Self-theories

Their Role in Motivation, Personality, and Development (Essays in Social Psychology)
by Carol Dweck | 212 pages

Carol Dweck is one of the world’s leading researchers on the science of motivation. This book is a collection of brief essays on various aspects of “self-theories.” It’s essentially a bridge between her extensive academic research studies and her popular book Mindset. It’s amazing. Big Ideas we explore include the two frameworks (entity vs. incremental) and their two goals (performance vs. learning), attributional retraining (aka learning the best way to respond to failure!), and moving from contingent self-worth to wholehearted self-esteem.


“I have always been deeply moved by outstanding achievement, especially in the face of adversity, and saddened by wasted potential. I have devoted my career to understanding both. For almost 30 years, I have done research on motivation and achievement. This book presents the findings from my research, and, as you will see, many of these findings challenge conventional wisdom. …

My work is built around the idea that people develop beliefs that organize their world and give meaning to their experiences. These beliefs may be called ‘meaning systems,’ and different people create different meaning systems. In this book I spell out how people’s beliefs about themselves (their self-theories) can create different psychological worlds, leading them to think, feel, and act differently in identical situations.”

~ Carol Dweck from Self-theories

Carol Dweck is one of the world’s leading researchers on the science of motivation.

This book is a collection of brief essays on various aspects of “self-theories.” It’s essentially a bridge between her extensive academic research studies and her popular book Mindset.

It reminds me of Abraham Maslow’s Motivation and Personality in that we get a peek into the mind of a brilliant, progressive scientist exploring the intellectual edges of their life’s work.

My book is nearly completely underlined and marked up and “wow”ed. The book is *densely* packed with wisdom. It’s a great, important read but it is certainly *not* a quick read. Dweck wastes no words as she offers a thoughtful, precise look at decades of research. I highly recommend it if, as a parent, leader and optimizer you’re looking to get a deeper understanding of one of the most important subjects we can ever explore. (Get a copy here.)

I’m really excited to share some of my favorite Big Ideas so let’s jump straight in.

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About the author

Authors

Carol Dweck

one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of motivation