September 10, 2009

Sutton’s Blog/Dweck’s Article

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:24 pm by ctennert

Can intelligence be learned over time, or are you born with most of your skill set?  A little of both, I believe.  Dweck’s research on fixed vs. malleable theory is spot on.  Her findings on the twins and the African American students really back up my theory that it is a mix of both fixed and malleable aspects that make up our personality and learning behavior.

Bob Sutton summarizes her research, and points out when people actually believe they can learn, and grow smarter, they do.  When people believe their cognitive ability is fixed, they do not learn or grow smarter, and actually dislike change. 

I was brought up with the belief that if you work hard, good things will happen to you.  Not going to college was not an option, and not being successful at what I do is not an option.  I am the way I am today because of my education, and life experiences.  If we all believed we were born with, or “hard-wired” with personality traits ONLY, and could not better ourselves any more in this life, we would essencially be robots.  How boring to go through life not constantly growing your knowledge base. 

I also believe we are born with certain behaviors, tastes, likes and dislikes, and the way we react to things, for example.  These can all be changed with learning and enviornment, however.  Our hard-wiring simply provides a palate for us to grow upon and expand as we go through life.

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