-focused state of mind, but recent priming experiments have famously failed to replicate and cast doubt on the entire field. And growth mindset has an obvious relationship to stereotype threat, which has also started seeming very shaky recently. So i have every reason to be both suspicious of and negatively disposed toward growth mindset.
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That doesnt have politicians condemning it as a feel-good justification for everything wrong with society? That doesnt have a host of smarmy researchers saying that what, you still believe that, didnt you know it failed to business replicate and has since been entirely superseded by a new study out of Belarus? Im not saying Carol Dweck has definitely made a pact with the devil, Im just saying I dont have a good alternative explanation. Which brings me to the second reason Im biased online against. Good research shows that inborn ability (including but not limited to iq) matters a lot, and that the popular prejudice that people who fail just werent trying hard enough is both wrong and harmful. Social psychology has been, um, very enthusiastic about denying that result. If all growth mindset did was continue to deny it, then it would be unexceptional. But growth mindset goes further.
The Athenian, Critias, best described the situation in Sparta: The free were more free, and the slaves more fully slaves than elsewhere. Tomorrow, The celts Rita bay. Admitting a bias is the first step to overcoming it, so Ill admit it: I have a huge bias against growth mindset. (if youre not familiar with environmental it, growth mindset is the belief that people who believe ability doesnt matter and only effort determines success are more resilient, skillful, hard-working, perseverant in the face of failure, and than people who emphasize the importance of ability. Therefore, we can make everyone better off by telling them ability doesnt matter and only hard work does. More on wikipedia here ). Its unnatural, is what. A popular psychological finding that doesnt have gruff people dismissing it as a fad?
Plutarch, described how the Spartans made the helots drunk to show the young Spartans the problem with drinking in excess. He also described how the young Spartan men could run throughout the country armed with daggers and murder helots at will. This was intended to terrorize them to keep them under control. There was no penalty for killing a helot. In wartime, they acted as servants to the warriors or served as light infantrymen. Only the state could emancipate slaves but how often they used the power was questionable. One Greek writer describes how after a victorious battle, the helots were asked to name those who were champions so they could be manumitted. The two thousand who stepped forward were murdered.
Even if you choose not to have your activity tracked by third parties for advertising services, you will still see non-personalized ads on our site. By clicking continue below and using our sites or applications, you agree that we and our third party advertisers can: transfer your personal data to the United States or other countries, and process your personal data to serve you with personalized ads, subject to your. Eu data subject Requests. In Spartan society, all slaves were owned by the state. The helots (as the Spartan slaves were known) outnumbered the citizen population by about twenty to one. Helots formed the basis of the Spartan economy and were essential to food production, however, they were treated like animals. Helots were bound to the land, yardage unable to leave.
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