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Growth Mindset Research

13 October 2015: posted by BigChange


We’ve been working hard in recent months on something that is at the heart of what we do here at Big Change – the concept of growth mindset.

If you haven’t already heard us go on about it, growth mindset is a term coined by Carol Dweck, a psychologist at Columbia University back in the ’80’s. In her research, she found that humans fell into two distinct categories in terms of thinking about what we can and cannot achieve in life.

There are those of us who firmly believe that our intellectual capacity is a fixed trait; that our capabilities are predetermined and finite. These individuals see failure as a demonstration of their limits.

And then there are those of us who believe that our intellect is malleable and can be developed over time; that success comes as a result of effort, learning, and persistence. Failure is in this case perceived as a chance to learn and grow.

The latter is a growth mindset, and it’s our favorite.

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Our Research:

We’ve partnered with leading cross-party think tank Demos to look at the existing evidence about growth mindset. We wanted to know how important having a growth mindset is, and whether it affects a person’s ability to thrive in life. We also looked into the critical junctures and interventions are necessary to help young people develop this mindset, and conducted case studies with social projects in the UK to get a better understanding of how a growth mindset works in practice.

If you want to find out more, you can read the report here, or download a copy: Mind-Over-Matter.

You can also check out the video we created with Demos interviewing Richard Branson, Richard Reed, School 21 and many more on the importance of having a growth mindset.

Want to know more? Read Niki’s blog about Growth Mindset, and check out the Demos press release.