By Harvard Business Review Staff
When Carol Dweck was a graduate student, in the early 1970s, she began studying how children cope with failureand she quickly realized that cope was the wrong word. Some didnt just copethey relished it, she says. For some people, failure is the end of the worldbut for others, its this exciting new opportunity. Dweck, now a psychology professor at Stanford, spent the next several decades studying this dichotomy, which she originally described using the clunky academic monikers fixed mindset entity theory and incremental theory. By the early 2000s, while writing a mass-market book on the topic, shed come up with more-appealing labels. She now refers to people who view talent as a quality they either possess or lack as having a fixed mindset. People with a growth mindset, in contrast, enjoy challenges, strive to learn, and consistently see potential to develop new skills. Dwecks framework has had a significant impact: Her book Mindset, published in 2006, has sold more than 800,000 copies, and the concept of a growth mindset has come to permeate fields such as education and sports training.
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