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The Effort

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By avireddy1
Words 933
Pages 4
Paragraph 1 – A group came to Dweck, a psychology professor, to ask why their athletes were not motivated to train more (talent was not a problem, the athletes were very skilled).
Paragraph 2 – The suspected problem with the athletes was the belief ‘that star players are born – not made’ Working hard means the players are admitting a lack of talent. The star players are confident in their abilities.
What motivates you to work at something?
Are ‘stars’ born? Or can people work hard to achieve the same ‘star’ status?
Can confidence cause laziness?
What was the ‘mind-set’ of the athletes? (see the chart and explain your answer to the group)

Paragraph 3 – Dweck’s introduction and basic research. Dweck studies what makes people ‘reach their potential’ while other’s fail. Dweck said the reason why some try harder when other’s give up is how people view ‘ability.’ Dweck said people view ‘ability’ as either (1) something that comes naturally or (2) something that is developed through practice
Paragraph 4 – Research Findings – If people open their mind to making an effort, big improvements are possible.
What does it mean to ‘reach your potential’?
What is something you feel prevents your from reaching your potential when learning to do something new?
What is the dictionary definition of ‘ability’? (search and scribe)
Which definition of ‘ability’ do you agree with? What would you say most people in your culture agree with?
In your opinion, how much does attitude influence learning?

Paragraph 5 - Research Beginnings – Dweck started by studying ‘learned helplessness.’ Experiments involved animal research on repeated failures. Through this work, she began to wonder why some human children give up when they face failure while others are motivated by it.
Paragraph 6 – Dweck learned people’s ideas about what causes their failure determines how willing they are to risk failure. If people believe they lack ability or talent they gave up – discouraged. If people believe they could try harder to get a better result, they try repeatedly
Paragraph 7-8 – Dweck’s research. She initially worked with school children that were labeled ‘helpless.’ She observed that when these students failed at something, they believed it was because they lacked the ability to be successful. Each failure made the student feel more helpless and reinforced their negative feelings about their ‘ability.’ For her research, Dweck showed that she was able to increase student’s level of persistence through encouragement. This lead to increased performance.
Do you feel you give up too easily? Or do you fight until you’ve mastered the problem/task?
What happens if you fail at doing something?
What is persistence? Is it an important value in your culture?
Do you believe effort should be part of someone’s grade?

Paragraph 9 – Attribution Theory: This theory deals with what people say is the cause of events and behaviors. Attribution theory before Dweck’s research looked mostly at what people blame for their failure or successes. Dweck looked at Attribution theory from a different view. She wanted to know how a person’s view about the meaning of ‘ability’ influences their outcome.
Paragraph 10 – In one study, children who continuously tried despite setbacks didn’t even seem to view the setbacks as ‘failures’. They viewed these negative outcomes as useful and informative pieces of a puzzle. Each failure seemed to increase the child’s desire to conquer the problem.
Paragraph 11-12 – Dweck says ability inspires confidence when things are going well. However, we have much more to learn from how people deal with ‘setbacks.’ The goals people have in learning give us some important information. If people learn because they want to master a task, simply to gain knowledge, then they are motivated to risk failure in order to grow. These people are ‘mastery oriented’. If people are motivated to perform well so they look good to others, they often fear failure and give up easily. These people are ‘performance oriented.’
Paragraph 13-14 – A new question for Dweck. Dweck began to wonder why some want to learn while others only want to show their ability. She decided it was because people were looking at ‘ability’ in different ways. Some think of ability as something that can be increased and controlled. These people have a learning, or ‘growth’ mind-set. Others believe ability is something that is possessed inside a person. It is not changing. This is called a ‘fixed’ mind-set.
Do you think the way you look at something influences how successful you are at it?
Are you someone who says ‘I love a challenge!” ? If not – do you know someone like that?
Are you a risk taker?
Look at the chart. Which mind-set describes you? How do you think this mindset has affected your lifetime learning?

Paragraph 15-16 – Additional research by Dweck confirmed “the belief that you can’t improve stunts achievement.” Culture also can influence the mindset of people, although Dweck found that a person can learn a new mind-set.
Paragraph 17-19 Dweck’s most recent studies were on the effects of positive thinking. In the study, students were told intelligence grows like a muscle. Those students showed huge improvements on their scores over students who didn’t learn that idea. This shows that believing in oneself is quite powerful. Dweck herself learned things traditionally thought to be impossible for older people.

How do you think culture can influence people’s mindset?
Do you generally believe in yourself / your ability?
Why do you think negative ‘self talk’ is so powerful?
Do you feel that anyone at any age can learn to do something well?

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