Standpoints Of Cultures On Mistakes And Stupidity Analysis

Decent Essays
The passage focuses on the different standpoints of cultures on mistakes and stupidity. As the passage begins, the author starts off with the observations of psychologists, Harold Stevenson and James Stigler, when they compared elementary schools in the U.S., China, and Japan. As they were observing a Japanese boy struggle with a drawing assignment, they saw how Japanese and American culture perceives mistakes. The psychologists felt “anxious and embarrassed for him”, however the boy’s classmates did not feel that way. As the boy eventually mastered the problem, his classmates did not discourage him, but congratulated him. Additionally, they found that Asians find math success “as a matter of persistence and plain hard work.” In other words,…show more content…
Moreover, the authors discuss how American children are not allowed to continuously make mistakes in order to improve and are made to see mistakes as a sign of stupidity. Thus, it has made children or adults to fear failure, for it is believed that mistakes reflect on their capabilities. The passage then transitions to the research with American school children by psychologist Carol Dweck, which is said to have “pinpointed one of the major reasons for the cultural differences that Stevenson and Stigler observed.” In her experiments, she found that children who are commended for their efforts eventually perform better, are more likely to regard mistakes and criticism as useful information that will help them improve, and like what they are learning more than children who are praised by their natural abilities. However, children who are praised for their natural ability focus more on how competent on how they look to other than what they are learning, and become defensive about not doing well or about making mistakes and implants a self-defeating cycle in their minds. Dweck has thus tried to change how Americans view mistakes by changing her students’ perceptions of
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