SUCCESS Materials – English

Positivity – Theoretical Background – Mindsets


Mindsets are defined as our perception of how we see ourselves, our abilities and our potentials (Dweck, 2007). In the literature, two types of mindsets are outlined: the fixed and the growth mindset.


The advantage of people having a growth mindset is that they believe that their abilities and intelligence can be developed with effort, learning, and persistence, and acknowledge that their basic abilities are simply a starting point for their potential. They do not believe everyone is the same, but they hold onto the idea that everyone can become more skilled and knowledgeable if they apply themselves and exert their maximum level of effort into a given task.

Dweck’s studies show that around 40% of US students display a growth mindset and 40% a fixed mindset, while the remaining 20% show mixed profiles. When students undertake an intervention to move them from a fixed to a growth mindset, research has found that the level of their academic performance substantially increases (Dweck, 2006).