How We See Ourselves And Our Abilities

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The purpose of this story was to illustrate the importance of how we see ourselves and our abilities. Many people view intelligence and other skills as gifts that they either have or they do not. If Sally were to do poorly on her final exams, it would be a devastating indication in her eyes, that she does not have the ability to do well. Despite what her mother said, she would think that she is not the “smartest, most gifted, brilliant kid there is.” She then would place less value in studying because there would be no point if she was going to perform poorly anyways. She would rather invest her time in something she is better at enjoys. For some people, however, failure is not an indication that they do not have the ability to do well, but rather an indication that they must make some changes and never give up in order to gain that ability. The way people view their abilities and interpret the reasons for their behavior can be crucial in determining their success (Aronson et al., 2013). Obsessed with understanding how people cope with failures, Psychologist Carol Dweck conducted an experiment with elementary school students during which she brought children, one at a time to a room in their school, made them feel relaxed, and then proceeded to give them a series of puzzles to solve that increased each time in the level of difficulty. Dweck initially believed that people either choose to cope with failure or they refused to cope. She discovered from this study that many
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