The TL;DR review of this book is that it would have made for a fantastic essay, but as a book, it's rather repetitive.
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success is a 2006 book by Stanford University psychology professor Carol Dweck. The book delineates the "growth mindset" from the fixed mindset" and looks at the rather massive ramifications that difference has.
Simply put, a person with a growth mindset sees themselves at the beginning of a road. Whether you are good at this particular task or not, you know that with hard work, you can get better. A fixed mindset, on the other hand, sees themselves stuck wherever they are. They are either good or bad and often this mindset can lead to either hopelessness or an unearned arrogance. Indeed, I suspect the now-rightfully-maligned self-esteem movement as having created a bunch of narcissistic kids with a fixed mindset.
Indeed, people are bad at self evaluations, as many know. But it's really just the fixed mindset folks. As professor Dweck notes,
Studies show that people are terrible at estimating their abilities… we found that people greatly misestimated their performance and their ability. But it was those with the fixed mindset who accounted for almost all the inaccuracy. The people with the growth mindset were amazingly accurate. (Pg. 11)
She also notes that people have the ability to change their mindset or change others. I think she goes a bit to far into the environmental deductionist camp and at least implied that genes have nothing to do with. Unfortunately, that would be false. Even still, there is still a lot we can do to improve our mindset as an experiment her team did shows,
We praised some of the students for their ability. They were told: “Wow, you got [say] eight right. That’s a really good score. You must be smart at this…”
"So why the mediocre review?" you might ask. Well, if you've noticed, both quotes above are from the first some 70 pages. It's pretty much the same after that. Professor Dweck discusses people in business, sports, music, etc. with and without the growth mindset. But it's all pretty much the same thing.
Indeed, the book has four and a half stars on Amazon, but the first five reviews (as of this writing) give away the problem.
I think that's a bit harsh. The main concept (i.e. the 50-page essay this book should have been) is brilliant. As the next Amazon reviewer notes, "Concept is brilliant, execution not so much."
I would agree with that. Perhaps even professor Dweck would too. It's just that publishers need you to hit their page count requirements perhaps.
Also, please check out my video review for Mindset on our YouTube channel:
"Every day is a new life to the wise man."
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