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No Clarity Around Growth Mindset…Yet | Slate Star Codex
A rare criticism of Dweck’s growth mindset research, largely centered around the idea that the results are so dramatic for such small interventions that they can’t be real. No proof for falsification is provided (although the author says he looked). There are some more legitimate concerns raised about the social psychology and alternate research showing that yes, innate ability does matter.
A rare point of agreement between hard biodeterminists and hard socialists is that telling kids that they’re failing because they just don’t have the right work ethic is a crappy thing to do
. It’s usually false and it will make them feel terrible. Behavioral genetics studies show pretty clearly that at least 50% of success at academics and sports
is genetic; various sociologists have put a lot of work into proving that your position in a biased society covers a pretty big portion of the remainder. If somebody who was born with the dice stacked against them works very hard, then they might find themselves at A2 above. To deny this in favor of a “everything is about how hard you work” is to offend the sensibilities of sensible people on the left and right alike.
So basically, you take the most vulnerable people, set them tasks you know they’ll fail at, then lecture them about how they only failed because of insufficient effort.
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