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“I am a writer for our school newspaper, the BHS Blueprint, and I am writing an article about our school’s new growth mindset initiative.”

Caleb VanArragon writes:

I am a student at Blaine High School in Blaine, Minnesota. I am a writer for our school newspaper, the BHS Blueprint, and I am writing an article about our school’s new growth mindset initiative. I was wondering if you would be willing to answer a couple of questions about your study of the statistical reliability of some growth mindset studies.

In this article, written in 2017, you said you believe that Carol Dweck is “using statistical methods that will allow them to find success no matter what,” and you have said similar things on your blog. Do you believe that all of Dweck’s studies have been conducted using poor statistical methods, or have some of them been conducted properly?

Have you seen any studies that have found correlation between growth mindset and academic performance that have been conducted using sound statistical methods?

My reply:

No, I do not believe that Dweck’s studies have been conducted using poor statistical methods. I think that statistics is hard, and that various people have made too-strong claims from studies such as Dweck’s.
See discussion here. And see here for further discussion on growth mindset studies. I hope this is helpful.

2 Comments

  1. DC says:

    More good discussion of growth mindset from Alfie Kohn, an author who critiques it on other grounds but thinks “Dweck’s basic thesis is supported by decades’ worth of good data.” https://www.alfiekohn.org/article/mindset/ He’s made several observations about how Dweck’s research has been used to support claims it doesn’t really support and encourage decisions that aren’t as helpful as they seem on paper. But he doesn’t find fault with the data, which seems to be the same overall viewpoint as yours.

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